Wallace Street

This front yard in Birmingham needed a complete overhaul. The existing site was overshadowed by a massive concrete drive that was in disrepair and did not provide adequate drainage. Through a series of design exercises exploring layout and material options, we worked with the client to create a garden that blends a more appropriately-sized drive with a carefully-appointed landscape. The result is a simple yet effective design that complements the warm aesthetic of the residence and echoes the client’s design mantra of “not trying too hard.”

Rows of globe boxwood and masses of creeping thyme and sedge grass run parallel to the street and highlight the front façade of the house. A retaining wall of Corten steel slices through the vegetation to create a striking juxtaposition of textures as well as a clear delineation between public and private space.

Concrete steps lead up to and through the wall, their cantilevered construction making them appear to float atop the landscape. At night, low voltage ambient lighting illuminates the tones of the Corten steel and the wood paneling of the residence, bathing the garden in a beautiful warmth.