Three Washington, DC Rowhouse Owners Connect Small Back Yards for Larger Shared Garden

From Washington Post writer Adrian Higgins: "When your small urban yard is about as wide as an SUV is long, crafting a garden space becomes an exercise in ingenuity.  Some people borrow the distant view; others use visual gimmicks such as mirrored walls or trompe l’oeil murals.  For neighbors Steve McMaster and Bill Eppard Jr. and their partners, the solution became all about sharing. "When Eppard and Fiorentino came to the neighborhood in 1986, the late Victorian rowhouses were affordable for two guys on a budget.  They connected their two small yards to form one and later added the adjoining back yard of McMaster’s brother and his wife.  The two gates together form one of three key features that tie the yards together.  The second element is the seamless network of paths.  The third element is the specimen plants that blur the property lines.

"Common landscapes are not uncommon in condos and apartments across the Washington area, but it is much harder to find individual homeowners willing to fudge their lot lines.  Shared spaces need neighbors who get along, stay put and aren’t territorial.  Eppard and McMaster like that they can go between their houses without using the street.  The neighbors feel at ease in one another’s landscape and, moreover, revel in the psychological linkage of the spaces."  Full article with slideshow here.