Batavia family’s garden in magazine

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Lewis spring garden

An array of spring bulbs add stunning color to this lovely entrance to the Lewis home.

           Steven is a doctor, and Barbara runs his office—both stressful jobs, so when they come home, they want a restful, serene space.

           Initially, their location had a lot of problems–front yard builder sidewalk right next to house with bad view, a small, sunken patio in the back that drained toward the house, and deep, dark woods beyond filled with garlic mustard, etc.

           As you can see now, the front entrance has a series of landings with colorful flowers that succeed in half-day sun on the north side of the house and attract birds and bees. Shrubs are arranged to screen the bad view.

           “I have lots of flowering shrubs, I have something in bloom continually up until the sweet summer clethra, which is the last blooming thing,” said Barbara. “There’s continual fragrance as well. I planted creeping thyme at the edges so you can walk on it and it’s aromatic.”

           Barbara planted all the containers herself.

           She also designed the planting station at the side of the house, that also holds tools and birdseed for all her feeders, and had a carpenter build it. With the potting area at waist level, she no longer has backaches from bending over planting pots.

           The back patio now is a series of spaces with nice structure that looks good all year long, and has a simple water feature.

           “It has a zen-like feeling,” said the landscape designer.

           “Now, when you look outdoors from inside, it opens up the house and you feel as if you are part of the outdoors,” said Lewis. Â

           Lights that create a dappled effect are hung in the trees. “We get up at 5:15 a.m. every day to work out and it is really lovely with little pools of dappled light,” said the homeowner She likes the serenity of the year-round green of the boxwood and pachysandra that is highlighted in summer with annuals.

           The woodland area was given more light by limbing up the trees, junky small trees and undergrowth were removed, and shade-loving perennials and wildflowers have been added. There is a curved walk, the bench is

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halfway down the walk, making a pleasant spot to stop, rest, look at the plants, have a glass of wine.

           With the designer, they have also planted more understory trees.

           “We have Virginia creeper and hydrangea going up some of the trees, and have strategically left some deadwood for woodpeckers. It’s not supposed to be a sculptured garden, but a woodland. We are trying to be mindful of planting in the woods.”

          The landscape was installed by Pat Francissen of Francissen Landscape Group in St. Charles.

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