Ecology + Design

Elegant Front Landscaping w. Stone Masonry | Irvington, NY.

We started 2020 off with the classics, but of course had to put our own ecological spin on it. This Westchester, NY property featured way-overgrown foundation plantings that completely overtook the house. The Irvington clients hired us to re-design their front landscaping, as well as around the driveway. The scope of work also included enclosing the backyard to make it more safe for their new child.

This series is part of our 2020 Countdown of GJLs Best Landscape Design Projects of the Year! This is #7: Coyote Woods in the Cradle of the Forest.

Catch up on the background of this project on our previous blog: Ecological Foundation Planting & Landscape Design Master Plan

Natural Stone Front Walkway

The existing walkways were awkward and confusing, and did not accentuate the fine architecture around the front door. Our master craftsman mason Aztlan crafted larger, sweeping walkways out of irregular cut bluestone. The effect is grand, slightly rustic / naturalistic, but elegant with clean lines that clearly communicate circulation paths. We also expanded the landing below the steps, which was previously awkwardly narrow.

A front entrance no one can ignore! Planting and walkway are much more to scale after the landscape design and installation.
Clean lines contrast with the rugged stone cuts, matching this naturalistic forest setting.

The new front walkway is a prominent avenue from the driveway, directing guests to the front door, while a smaller walkway connects from the driveway.

The front walkways fork elegantly, but the main walkway to the front door is clearly defined.

Front Landscaping with Native Plants

Jay also designed new garden beds to frame the front lawn and offer more texture, color and vibrance. Instead of looking at the lawn transition to asphalt, there is a vibrant garden of native shrubs, perennials and grasses that looks fabulous throughout the year. Long-blooming native perennials, like Geranium and Tickseed (pictured below) are low-maintenance plants that create habitat for innumerable local pollinators.

Since this property borders a large Irvington forest, it is extra important to extend the habitat into residential landscapes like this one. Learn more about Pollinator Pathways and Certified Wildlife Habitats.

The new foundation plantings feature a mix of classic evergreens for year-round green. We also included some native deciduous shrubs that still provide architectural elements in winter, and much ecological value in spring/summer/fall.

Driveway Planting with Boulder Accents

Front Landscaping Frames the Lawn

Curvilinear garden beds with soft and breezy ornamental grasses and artfully placed boulders visually encloses the front yard and makes the space feel more intimate and interesting.

Sedges, Clethra and Viburnum are a powerful combination for a front yard garden.
Hydrangeas are a classic Northeast foundation plant for their long bloom time and immense flowers!
View of the home from the driveway — garden beds and a grand walkway clearly define the entrance.
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