The glass-walled greenhouse imparts interest to an elegant pool scape.
The greenhouse nestles in beds of flowers beside a koi pond.
Granite pavers clad the winding driveway.
Cedar trims the French country-style residence and the greenhouse.
The drive leads to a mahogany gate at the entrance to the property.

The Great Outdoors Greenhouse Effect

Lush plantings and custom stonework grace an unusual landscape design by Surrounds, Inc.

charming cedar-and-glass conservatory creates a focal point in a McLean landscape project by Howard Cohen of Surrounds, Inc. Initially, “the client just wanted a koi pond and a greenhouse,” Cohen recalls. “It gradually started to grow.”

Cohen worked with Tanglewood Conservatories to design the 300-square-foot structure in a style that would play off the  home’s French Country design.  It’s clad in the same cedar that trims the house, with a peaked roof measuring 18 feet tall. Inside, an assortment of tropical plants thrives, including a 30-year-old lemon tree.

Adjacent to the glass-walled structure are a waterfall and koi pond built with  pool construction so it can someday be converted into a second pool. The stones comprising the waterfall are arranged in a geometric pattern with Carderock stones jutting out. 

The pool deck was rejuvenated with Pennsylvania bluestone. Cohen repaved the driveway with granite and built an adjacent stone wall. The cedar on the house, the new driveway gate and the greenhouse tie the design together, as does the natural stone. “There are probably 80 tons of stone on this property,” Cohen says.

Huge displays of annuals provide color around the pool area all summer. Evergreens, ornamental grasses and boxwoods add four-season interest, while a row of trellised camellias cleverly disguises the fence. 

Karen Watkins is a freelance writer based in Bethesda, Maryland.

AWARD: GRAND AWARD, Total Residential Contracting (Design/Build). LANDSCAPE DESIGN: HOWARD COHEN, Surrounds Inc., Sterling, Virginia. GREENHOUSE CONSTRUCTION: Tanglewood Conservatories, Denton, Maryland.