Serving North Arlington, McLean, Vienna, Great Falls, Falls Church, Sterling, Reston & Ashburn, VA

Unique Landscape in McLean, Virginia

  • June 11, 2013

This beautiful home, nestled on 3.5 acres on a dead-end street in the heart of McLean, Virginia, enjoys one of the nicest landscapes in the community. What sets it apart?

Like many properties in the area, this McLean landscape boasts:

  • Mature gardens full of native plants
  • Ample and beautiful patio space
  • A large backyard pool
  • An impressive set of waterfalls leading to a pond full of mature koi
  • And other water features dispersed along the property


But what makes this McLean landscape design really stand out is the extraordinary variety of native plant material. Tall sycamores and understory hawthorns line the long, winding driveway and provide a keyhole view of the modern farmhouse-style home at its end. Native plants surround a small pond and the stone-lined creek that leads to it. River birches frame a large hillside. Multiple gardens with different color themes blossom throughout the growing season, including a peaceful garden grove full of azaleas and other native perennials.

A Look at the McLean Landscape from the Beginning

We started working on this Mclean landscape and plant design project seven years ago. At the time, the property already had many of the building blocks for a well-designed and diverse landscape: plenty of mature trees, a stream running through the property, and the prime location of the house on a plateau at the top of a hill.

But the existing landscape also had its shortcomings. There were few native plants and too many copies of particular foliage. Across the property, various plants were either overgrown or struggling.

So the customer decided to make major renovations and brought in nationally renowned designer Sally Boasberg to guide the efforts; Sally served as a board member for the National Arboretum and board chairman for the American Horticultural Society so she was well equipped to handle the new plant design. Working with Sally was a pleasure and a great educational experience for all of us at O’Grady’s Landscape—her confidence in her craft made her extremely easy to work for and collaborate with!

Renovating this McLean landscape also presented its own unique challenges. We needed, for instance, to work carefully in order to protect the established native plants and other vegetation that was retained in the new plant design. The property’s extensive steep terrain also required negotiating hillsides and other difficult-to-access areas.

Our landscapers successfully responded to these obstacles, preserving and incorporating the desired original foliage into an attractive new landscape design our clients in McLean will enjoy for years to come.

A Unique McLean Landscape: The Finished Look

Over the past few years, O’Grady’s Landscape has worked directly with the owner of this McLean landscape, continuing to develop the property with the details our client loves. Our customer is well versed in native plants and has a great vision for his garden so we work together each year to devise a landscape plan with the ultimate goal of expanding the gardens farther out from the house and deeper into the property.

Our design consultations include long walks around the property and open-ended brainstorming sessions. Collaboration with this customer has been very rewarding—he puts a lot of trust in our company and we share his vision for how the property should look, resulting in the continued success of his McLean landscape for the past seven years.

The benefits of such a positive partnership are evident. A walk over the gardens’ winding stone paths reveals numerous cultivars of perennials, shrubs, and trees. Something is always in bloom within the stunning plant design and the property offers viewers an entirely new vista through each month of the growing season. The serene gardens also make for the perfect retreat from the busy Northern Virginia scene!

If you live in or around McLean and are ready to update your current landscape design or create a relaxing and unique garden space with plenty of native plants, check out our portfolio and call O’Grady’s Landscape to schedule a free consultation today.