Design for Backyard Landscaping
Photo by Dayvison de Oliveira Silva from Pexels

Design for Backyard Landscaping

Now that spring is on the horizon, we’re dreaming of moments en plein air. You might say we’re waiting to inhale, because it won’t be long before the landscape comes alive and teems with color and fragrance. What better way to enjoy the splendor of this long-awaited season than on your very own home turf. Join us on a virtual garden tour for a glimpse at backyard Edens and private oases cultivated by the area’s leading landscape professionals.

Landscape Architecture by LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects

Rife with perennials and ornamental grasses, this Truro terrace by LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects affords two very different outdoor experiences. Homeowners can drink in the sunshine and beauty of shadblow and stewartia trees out on a bluestone terrace, or shield themselves—just a bit—in an intimately scaled shade porch. Within the private refuge shown above, homeowners can take in the lush and verdant garden while relaxing on downy sofas in a room of their own. The structure’s sliding doors and wood slat walls invite in gentle breezes but keep harsh rays at bay.

Landscape design by Gregory Lombardi Design; landscape contractor R.P. Marzilli & Company; photo by Eric Roth

This luxuriant Chestnut Hill garden was designed by the office of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and reimagined by landscape architect Gregory Lombardi Design. Together with landscape contractors R.P. Marzilli & Company, Lombardi Design breathed new life into the sacred ground, conjuring an “Alice in Wonderland” sensibility.

Landscape design by Gregory Lombardi Design; landscape contractor R.P. Marzilli & Company; photo by Eric Roth

Originally, the historic garden was quite formal and structured, in keeping with the architecture of the Georgian style home. The current homeowner, however, while respecting tradition and looking to preserve the green space’s geometry, prefers a “romantic and naturalistic” escape punctuated by thoughtful destinations.


To that end, Lombardi Design allowed the formal plan “to relax and become somewhat overgrown, ” creating a “fantasy lost garden that forever feels just on the cusp of decay.” Bursting with boxwoods, white euonymus and royal burgundy, as well as a soaring 150 year-old Sugar Maple, viewers “can project a romantic story of their own about the space and its history, ” says the firm. We can’t think of a better perch to weave that tale than from the red wooden swing in the custom cupola gazebo.

For a glorious landscape project in Weston, the MacDowell Company drew from classic New England materials to create an idyllic setting for enjoyment three months of the year. Peaceful and picturesque, the landscape professionals capitalized on the terrain’s variance in elevation, installing a custom water feature flanked by two steps of stairs leading to fields of green above. Built from hand selected granite boulders from the firm’s Monadnock quarry, and jutting out from New England fieldstone walls, the landscape element serves as the central focal point from the rear of the expansive home and its terrace areas.

Its soothing water cascade provides an audible reminder to stop and smell the roses (it also foils traffic noise from the Mass Pike) and is answered by a glittering spa tucked into the lower left hillside adjacent to a bluestone courtyard.

When the landscape of a beautiful Brookline brownstone did not measure up to the architectural bones of the residence, landscape company a Blade of Grass was commissioned to restructure the yard and make it blossom. As the homeowners sought to use the grounds in a variety of ways, a Blade of Grass divided the property, creating a series of smaller verdant “rooms” to suit different purposes.

The landscape company carved out a restful private patio under a canopy of climbing blooms, a parterre cutting garden for the resident green thumb to tend, plenty of play space for the kids, and their take on a checkerboard garden at the main entry. A long lawn garden, capped by a whimsical pergola, has all of the hallmarks of an English landscape—manicured hedges, and a long level lawn lined with beds of gorgeous, showy blooms of varying heights, color and texture.