Before and After: A Brooklyn Townhouse with a Double-Wide Garden by

Issue 94 · October Moon · October 14, 2013

Before and After: A Brooklyn Townhouse with a Double-Wide Garden

Issue 94 · October Moon · October 14, 2013

Behind an unassuming brownstone in Brooklyn's Boerum Hill, a double-wide lot is home to a sprawling garden and a pair of unusually beautiful garden sheds holding garden tools, firewood, and bicycles. Plus, check out the kayak storage.

Brooklyn-based Kim Hoyt Architect (a member of our Architect/Designer Directory) is both an architect and a landscape architect, and designed the garden and the outdoor structures to be intimately entwined.

Photography by Dan Wonderly

Kim Hoyt Architect Boerum Hill Brooklyn Project with Dark Stained Wood Driveway Gate, Gardenista

Above: The experience begins on the street, where an ipe wood gate stands sentinel while blending into the surrounding architecture of the landmarked neighborhood.

Kim Hoyt Architect "Before" Photo, Gardenista

Above: A "before" photo from the street; the transformation is dramatic. 

Kim Hoyt Architect Boerum Hill Brooklyn Project with Dark Stained Wood Driveway Gate, Gardenista

Above: When open, the gate defines the view of the second structure—the garden sheds—and of the garden beyond.

Past the gate lies the practical: a paved parking spot, custom wood storage racks to accommodate the family's kayaks, and the sheds. The parking spot does double duty as an open court for a ping-pong table.

Kim Hoyt Architect View of Boerum Hill Brooklyn Garden Through Wood Garden Sheds, Gardenista

Above: Rather than create one large garden shed, the architects opted for two cedar sheds to make a tightly framed view of the garden. The sheds feature have doors and floors are made of crushed stone.

With a narrow walkway between them, the twin sheds shape the view of the main feature: the lush garden. A large wisteria-covered trellis defines a woodland dining room, and a smaller trellis hosts climbing roses and protects an outdoor swing. 

Kim Hoyt Architect Boerum Hill Brooklyn Garden with Trellis and Stone Path, Gardenista

Above: A dining area is defined by a trellis, which provides shade and support for wisteria vines. The garden path is made of fieldstone, set on a permeable base planted with creeping thyme and other ground cover plants.

Kim Hoyt Architect Boerum Hill Brooklyn Garden with Trellis and Stone Path, Gardenista

Above: The low seating walls are made of old used brick found on the property, set below natural cleft bluestone. The plantings were meant to evoke a tranquil, shaded woodland and a "rambunctious cottage garden."

The garden accommodates many needs: those of the family's two children, who wanted a rambling garden in which to explore; the family dog, who required a garden resilient enough to withstand his weight and enthusiasm, and the parents, nature- overs who wanted to maintain the garden themselves, thereby requiring that it be hardy enough to withstand some level of busy-life neglect.

The project uses FSC-certified ipe and cedar harvested using sustainable forestry practices; brick reused from the original paved landscape; and native plant species, where possible. Though really, they had us at the gate.

Kim Hoyt Architect Boerum Hill Brooklyn Garden with Trellis and Garden Sheds and Stone Path, Gardenista

Above: The view from inside the garden out to the main ipe gate. Kiwi vine climbs the trellis between the two garden sheds. The shed roofs slope to drain water into the garden via rain chains.

Kim Hoyt Architect "Before" Photo, Gardenista

Above: The "before" gate left much to be desired, including privacy. 

Kim Hoyt Architect Kayak Wood Storage Project, Gardenista

Above: The family required storage for firewood, bicycles, kayaks, and an occasional parked car. The architects created a custom wood port for the kayaks located between the sheds and the main garden gate.

Kim Hoyt Architect Boerum Hill Brooklyn Garden with Wood Garden Swing and Trellis and Arbor and Stone Walkway, Gardenista

Above: A smaller trellis stands directly opposite the first, supporting a garden swing and several climbing roses. Among the plants are hydrangeas, ferns, anemones that flower in both summer and fall, roses, camellias, and wisteria.  

Red Crab Apple Fruit Against Green Background in Brooklyn Garden, Gardenista

Above: Plants were selected in consultation with horticulturist Michele Paladino of Gowanus Nursery and one of the clients, who is an avid gardener and lover of plants. Here, bright red fruits of a crab apple.

White Japanese Anemone Flowers with Yellow Centers in Brooklyn Garden, Gardenista

Above: The plantings include many native species, due to their shade-tolerance and beauty. Here, fall-flowering white Japanese anemones.

Kim Hoyt Architect "Before" Photo, Gardenista

Above: Another "before" image shows a far more typical-looking urban garden. 

View another Kim Hoyt project—this one with wisteria in full bloom—in The Garden Designer Is In: Kim Hoyt Architecture/Landscape



Contributions
Have an opinion? Care to comment? We'd love to hear what you have to say.