The award-winning outdoor experts at Mariani Landscape craft a serene green roof atop a North Shore home.
From the top of the green roof, it’s hard to imagine you’re still in the heart of downtown Lake Forest.
Perched on the peak of a Lake Forest multiresidential abode sits an exquisite rooftop garden overlooking the town’s historic Market Square.
Designed and built by Mariani Landscape and design director Colleen Barkley, in collaboration with architect Witmer & Associates and builder Altounian Construction, the open-air space offers the residents a serene escape, whether for a solo moment of solace or an outdoor soiree with friends and family.
When Mariani was tapped to take on the project, the homeowners had recently relocated from a home with a traditional outdoor space and were looking to create an open-air extension of their new residence fit for family gatherings and playtime with their grandchildren. So with that in mind, Mariani took advantage of every square inch of the space to create something truly unique. “With the collaboration of the architect, general contractor and our Mariani team working through site details together, we were able to deliver a cohesive space that has continued to be an enjoyable gathering space for [the] family,” Barkley says. “As a designer, it’s rewarding when a garden space you curated brings people outside—it’s spreading outdoor joy.”
Protected by a privacy trellis, birches and Cornelian cherry trees, which were craned up from the street, luscious limelight hydrangeas and vibrant alliums populate the space. The green roof also incorporates a tray system featuring an assiduous ground cover blanket and porcelain tile paving. And with ample gathering areas, a fire feature, an outdoor kitchen and a putting green, why would one ever want to leave?
Mariani’s work on this rooftop is a case study in what can happen when you make the most of a living space and think outside the box—or, rather, outside the home.