“BACKYARD” IS HARDLY ENOUGH WORD for the gorgeous green acre my friend Stephanie Reit been lovingly tending and tweaking for the past 13 years. It’s more like a private park.
This is an artist’s garden. Stephanie is an accomplished painter and maker of collages — go here to see her work — and a very able landscape designer as well. There’s much to admire here: the seamless flow of the long, curving borders; the creative mix of trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials, all in tip-top shape (she used to do everything herself, now she hires help); the painterly arrangement of colors; the horticultural variety; the charming collection of birdhouses; and how good it all looks this late in the season. (Yes, it’s fenced against marauding deer.)
One of my favorite aspects is the architectural approach Stephanie has taken to carving out special areas. At the far end of the long lawn, abovve, there’s a gravel square with four Bradford pear trees in each corner. She calls it the “chuppah” (Jewish wedding canopy) because it would be a perfect place to get married — but, failing that, it’s a serene spot to sit and contemplate the plantings.
There’s a rustic wood bench tucked into a euonymous hedge, below; a shed with its own shade garden; and three ornamental flowering cherry trees, below, anchoring one end of the pool. A striking deep mauve color, Stephanie planted them in memory of her late parents and sister.
The stately cedars that stud the lawn are among the few things that were there when Stephanie bought the property in the mid-’90. They cast giant, dramatic shadows on the sweep of green.
Go here to see Stephanie’s wonderful collection of birdhouses — some that she collects, and some that she creates.