In 2014 the owners acquired this well-preserved Paul Rudolph home. Built within a former tire garage, the mid-century modern house sits away from the street in a quiet area of Cambridge. With floor-to-ceiling windows the garden, in constant view, needed to meld seamlessly with the interior of the house. Having two young boys, a sizable lawn area was required for the children’s activities.
The oversized stepping stones weave within the grass to create a soft path leading from the courtyard to the main entrance. Although the house is modern in structure, the owners didn’t want to deter from the New England aesthetic opting for native plants where possible, a floating patio for entertaining, and the versatility to move ascent features, such as their fire pit, when entertaining small and large crowds.
Tucked in the historic area of Avon Hill, this Italianate Victorian from 1886 was devoid of an outdoor space worthy of its majestic charm.
Invasive Norway Maples dappled the back yard and overgrown Yew shrubs intruded on the front beds. With a limited budget, the owners needed to leave the unsightly concrete retainer wall at the front.
To enhance the front entrance, additional ivy was planted to disguise and flow over the wall. These two front beds are a pool of green in the winter months. Spring Irises, tulips, and long-blooming hydrangeas add bursts of color in the spring and summer, while the mopped heads of the hydrangea’s are retained for winter interest.
Locally sourced granite and bluestone slabs were used to create wide, terraced entrances on both sides of the house, welcoming visitors to the back garden and adding a touch of grandeur and Victorian era nostalgia.
The invasive maples were removed from the back yard and replaced with a hedge of arborvitae, Rhododendrons, native dogwoods and Hydrangeas, adding a sense of order and definition to the space.
A new porch, crafted from rich Mahogany wood overlooks the garden. At the far end, a magnificent trellis and pergola extends overhead, creating a shaded retreat and cozy seating area.