Howard Cohen planted a colorful mix around a waterfall.

A three-story addition to a residence in Great Falls, Virginia, was the key element in a new,  panoramic landscape design. According to landscape architect Howard Cohen of Surrounds, Inc., the sweeping views from the addition set the tone for the design; the addition had so many windows overlooking the entire backyard that “the garden had to have a broad approach.” 

Cohen added Sweetbay magnolias, Rosy Returns day lilies, Bowle's golden sedge and hypericum along the edge of the koi pond. Photo ?Brian Rossen.

Cohen’s clients did not want a swimming pool, but they did want a koi pond, lots of plants and a space for entertaining. Cohen united the property’s large backyard with a picturesque, river-like water feature that cascades down from one side of the property in a series of waterfalls and ends at the koi pond on the lower level. The naturalistic design includes large boulders, a stone bridge over the water that connects to a secluded patio with an open-air pavilion, and a series of descending stone terraces.

Crape myrtles flank the side entrance to the garden through a cedar gate and piers of Adirondack stone .

Inside the pavilion, a fireplace, lighting and gas heaters in the ceiling allow the structure to be used well into the cooler months. There’s even a computer screen that descends from the ceiling on rollers to table level so the client can have an open-air work space in beautiful surroundings.
Because the clients wanted a wide array of showy plants and shrubs, they had to do something to keep out the deer. Cohen installed a seven-foot steel fence—far more attractive and sturdier than normal deer fencing—around the property that allowed him to plant such deer favorites as roses, aucuba, daylilies and hydrangeas. 


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