European Accent

Jimmy Angell, right, and Steve Lukasik enjoy the beauty of their outdoor haven. At top right, sunflowers brighten the “working garden.”

BACKSTORY: When interior designer Jimmy Angell, of Birmingham-based James Douglas Interiors, and his partner, Steve Lukasik, purchased their Pleasant Ridge home 11 years ago, “the yard was barren and nondescript,” Angell says. “The planning began with a central axis that was determined by the vantage point from the dining room’s French doors, and the symmetrical garden utilizes classic geometric shapes that are softened by the greenery.”

BOTANICAL BLISS Clockwise from top: The garden’s design was inspired by the couple’s travels through Europe. Various shade plants adorn the space.

CONTINENTAL CONCEPTS: Angell says the garden’s design was inspired by the couple’s travels through Europe. The structural elements are influenced by the French, and the casual planting by the English.

ON THE SHADY SIDE: “The high and sprawling canopy the mature oak trees create inhibits sunlight,” Angell says. “Due to the lack of sunshine, our garden is much more about texture than about florals. We’ve achieved a full and visually interesting garden by utilizing a variety of hostas, ferns, grasses, and other shade-loving perennials.”

ANNUAL STATEMENT: Angell and Lukasik like to use a spattering of found containers, such as Italian terra cotta and concrete faux bois, for their potted annuals.

MAKING A SPLASH: A reflecting pool, flanked by European hornbeam trees, serves as a prominent focal point. “The pool’s limestone coping and copper bubblers integrate another layer of design,” Angell says. “Now that the hornbeams have matured, they’re going to get shaped to look like boxes.”

A reflecting pool provides tranquility. A pair of reclaimed brick piers divides the spaces and provides entry to the circular garden beyond.

PIER GROUPS: Beyond the reflecting pool, a pair of reclaimed brick piers “divides the space and provides entry to the next garden.”

GOING IN CIRCLES: “The ring of boxwood located just beyond the piers creates circulation through the symmetrical quadrants,” Angell says. A wire urn set on a stand and placed in the center of the circle features moss, vines, and seasonal plantings.

SECRET GARDEN: In the charming “working garden,” located behind the garage, four rectangular raised beds are used for transplants, herbs, and seedlings.

OWNERS’ VERDICT: Says Angell: “We love everything about our garden. I especially enjoy weekend morning gardening. It’s an extension of our home.”

The homeowners check on their gardens. Below, weathered furnishings amid pink and red blooms lure. A pot of succulents showcases intriguing shapes.


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