Wild Garden & Waterscape

Rye, NY

This Rye property started with a traditional backyard lawn and patio, that was habitually underused because of a mosquito issue (the property bordered a wetland.) GJL removed the lawn and designed a custom water feature set in a lush perennial garden. The plant biodiversity and habitat creation invited necessary predators, like dragonflies, to keep the mosquito populations in check. Now, the homeowners frequently meander through the garden paths, admiring the long-blooming flowers and the humming birds that visit them. Mosquitos aren’t an issue anymore. The naturalistic, wild design seamlessly connects sitting areas to a woodland garden and to the wetland itself, now a viewpoint and functional asset to the property.

View from the first garden bridge in springtime.
BEFORE: The start of sod removal – view from the back deck.
New garden paths and stream, as viewed from the second story back deck.
The newly installed backyard in early spring. Note the stone bridges and meandering gravel paths that guide circulation along the river and through the garden.
Daffodils mark the start of Spring! Bulbs are the best way to add color to your landscape in the early spring months when most plants are still bare.
A kinetic sculpture creates a dynamic focal point and provides winter interest in the garden.
Native perennials provide nectar for pollinators in spring and seeds for birds in fall and winter.
Black-eyed Susans – an ecological superstar plant – line the new flagstone path that connects the front and back yards.
View of the garden from the main patio, featuring Blackeyed Susan, Milkweed, Cone Flower, and various ground covers. The plants were selected for the ecological value, local hardiness, and for successive blooms and multi-season interest.
This shallow pond invites plenty of local wildlife, from birds to turtles and fish.
Natives in full bloom: Black-eyed Susan, Coneflower, Monarda, Joe Pye Weed has & more!
View from the stream of the garden in spring.
The source: this waterscape begins with a waterfall, whose stream meanders into a smaller, shallower pond and then a larger, deeper fish pond. Varying depths help attract a diversity of wildlife.
Looking left from the patio, the gravel path creates a figure eight with plenty of seating nooks along the way.
Mixing hardscape materials helps denote patios and seating areas from walkways.
Black-eyed Susan and Mexican Hyssop full bloom.
An adorable seating nook framed by lush, steppable ground covers.
Bee Balm (Monarda) in full bloom -- a favorite of pollinators!
River birches looking stoic under fresh snow fall.
BEFORE: shot of the front entrance. It was too small for the scale of the house and could benefit from a more modern styling.
BEFORE: shot of the driveway. To improve on-site infiltration of stormwater, the clients opted to remove their asphalt drive to install a Porous Pave driveway.
Porous Pave is a mix of rubber and polymer, that is applied over several inches of gravel. Stormwater is able to infiltrate this surface and percolate to recharge the aquifer. It also does not ice over like traditional driveways and requires very little maintenance. See our blog post for more on the install.
View of the finished permeable driveway. The new front steps included a landing for viewing the sculpture and front gardens.
Blooming perennials and a modern entry yield serious curb appeal!
Spring bulbs create instant curb appeal when little else has leafed out or bloomed.