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A 1960s work of modern architecture by Baltimore architect Donald Ratcliffe, AIA, and the childhood home of the client, our challenge involved updating the grounds for the 21st century without effacing the integrity of the original landscape design by John Donofrio. Rotten timber walls and seating around a pattern of rectangular beds needed replacing and the client requested screening from a burst of new homes. An original interior wall made of tan colored Maryland stone and an exterior wall of the same material, served as inspiration for our facelift. Separated only by a floor-to-ceiling glass wall, the repetition of stone allowed the interior and exterior living spaces to resonate as one. Groundcover and recurring groupings of select plants unify the beds into a single statement. A semi-circle of Kwanzan cherries planted halfway down the knoll provides screening from the neighborhood without diminishing the sense of spaciousness, while crapemrytles edging each side of the patio also soften the view of neighboring homes.

heike nolker, ASLA landscape architect

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