After the current owner completed the work on his rear porches of his two flat, he took a look at the backyard and decided he wanted a garden. That was two years ago and the garden is growing. The lot is not wide – just 30 feet – but it is deep, so there was space for a curving walkway, a fountain and some sculptural berms. Dennis tells us about his gardening adventure:
I had always wanted a nicer garden with lots of shrubs and flowers, but I was prevented from accomplishing this goal until two years ago, when the demolition and reconstruction of my enclosed back porch was finally completed, after occupying my now 95-year old Edgewater two-flat for eight years. I then transformed a traditional turf grass city back yard with perimeter side walks and perimeter flower beds into a large green area offering repose and interest for me and my visitors.
First, I demolished all the existing concrete walks with a jackhammer, tore out all the turf grass, and then created a small patio area in the center of the yard, as well as diagonal pathways leading to it, with paver blocks. I built my own arbor and a couple of trellises, added a water feature and lighting, and used the remnants of the broken concrete walks as the base for three small berms (hills) in the yard that are currently covered with various ground covers. The garden gets 4-5 hours of sun each day and most of that is toward the back.
Gardening can truly be an art form and, today, I find my backyard a fairly interesting place to relax and provide visual interest. I have purchased, arranged, and planted a number of different flowering plants and shrubs that reveal an assortment of textures and colors throughout the growing season. Like an artist’s canvas, my garden continues to be a work in progress. I move, edit and add several plantings every spring to enhance its appearance, while hopefully maintaining a look that is not overly contrived. This past spring, I also built a top bar beehive and positioned it on my rooftop to help preserve these precious insects and help with cross-pollination of plant life throughout our neighborhood. The focal point of my yard, has always been and continues to be a majestic silver maple tree that is as least as old as my house.
Over the last two years, I have tried to extend my interest in beautiful nature-inspired spaces to the planter beds along Devon Avenue between Clark and Broadway. With the help of some 20 volunteers, residing in both Edgewater and Rogers Park, we have made much progress in transforming these formerly weedy plots into something of interest and more fitting for our beautiful neighborhood.
Thank you for sharing your garden with us.