Daniel Kiley frequently referenced “poetry of space” and “appropriateness” of the landscape in the context of its surroundings. This 1940’s ranch in the Peterson Park neighborhood of Chicago represents those two basic tenets of his design process in relating the landscape back to the home, the client and the extended landscape of the neighborhood.
Client directives were few, other than to hope for a landscape that complemented the lines of the home and developed a spirit of liveliness with an emphasis on color……”and no trees!”
A classic small space challenge, this Chicago garden barely totals six hundred square feet. Yet, it is packed with over twenty containers, a custom pergola, trellis and fencing as well as a broad spectrum assortment of perennials, vines and groundcover. That diversity of elements encourage the clients to use and enjoy the space from the earliest moments of spring until the chill of late fall chases them back indoors.
The patio is traditional clay brick with scattered bluestone accents along the edge. The bluestone is tied back in to the patio with a bluestone landing at the back door and steppers leading into what will be Phase II of the project in 2014. Those bluestone elements are also a nod to the slate tile used in the kitchen and hallways of the interior.
Containers are rotated and added twice a year so that the garden view is constantly changing. Even the furniture is casually adjusted periodically as a refresher. At times there is a small bistro table in the central portion of the patio and at times the patio is left open. As the season progresses, the landscape evolves based on the bloom cycle of plants, the exchange of containers and the adjustment of the furniture which is held in storage while not in use.
Rhythm and character are vague, yet spoken of as attributes common to great landscapes. This urban garden speaks to an eclectic sense of character and rhythm. It is scheduled for publication in multiple magazines. It is appropriate. It meets the needs of the client. It has poetry of space.
The narrative above was originally written for the ILCA Awards Contest. The project, which was titled Urban Frenzy won an ILCA Silver Award and also won an HNA national design award. In addition the project has been featured in Chicagoland Gardening Magazine and Total Landscape Care Magazine. Site design by John Algozzini, lighting design by Kevin Manning.