West Ridge Residence
Chicago, IL.

Design | Lead

Project Lead for design, presentation, cost estimation and construction

Chris Gent | Landscape Studio

Client: Private Residence
Date: 2014
Budget: $5000, front yard
Design Firm: CG|LS

For a classic octagon bungalow, existing plants were removed and saved while exterior improvements were made to the home. As that work wrapped up, the homeowners looked to CG|LS to help put their landscape back together again. The first priority was to replant the front yard using as many of the saved plants as possible and augmenting them with new plants that would provide seasonal interest and be low maintenance. Prior to the construction the home had a foundation planting of hollies that the clients wanted back. This provided an evergreen base that created a solid backdrop while visually anchoring the home. A redbud ornamental tree was added further helping to anchor the home while providing early spring blooms. The addition of various colored and textured shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses created seasonal interest against the holly backdrop. Roses were added to the entry wall picking up on the rose pattern found in the leaded glass windows.

Sometimes landscape architects perform the function of mediator. This was the case in the design of this city backyard. The two clients did not agree on their vision for the yard. One wanted structure, the other a looser, more naturalistic feeling. By creating rooms CG|LS was able to provide both the structure and a naturalistic landscape. The design also accomplished a third goal of creating the illusion of greater space.

The transitional patio announces your arrival into the small, typical city lot backyard. To give a sense of more space the backyard was divided into three spaces. From the back door a tiered deck replaced the concrete patio. A bridge leaps across a landscaped rain garden to the loggia created by reducing the size of the existing garage. The loggia provided additional views of the garden. Hidden from view of the house is an intimate patio surrounded by a potpourri of perennials and shrubs.