Garden Oasis Project
Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
- Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
Kenneth Lynch and Sons had the pleasure of speaking with interior designer Jeffrey Parker, whose stunning private garden is a favorite on social media - and rightly so! We’re delighted that he sourced many pieces in this hidden oasis from our Florentine Classics collection. Jeffrey is owner of New York City’s Jeffrey Parker Interiors, Inc. established in 1995 and his latest projects include homes in New York City, the Hamptons, Westchester County, and Palm Beach. Jeffrey’s philosophy is: “There's always more than one correct and aesthetically pleasing solution for any design.”
Take a look at our Q & A with Jeffrey and the photos of this beautiful outdoor space, inspired by the secret gardens of Georgetown in Washington, D.C.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in garden design.
I have always had a love and passion for architecture, interior and landscape design. In the 18th century, all the design elements were conceived together... architecture, interior design, garden landscaping. It was not until the 19th century, and even more so in the 20th century, that interior design evolved and became a separate industry.
For me, all of those aspects of design inform one another. First and foremost, what a garden looks like is just as important when it is viewed from the inside of the house as it is when in the midst of the garden. Rooms should have beautiful vantage points that look out to a landscape. For as much as we have a desire and need for shelter, we have this inherent desire to be connected to nature as well. That is why gardens are essential.
What is your inspiration when it comes to garden design?
I had lived in Georgetown in Washington, D.C. when I was just out of university and working for an architectural firm, and I was so enamored with the secret gardens of Georgetown homes. You would walk along these historic streets and see these beautiful town houses and have no clue of these beautiful gardens behind brick walls. Once inside the garden you would realize these were magical, meditative, beautiful outdoor spaces that really became the outdoor living rooms of these homes.
How did you incorporate this into your current space?
I bought a red brick Georgian house with nothing but foundation plantings around the house and grass as the backyard. The pie shaped property lent itself to the renovations and additions of brick walls and defining spaces. The neighboring homes in the village have less elaborate gardens but my space is truer to an urban Georgian townhouse environment and the garden offers complete privacy.
How long was the design process?
The plans for the garden took me about 6 weeks and then I began working with a pool builder that was able to assist with incorporating the brick walls, which was unusual for them as, being by the water, they are accustomed to working in more open spaces. Being in the village the walls afforded me the privacy to enjoy the garden.
What was the most challenging part of this project?
The size of the triangulated pie shaped lot and the way the house was situated on the lot dictated the boundaries. The irregular long triangular shape informed the design and while it would have been challenging to many people it actually made it far more interesting, there are different perspectives and wonderful views from the sunroom, breezeway, and library.
What was your plan for the plantings in the garden?
I have always tried to plan gardens with a goal of them being maintenance free as possible. Of course, gardens cannot be maintenance free, because controlling nature is in fact maintaining it. The garden has no annuals, all the perennials just need trimming, fertilizing and irrigation to keep them looking fresh.
What is your favorite season to enjoy the garden?
I love the four seasons, but I adore the summer because I love to be outside and see the garden in bloom. But winter is equally as beautiful when you put all the gardens to bed with them mulched and evergreen. When it snows our bright red sculpture behind the pool creates a magical space, perfect for enjoying a cognac by the outdoor fireplace.
Do you have any plans for future additions to the garden?
I would have to say no - the design is complete and functions well. We have beautiful lighting at night, perfect for evening entertaining.
Photo credits: Steve Buchanan Photography