When landscape architect Scott Brinitzer of Scott Brinitzer Design Associates in Arlington landed the chance to restore the grounds of a 1925 Tudor in DC, he saw an opportunity to resurrect a once-grand old garden—and also to leave his imaginative imprint on the 2011 DC Design House.
“I love classic gardens so it was an absolute love affair with what was there,” Brinitzer says. “The bones of the garden were pretty phenomenal, but they had been completely neglected for about 30 years.”
A koi pond was obscured so that it was no longer integrated with the house or the other garden areas. Brinitzer and Jeff Potter of J&G Landscape Design felled a jumble of overgrown trees to reveal the pond as well as a boxwood maze. They then introduced whimsically curving gravel walkways that connect to the other parts of the garden. “The gravel becomes almost a water flow as well,” Brinitzer says. Gravel arcs mimic splashes of water on the lawn. Upright conical yews frame the pond, while Korean boxwood shrubs and soft gray rosemary provide texture.
A stately crab apple tree and a pair of crape myrtles were left in place for their character and spring color. A yew hedge provides a deep green backdrop to an original azalea that blooms reddish pink. Nearby, a row of schip laurel leads to the neatly trimmed maze.
According to Brinitzer, none of this was planned. “These ideas developed from working in the garden, trying to come up with something worthy of a show house,” he says.
AWARD: GRAND, SPECIAL EVENTS (DESIGN/BUILD). LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE: SCOTT BRINITZER, principal; KATIA GOFFIN, principal designer, Scott Brinitzer Design Associates, Arlington, Virginia. LANDSCAPE INSTALLATION: JEFF POTTER, J&G Landscaping, Spencerville, Maryland. PHOTOGRAPHY: SCOTT BRINITZER.
Karen Watkins is a freelance writer based in Bethesda, Maryland.