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Newton, MA

Situated on a hill overlooking Commonwealth Avenue, the homeowners asked for a bold elegant landscape befitting their new home. Specifically, they desired an impressive entry to the house, a drive court that would accommodate four cars, a backyard patio with hot tub, and an arbor with a swing.


Commonwealth Ave.

Shoplick Landscape Architecture aligned the heated concrete paver driveway on axis with a prominent dormer on the house. Tan and brown concrete pavers were chosen to match the warm tones of the home's fieldstone veneer, and the paving pattern responds to the lines of the architecture while visually dividing the large expanse of the drive court.  At the mouth of the driveway, the same fieldstone used on the house's façade was used to build two entry piers with gas lights, the flames of which warmly illuminate the property's entry.


To distinguish the entrance to the front door, bluestone was chosen to contrast the brown and tan pavers. Round steps cascade towards the drive court from a mid-level landing. Both the top and middle bluestone landings were inset with decorative granite accents and sandblasted, painted letters.


The L-shaped configuration of the house and garage left only a long narrow strip between the house and the drivecourt for planting. To give the garden more prominence, a 6"-high granite curb raises it above the drive court. A small fountain is tucked between the plant beds, it's falling water serving as a focal point from both inside and outside the house.


The symmetry of the front yard relaxes as one walks through the side yards and into the backyard. Shoplick Landscape Architecture proposed a three foot high New England Fieldstone wall across the back of the site that retains the wooded slope above while creating level areas adjacent to the house below. These flat areas accommodate a lawn for children to play and a bluestone patio for adults to entertain. In the patio, the retaining wall houses a linear spillway from which a sheet of water cascades into a heated spa below.


Bluestone steps connect the lower patio to a woodland garden planted above the fieldstone retaining wall. Existing cedars underplanted with Mountain Laurel, Blue Holly, Hellebores, Hosta, and Geranium offer a shady contrast to the open, sunnier areas planted with Noala Carpet Roses, Red Twigged Dogwood, Lilac Standards, Caryopteris, Yarrow and Veronica.

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