When landscape architect Scott Brinitzer was tapped to reimagine the gardens surrounding a 1925 Arlington bungalow, he jumped at the opportunity. A major renovation was underway, spearheaded by Winn Design + Build.
Challenges were many on the long, quarter-acre site. Its corner location meant factoring two street views into the design. Brinitzer had to connect the house and a new freestanding garage in the backyard and screen the home from its neighbor to the south. “I was drawn to the potential to preserve the character of the house and create a casual, comfortable landscape that wasn’t overly rigid,” he says.
Throughout the garden, he defined lines and then blurred them, imparting soft, unfettered appeal. The front walk of limestone has toothed edges, as does a rear terrace that dissolves into a gravel path. “Every edge, with the exception of the seat wall, breaks and opens and doesn’t wall you off,” he explains.
Side gardens present their own allure. On the street side, instead of a heavy evergreen wall that would dwarf the house, a fluid screen of Miami crape myrtle provides privacy year-round. On the opposite side, a natural gravel path traverses randomly placed Virginia cedar, Steeplechase arborvitae and abundant perennials.
The completed landscape not only lures the homeowners outside, but also attracts an array of pollinators. “Bumblebees are everywhere,” marvels Brinitzer. “That’s part of the environmental piece that we loved bringing to the project.”
Renovation: Winn Design + Build, Falls Church, Virginia. Landscape Architecture: Scott Brinitzer, PLA, ASLA, Scott Brinitzer Design Associates, Arlington, Virginia. Landscape Contractor: Dreamland Gardens Inc., Fairfax, Virginia. Masonry: JoPal Construction Inc., Rockville, Maryland. Lighting: Outdoor Illumination Inc., Bethesda, Maryland.