of plants and flowers climb the trellis wall, creating a sense
of privacy from the nearby neighbors. Rudbeckia, a topiary
hibiscus and the Espalier apple tree are a few of the
eye-catching plantings along this wall.
Only the occasional traffic noises from nearby Silver Spring Drive
remind Patty Tagliapietra that she is in the city. The Glendale
interior designer has transformed the backyard of her city-sized lot
into a lush urban retreat. "It is super romantic and feels so
secluded," she says.
Standard backyard basics — a concrete patio and some shrubs —
have given way to a grilling area, private dining arbor, lounge area
and fire pit. A Lannon stone path, herb garden and multitude of
glorious plantings set the mood for outdoor entertaining.
Tagliapietra uses colors and textures to create drama — a weeping
pussy willow, a French Espalier apple tree with green and red striped
apples, dinner plate dahlias, hibiscus, creeping lilyturf, blue
hydrangeas, clematis and coneflowers.
For Tagliapietra, garden design has a lot to do with timing as well
as elements such as height, texture and proper placement. She
attributes many of the garden’s special features and unique
plantings to inspired moments while traveling. "We went on a home
and garden tour in Charleston and everywhere you walked you could hear
water but you couldn’t see it, and there were courtyards with no
grass," she says. "I thought, ‘Why can’t I do that?’"
So she invested in granite pea gravel as well as several water
features to replicate what she had seen there.
"It’s a small urban garden, so you have to be careful what
you plant," she says. "You need to be aware of neighbors and
wires as well as how things will grow within the limited space
constraints," she says. "A garden is never stagnant; it is a
work in progress. It is always changing, and the plants have their own
A hint of
romance is achieved with the design of the private dining arbor
and cozy lounge area. A trellis with draperies provides elegant
details that continue to define these outdoor spaces. Whether
soaking in the sun or softly lit by candlelight, these areas
offer plenty of space to relax and enjoy the ambiance of this
A family of
Chinese Button Quail inhabit Tagliapietra’s yard.