Howard Cohen planted a colorful mix around a waterfall.
Cohen added Sweetbay magnolias, Rosy Returns day lilies, Bowle's golden sedge and hypericum along the edge of the koi pond. Photo
Crape myrtles flank the side entrance to the garden through a cedar gate and piers of Adirondack stone stone from Upstate New York. Photo

Au Naturel

A luxurious oasis by Surrounds, Inc., provides lush foliage, water features and a panoramic view

Au Naturel MARCH/APRIL 2011

A three-story addition to a residence in Great Falls, Virginia, was the key element in a new,  panoramic landscape design. According to landscape architect Howard Cohen of Surrounds, Inc., the sweeping views from the addition set the tone for the design; the addition had so many windows overlooking the entire backyard that “the garden had to have a broad approach.” 

Cohen’s clients did not want a swimming pool, but they did want a koi pond, lots of plants and a space for entertaining. Cohen united the property’s large backyard with a picturesque, river-like water feature that cascades down from one side of the property in a series of waterfalls and ends at the koi pond on the lower level. The naturalistic design includes large boulders, a stone bridge over the water that connects to a secluded patio with an open-air pavilion, and a series of descending stone terraces.

Inside the pavilion, a fireplace, lighting and gas heaters in the ceiling allow the structure to be used well into the cooler months. There’s even a computer screen that descends from the ceiling on rollers to table level so the client can have an open-air work space in beautiful surroundings. 

Because the clients wanted a wide array of showy plants and shrubs, they had to do something to keep out the deer. Cohen installed a seven-foot steel fence—far more attractive and sturdier than normal deer fencing—around the property that allowed him to plant such deer favorites as roses, aucuba, daylilies and hydrangeas. 

Jane Berger is the publisher of

AWARD: Grand, Outdoor Living Area (Design/Build). LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: Howard Cohen, Surrounds, Inc., Sterling, Virginia. PHOTOGRAPHY: Greg Hadley and Brian Rossen. 

**Out of the array of interior design magazines, Home and Design magazine stands out as a primary idea source for luxury home designs and landscape design ideas.  Wonderful visuals of inspired décor and lush landscapes are combined with expert advice to provide a fundamental reference point for bringing amazing home interior design ideas, and outdoor spaces to life.