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The first element to install was the "Great Wall." "It was the lynchpin around which everything revolved," Schoellkopf says. The eight-foot-high structure, with its arched openings, was the element that gave the garden a sense of magic. He sited the wall on the diagonal, which hid the house from immediate view from the garden, except for a sideswiped slice. "It doesn't let your eye go directly anywhere," Schoellkopf explains.
Then, with a brick partition, retaining walls and some dexterous footwork with terracing, he delivered the garden in succinct doses. The system allowed for a diversity of venues—each room has a mood and a theme. There's a cottage-type entryway alcove, a white and green parterre garden, long perennial borders, a red garden, a pool garden and a garden house as a destination on the way down to the brook. "It's the place where I throw parties," Schoellkopf explains. "Guests have no choice but to go into the garden to get there."
Each garden room is contained, although angling allows a preview of what's to come. Compartmentalization also allows Schoellkopf to indulge his love of color, beginning with greens around the house, white in the garden and more daring hues elsewhere. By the time you've proceeded into the lower levels, he's uncorked color completely with a red garden—a mix of wax begonias, dahlias and salvia.