The slate patios and terraced landscape are enhanced by hosta, azalea, boxwood, fern and hydrangea.
Judith Petersen created welcoming outdoor-living spaces framed by luxuriant gardens.
Additional retaining walls create a layered landscape.
Before

Before + After: Landscape

Fine Earth Landscape meets the challenge of designing a lush garden oasis on a problematic property

Confronting less-than-optimal conditions on a Bethesda project, landscape designer Judith Petersen created welcoming outdoor-living spaces framed by luxuriant gardens. The slate patios and terraced landscape are enhanced by hosta, azalea, boxwood, camellia, daphne, fern and hydrangea, which soften the property’s lines while cleverly concealing unappealing infrastructure.

Then Now
The backyard was dominated on one side by an unsightly concrete wall supporting the neighbor’s swimming pool, perched high above. A ramshackle stockade fence below it was an eyesore. Petersen replaced the fence with attractive latticework. Nellie Stevens holly, climbing hydrangea and euonymus largely conceal the concrete.
Water from the neighbor’s pool overflowed into a swale at its base and emptied into the client’s yard. The latticework hides the swale, which now channels water to a drain that carries it out to the street.
The stone retaining wall was bare and the ground behind it overgrown. The small slate patio was dilapidated. Additional retaining walls create a layered landscape of terraced gardens. The patio has been repaired and another installed on the side of the house. A third creates a sitting area on the slope.

Landscape Design & Installation: Judith M O Petersen, Fine Earth Landscape, Poolesville, Maryland. Photography: Hilary Schwab.