Park Slope Residential Garden

Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York



This urban back yard offered challenges similar to those found in residential lots throughout New York City and other urban areas: a compact space with shared fences on three sides, which had become mostly shaded by buildings, privacy fences, and trees. The clients, who are design professionals and experienced gardeners, sought a fresh approach to the hardscape and a plant palette that would fare better in shade than their former sun-loving vegetable and herb garden.


Taking inspiration from the spiraling circulation generated in part by the existing staircase leading down from a second-story deck, the new garden path breaks out of the usual orthogonal mold for this type of garden space. The diagonal placement of the new bluestone patio further adds to the dynamism of the space, while providing both shaded and sunlit seating and planting areas. The plant palette mixes native, edible, and adaptive shade-tolerant plants into a cohesive planting design.


A custom-made wood privacy fence, designed in collaboration with the architect/client, provides a combination of privacy with a sense of openness to the give the compact space a more expansive feel.