Owner Created Oasis in Small Brooklyn Yard

Owner Created Oasis in Small Brooklyn Yard

Trent Johnson
Jun 3, 2009

The owners of this Brooklyn brownstone have turned what was once a forgotten space into a great place to entertain and relax. See how they did it below...

Originally written about in This Old House Magazine by homeowner David Burton, see how he and his wife transformed his yard below.

The Clean Up:

A long forgotten deck with crumbling cinder-block retaining walls had to be removed and, as with most projects, the preparation was the most arduous part. The owners had to break up the old concrete walkways, but buried much of it in the center of the yard to help with drainage.

The Plan:

The owners wanted to include a patio, walls, trees and several mini-gardens.

The Work:

After improving the drainage, they created a raised 12-by-12-foot patio with 4-foot-deep flowerbed borders on either side, filled with plants from the local farmers' market. A cedar fence was put up to cover the chain-link perimeter fence, brick for some the retaining walls, and pavers for the patio.

Lessons Learned:

The garden is like a slow-motion work of art. I'll never be done with it. After 20 years as an apartment dweller, I love getting my hands in the soil. I started clearing the yard in March and finished the patio in late May. Then I made lots of trips to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden — it's just a quick subway ride away — for inspiration, including what to plant in sun and what in shade. The perennial beds there are amazing; they really show how to use color, texture, and leaf shape to design a garden

From ThisOldHouse.com

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