Secret Gardens Spring Forth

by Editorial
Kara Kibler (above) stands near a gazebo beside a pond connected to the garden by Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus) and other water-friendly plants.

Kara Kibler (above) stands near a gazebo beside a pond connected to the garden by Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus) and other water-friendly plants.

Sculptured and Smoothe

This suburban Maryland garden by Oehme, van Sweden & Associates is a true collaboration between landscape architect and the clients, Peter and Kira Kibler. The firm was charged with filling a variety of needs for a growing family, including creating a grassy play area and laying out a vegetable plot.

The project benefited tremendously because Kira Kibler, who is an artist, could envision her residential landscape as intrinsically sculptural. The result is a very contemporary circular lawn terrace supported by a Corten steel retaining wall. “Lawn steps” composed of grass and the same steel connect the terrace with the rest of the property. Masses of grasses and perennial frame the space, providing a vivid and unruly contrast with the smooth expanse of lawn. “The terrace was the idea that excited me the most and really made the plan gel,” Mrs. Kibler says. “It remains my favorite part of the garden.”

One of the project’s highlights was a visit to a quarry where Peter Kibler, an art collector, selected large stones for the property. They are placed around the terrace, where they serve as sculptural elements in their own right.

By Sheila Brady, Oehme, van Sweden & Associates
Photography James R. Brantley

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