“Fairway Elegance” aptly describes the gardens of Ruth and Steve Giurlani, newly designed and installed in the last year. Their designer, Gavin Younie, who grew up just around the corner, transformed the double lot from its old-fashioned English garden look to a more formal, open vista expanse.
Some of the old roses remain in the front yard, woven among beds of bergenia and boxwood on one side while a thick bed of hydrangeas stands to the west. A path of decomposed granite leads the visitor into the back garden, first to a rose bed and a new house-length terrace. Notice the fountain topped by a Verrocchi cherub, which came from Steve’s family. One very similar sits in the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in Southern California.
A formal concrete path, bordered with grasses, boxwood, lavender and thyme,
bisects the upper lawn and leads the eye to a long view from the terrace, where the
open grounds below, full of southern light, invite exploration on walkways that wend
through a natural wetland planted with red twig willow, sedges, and other natives. Small
clusters of mature trees and two new pergolas invite shady pause. On the return to the
house and veranda, look for established blueberry bushes, concord grape vines, and an
old apple tree. Worth noting is the outstanding craftsmanship of the beautiful rock
retaining wall that supports the upper terrace. To the west on the bank above the little
play house, a terraced bed full of transplants from the front: phlox, peonies, roses, and
lily of the valley, provide floral scents to perfume summer evenings as light fades over
the distant firs.