Doug loves clean-lined furniture: “I didn’t want to camp it up with wicker and go too Victorian.” The lattice, an orthogonal grid, works well with the furniture. Herbs grown in window boxes are harvested for the fish dishes and guacamole the family enjoys.

Old-fashioned veronica nods to the vintage of the Victorian home, built in 1891.

Low-maintenance landscaping serves the home’s architectural personality and fits the context of Chicago’s venerable Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Bright white latticework entwined with kiwi vine ties together all four levels of the design.

Pear trees are planted in these containers to provide height and enhance privacy. Doug was concerned they might not make it through the Midwestern winters, but they have thrived.

The spacious roof deck above the garage overlooks the kitchen porch and courtyard below.

Homeowner and landscape architect Doug Hoerr’s multi-level design includes a kitchen porch, Juliet balcony, bricked courtyard, and rooftop deck.

Doug thinks in black and white when planning, believing texture and contrast are key to good garden design. Here, bromeliad adds a jolt of color.

A porthole permits a neighborly hello.

On the roof top deck, a pergola and latticework give the feeling of a retreat. The green of the cushions underscores the deck’s verdant look.

Container plants add texture and enhance the feeling of lushness. 

Tracy Taylor and Doug Hoerr with children Amelia and Malcolm.

A brilliant bromeliad enlivens the porch.

Soldiers in an army of container plants can be deployed in different configurations for entertaining purposes.

The courtyard’s focus is an antique fountain.

Dainty blooms adorn a potato vine.

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Lovely Rooftop Garden in Chicago

There’s an atmosphere of charmed seclusion in Douglas Hoerr’s backyard

Written by Rebecca Christian
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Werner Straube

Homeowner and landscape architect Doug Hoerr’s multi-level design includes a kitchen porch, Juliet balcony, bricked courtyard, and rooftop deck.