Before & After: Chicago Train Embankment Garden

April 8, 2010

After putting on an impressive addition to the house, the garden was trashed (typical).  Not only that, but the train embankment for the Chicago Northwest Line was noisy and right there in the back yard.

NLH Architects solved a lot of problems for this couple with this clean multifunctional design.  A seat wall whose shape echoes the lines of the house creates a lot of space for entertaining.  But even more interestingly, (I think) is the planting that completely hides the railroad tracks.  (ahhhh….)

It’s not an evergreen screen, but it does the job just as well (especially in the summer).  They choose to plant a dense screen of rapid growing birch and viburnum.  It’s a cheaper option for sure.

The other nice idea to steal from this garden….the paving.  These unilock pavers are kind of  boring and heartless all by themselves, but with the addition of the lannon stone insets they suddenly have detail and character that they don’t on their own.

REgister now!

A Free Master Class



  1. Pottering Around says:

    I’m not usually a fan of Unilock but have to admit that in this situation it does look nice with the lannon stone insets.

  2. Sally F. says:

    AND the plantings probably helped with noise control! Perfect! (Or were the tracks no longer in use?)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Does Your Garden Need a Makeover?

Learn my 7-step system to design and build a stunning garden anywhere in the world.


Join my Free Class!

Understand the 5 mistakes everyone makes when creating a garden. (Save yourself time, money, & headaches and get much better results!)

See how to work directly with me (but at a DIY price!) to
design and create your own gorgeous garden.