The first room she created was an inviting living area by the house, with ample seating for guests and a canopy to provide shade and protection from the rain. “It’s become a gathering hub and the place where friends and family want to hang out to eat, sit, or talk,” she says. Photo: Alli Guleria.
Guleria gradually improved the yard further away from the house, adding shade trees, pathways, and additional garden rooms. Raised beds contain a wide variety of plants that perform well in dappled shade. Photo: Alli Guleria.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the yard is a charming seating area adjacent to a trickling water feature where Guleria relaxes with an evening glass of wine. “Strolling down the pathway transforms me to another place and helps me unwind. The water sounds are calming, and the view from the loveseat looks back at the house, revealing a perspective that I wouldn’t see otherwise,” she says. Photo: Alli Guleria.
Guleria utilizes this intimate seating area for smaller gatherings with close friends. “It’s a serene space with the waterfall and subdued plantings that inspires relaxation and thoughtful conversation.” Photo: Alli Guleria.
Four different water features are sited around the yard, including one just outside the kitchen entrance to the home. “There’s quite a bit of activity in my neighborhood. The sound of water helps to drown out traffic and other background noise,” Guleria says. Photo: Alli Guleria.
Wooden fencing from a home improvement store was used to construct an arbor in a transition area between rooms. “I wanted to create an element of mystery about what’s around the corner, and the sensation of walking into an enchanted garden,” Guleria says. The arbor is planted with ‘Wollerton Old Hall’ climbing rose, a fragrant English variety with blush apricot blooms. Photo: Alli Guleria.
A stone patio comprises the main transition area between the backyard garden rooms. The open space allows for different views and makes the yard feel more spacious. Guleria created repetition with curved lines for the patio edging, raised beds, and meandering pathways. “Curves create a sense of flow and make the space feel more natural and relaxed,” Guleria notes. Photo: Alli Guleria.
An intimate side yard became a spot where Guleria enjoys her morning coffee. “Side yards are an often overlooked and underused area. I can see the street from here and watch people go by. It’s at once private and visible. A couple of neighbors have admitted they’ve snuck over to sit and relax,” she laughs. An existing kousa dogwood was limbed up to open the space, while a rich palette of shade lovers including golden bleeding heart, red leafed nandina, blue flowering ajuga, and creeping mazus groundcover create a mosaic of color. Photo: Alli Guleria.