A Travel-Inspired Garden
Antiques and favorite flowers create a stunning Georgia garden.
Photo by Angela West
The waterfall in Bob Koven’s backyard provides a mountain backdrop, even in suburban Atlanta. He figured the waterfall would add a peaceful look to the romantic-style garden his wife desired and require less upkeep than a pool.
“We had a house in Highlands, North Carolina, and we loved the waterfalls up on [Hwy] 64. It has a point of beauty all year,” he says.
The waterfall cascades 22 feet, built using about 100 tons of fieldstone. It’s just one of the areas of the yard with significant stonework. A fire pit, curved walls and entryway steps – a formal design inspired by Charleston gardens and Newstead Farms in Virginia – use stone from south Georgia.
The garden’s form, flowers and other features are influenced by cities and places such as Charleston, Savannah, and the North Carolina mountain towns of Highlands and Cashiers. Fieldstone and natural materials were brought in from Tennessee and Georgia.
The homeowners worked with Plants Creative Landscapes of Decatur, Georgia; Mountain Scapes of Clayton, Georgia, and Atlanta builder Mike Nelson, to fulfill their evolving vision for the exterior of their European-style home.
Loropetalum and ‘Nellie Stevens’ holly trees were added to the property, along with a multitude of hostas, magnolias, ferns, oakleaf and ‘limelight’ hydrangeas, Yew ‘Densiformis’, spireas, Camellia japonica and azaleas. The homeowners found deals on high-end imported garden ornaments, including obelisks, sculptures and gates, at antique stores and consignment shops.
The couple frequently entertains, and they wanted to create seating vignettes to easily host groups of up to 100 people.
“The water feature just really astounds them,” Bob says. “They always feel like they’re in the north Georgia woods or mountains.”