How to Create Outdoor Living Rooms
Bountiful enclave in Chicago
Talk about an extreme makeover. When Ron and Deborah Clarkson bought their home in Lincoln Park, the building was a derelict commercial dairy surrounded by grounds that were basically a trash pit. Today, it's a one-of-a-kind residence with a wonderful secluded garden shielded by aged brick walls. "It's been a blast having this completely enclosed space in the city," Deborah says.
A privacy wall and two garages (one facing the street, another the alley) frame the backyard. From the garage, a path leads around a juniper screen to a series of three outdoor rooms. The first is an 18x21-foot potager (pictured) — an ornamental kitchen garden mingling herbs, flowers, veggies and fruit. Landscape designer Will Spiegelberg trained six espaliered apple trees to form a living fence around the center bed. "It's like the apple fence at Monet's garden in Giverny," Deborah says, but no harder to maintain than roses.