Design snapshot: Sunken front garden

In a village setting like this one, the distance from the front sidewalk to the front entry is often shallow. In this example, there's approximately twenty feet between the public way and the entry door. Here, a slightly sunken, formal garden orchestrates the transition from public to private with the aid of an elegant brick and granite geometric design.

Centered on the front door, a hardscape pattern suggesting a compass dial is set within a larger square layout, slightly recessed from the public way and the entry stoop. Quadrants of plantings, including tightly spaced boxwood accented with splashes of white and purple flowers make for an intimate yet structured room-like outdoor space -- which feels quite separate from the granite-edged brick parking pads at street level off to either side of the garden.

This landscape design elegantly finesses an entry sequence and parking in tight quarters.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast