Happy Presidents' Day! Whether you are enjoying a day off of work or not on this holiday, chances are you will learn something new about one of our nation's presidents before the day's end. While there are many facts to learn and many interesting questions to be answered about our country's history, as landscapers, the first thing that comes to mind when the country takes a break to celebrate George Washington's birthday is "what did his yard look like?" Well, thanks to the internet, we quickly had our answer. Let's take a look!
As we can see, our first president's mansion is quite beautiful and is a great example of the Georgian architecture that was popular throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries; a relatively symmetrical design, cupola atop the roof, dormer windows, a bold pediment in the center, and dual chimneys. The grass in its current condition is lush, well maintained, and one can assume that there isn't a single blade of crabgrass on the whole lawn. Despite all of these qualities, we are left wondering why there is almost no landscape design. As trivial as it may be scrutinize an estate of this significance and stature, we cannot help but to ask ourselves "where are the hedges, flowers, shrubs, and trees to tie it all together?" The art of landscaping and gardening has been around since ancient times and has always evolved to accompany the architecture of the times, so it would make sense for a home of this grandeur to have a landscape design as well thought-out as the house, itself. Since Pirc Company wasn't around in the 1700s to help Washington with his yard, for the sake of Presidents' Day, we thought it would be fun to to do so now and brainstorm a few design elements we think George would have appreciated.
First things first, we think the large, circular patch of grass in front of the house has a lot of potential to add a little depth to the yard. Adding some simple trees around the perimeter of this grassy area would create a formal look that would greet Washington's guests as they ride up in their horse-drawn carriages. The picture to the right displays the elegance of neatly-trimmed trees. George would have to do without the light post, though, because Thomas Edison didn't invent the light bulb yet (I wonder what his yard looked like).
As we continue moving toward Washington's front door, there is a patch of grass in front of each corner of the house. Here, we envision flowerbeds lined with hedges to keep things looking formal. We would add some color with flowers and maybe add a fountain in each bed just to keep things interesting.
The last part of Washington's house we would like to address is his home's entrance. Currently, there are three doors and nothing hints as to which is the main door, though it can be assumed it is the one in the center. We want to highlight the center door and really make this part of the home the focal point. We would do this by creating a wide, brick walkway lined with plants along with a couple potted plants on either side of the door. A fancy design with the pavers will ensure a presidential look.
These are just a few ideas we had from a few projects we have worked on over the years. We think George Washington would have liked our ideas just as much as our customers have!