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Gardens of Memories
- A view of the Horvitz house and garden from street level; small vegetable gardens flanking the entryway steps are dotted with artichokes, herbs, and bamboo wigwam supports for beans, squash, and tomatoes.
- Mary, Eric, and 8-year-old son Zach enjoy a game of chess beneath the pergola on the main terrace. The French doors in the background lead into the kitchen area-the indoor hub of family life.
- A fountain encircled with decorative tiles inspired by traditional Portuguese azulejos welcomes visitors to the Horvitz garden.
- The cordial elegance of Mary and Eric Horvitz's home on Lake Washington sets the style for their sun-filled garden, which is also stocked with good things to eat.
- The water feature in the sunken garden is made from an 18th-century French cistern hewn from a block of limestone. The bas-relief plaques on the back wall above the fountain portray the four seasons.
- Pear trees and grapevines clothe the arbor and pergola. Italian musk strawberries edge the gravel path. For beauty and flavor, designer David Pfieffer recommends 'Green Globe' artichokes, 'Victoria' rhubarb, 'Bull's Blood' beets, 'Italian Rose' bush beans, 'Crescent Moon' eggplant, scarlet runner beans, tomatoes and sweet peppers in all shapes and sizes, squash and pumpkins (trained along retaining walls), blueberry bushes and hybrid strawberries grown in containers, 'Golden Summit' raspberries, parsley (used to edge paths), and container-grown citrus underplanted with mesclun (a colorful mix of salad leaves), violas, nasturtiums, purple basil, and chives.
- Zach's cat, Brian, loves the garden- especially the catmint.
- Tucked behind the house, around the corner from the main terrace, is this shady nook where Eric and Mary most often enjoy a morning cup of coffee and the daily newspaper.
- Zach tends his own hortalica-a collection of his favorite edibles, including edamame, pumpkins, and sunflowers. Says Mary, "I started gardening when I was a child by growing my own strawberries."
- A tiny terrace, nestled into a bend in the path leading down to the sunken garden, catches the last rays of the setting sun.
- The sunken garden below the master bedroom is planted in shades of green and white. Plants here are also selected for their scent, which on a warm summer evening wafts through the open windows, filling the house with perfume.
Gardens for Grazing
From the moment you approach the Horvitz garden, you know something different is afoot. At street level, the garden entrance is flanked by small pocket-gardens, filled with sunflowers, tomato plants, beans, rosemary, cabbages, nasturtiums, and other edibles.
Joggers stop to pluck a strawberry, and passing cars slow to let passengers take note of this unusual "yard." But Mary is quick to correct, "This is my quintal, a Portuguese word that conjures up a different image in my mind than the word yard. A quintal speaks to me of home, family, laughter, and good things to eat."
Climbing the steps leads you further into the garden. The terraces branch off, heading in one direction to a small formal herb garden of raised beds, with fruit trees-in this case figs- espaliered against the retaining wall of the upper terrace. In the opposite direction, a path leads under an arbor of pear trees to a small sunken garden dominated by a fountain made from an antique stone cistern and perfumed by scented shrubs like sweet box (Sarccocca digyna ) and Daphne odora. "There are perfumes everywhere you go in this garden," Mary exclaims, "and they change throughout the year." Some of her favorites are lavender, mint, thyme, and scented geraniums, which are dotted throughout the garden so a leaf can be plucked as you walk by.
As the stairs reach the uppermost terrace, they take a turn around a small, welcoming fountain, its base fringed with tiny wild strawberry plants. "This fountain recalls my Portuguese heritage," says Mary. "Every patio has a fonte to welcome visitors." The one gracing the Horvitzes' entryway was designed with tiles modeled on the traditional tiles, or azulejos, that decorate Portuguese fountains.