When a couple decided it was time to downsize from their large lakeshore home in Grosse Pointe Shores to a smaller home in nearby Grosse Pointe Farms, they asked Joseph Nieradka, co-owner of FleurDetroit, to design and install the garden. It turned out to be a match made in heaven.
“We love this home more than any other we’ve ever owned, and it all has to do with Joseph,” says the woman of the house. “Without him, it would be a totally different house. No one else could have made the garden as magnificent as it is. All I ever said was that I wanted (ball shapes) and lots of gravel, and he took it from there. Joe’s teams are very talented. The expertise and detail (such as raking the gravel) is beyond what you could ever imagine. Even the dog run is spectacular.”
Made from a combination of boxwood and arborvitae, and ranging in diameter from 5 to 7 feet, the evergreen balls are the recurring theme in this garden.
The balls, which are placed at the motor court entrance as well as throughout the garden, are heavily planted around the stunning 6-foot by 30-foot lap pool, which serves as a focal point of the property. Featuring a limestone coping exterior and black interior, the pool is surrounded by both luxuriant green grass and decomposed granite, which resembles a fine gravel. On one side, the cluster of evergreen spheres provides screening and acts as a backdrop for the outdoor dining area; just behind that, seven Frans Fontaine Hornbeam trees, 20 feet high, sit pretty in a mass of English ivy.
Another wonderful touch is an antique carved-stone terminal topped with the bust of a female. One of seven terminals purchased more than 50 years ago from an estate in Grosse Pointe, it’s visible from the glass entry located at the front motor courtyard. Also in that courtyard, Benocci terra cotta vessels, handmade in Tuscany, contain bay laurel trees, while antique Anduze ceramic pots from France have been filled with kumquat trees and a variety of white flowers including scaevola, euphobia, sunpatiens, and licorice vine.
The homeowners requested that the home’s existing blacktop driveway be replaced with one made of decomposed granite fines, which tend to be finer and more stable than gravel. “It’s very French and it fits our whole picture,” the wife says. Très jolie!
More information: fleurdetroit.com