Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

True Blue: A Jolt of Color Enlivens a Manhattan Townhouse Garden

Search

True Blue: A Jolt of Color Enlivens a Manhattan Townhouse Garden

July 2, 2018

When New York–based designer Fawn Galli’s clients asked for a remodel of their Upper East Side townhouse in Manhattan, the request included the overgrown backyard. The family, avid nature lovers, wanted to spend as much time as possible outdoors during warmer months.

Galli teamed with garden designer Lili Herrera to create three distinct “rooms.” The result: A new ground floor kitchen connects to the garden, which was regraded (and excavated by three feet so the owners, who are tall, would have a deeper space and more privacy).

Photography courtesy of Fawn Galli.

Curb Appeal

Window boxes enliven the façade of the townhouse.
Above: Window boxes enliven the façade of the townhouse.
 Window boxes planted with Torenia ‘Summer Wave’ (on either side), Pentas ‘Starcluster White’ mixed with Dahlia ‘Hypnotica Lavender’ (middle), and Dechondra ‘Silver Falls,’ which cascades.
Above: Window boxes planted with Torenia ‘Summer Wave’ (on either side), Pentas ‘Starcluster White’ mixed with Dahlia ‘Hypnotica Lavender’ (middle), and Dechondra ‘Silver Falls,’ which cascades.

Walled Garden

Columnar boxwoods (Buxus sempervirens ‘Dee Runky) delineate three rooms used for different purposes, all shady. The boxwoods eventually will grow together to create a green wall.
Above: Columnar boxwoods (Buxus sempervirens ‘Dee Runky) delineate three rooms used for different purposes, all shady. The boxwoods eventually will grow together to create a green wall.

A redbrick wall creates a serene backdrop.

Hoggin, the same composite material used in Paris to pave the paths of the Luxembourg Gardens, is underfoot in the middle room (the dining area) to differentiate it from the “green garden,” which is closest to the kitchen and includes a barbecue area.
Above: Hoggin, the same composite material used in Paris to pave the paths of the Luxembourg Gardens, is underfoot in the middle room (the dining area) to differentiate it from the “green garden,” which is closest to the kitchen and includes a barbecue area.

The green garden is paved with Roxbury granite, selected for its flecks of silver; plantings include white hellebores and ferns such as snowdrop, creeping white mazus, and rock cap moss.

 Early-blooming Japanese cherry trees will eventually fuse overhead in the dining area. Plantings here are in shades of blues and purple, including wood violets, lungwort, and grape hyacinths.
Above: Early-blooming Japanese cherry trees will eventually fuse overhead in the dining area. Plantings here are in shades of blues and purple, including wood violets, lungwort, and grape hyacinths.

Galli, who used bold colors in the interiors, chose a teak table by Terrain and vintage Sculptura side chairs by designer Russell Woodard. The chair covers, in a vivid blue, are made from Holly Hunt Nairobi fabric from the Great Outdoors line and have a subdued tribal pattern.

The family uses the third section of the garden, defined by a steel pergola planted with trailing climbers including quick-growing silver lace vine, Dutchman’s pipe, and trumpet vine as a lounge area.
Above: The family uses the third section of the garden, defined by a steel pergola planted with trailing climbers including quick-growing silver lace vine, Dutchman’s pipe, and trumpet vine as a lounge area.

In springtime, daffodils and crocuses add to an orange palette. Furnishing include a teak lounge chair from Belgian design house Manutti covered with a bold outdoor textile by Stark. The furnishings also include a teak coffee table and sofa by Skargaarden, with sofa cushion fabric by Maria Flora.

Galli chose a Pin Dot Moorish pendant from Tazi Designs in San Francisco to add a bohemian air. At night, pinpoints of light dance through the dark.  Hakone grass around the perimeter adds texture and pavers of Roxbury granite, the same stone used to build the Brooklyn Bridge, are laid down here without joints.

Whether you’re designing a city garden from scratch (or just looking for a quick fix for a long, narrow backyard), get ideas from our Garden Design 101 guides to landscaping, including our guides to Pavers 101, Gravel Gardens, and Decks & Patios. Read more:

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0