From perfect patios to dimly lit garden paths, not only are gardens soothing, but tending them also provides both mental and physical benefits

In metro Atlanta and beyond, Private Quarters has been serving up some of the finest homes in the area. 

» RELATED: Summer is for sunrooms: Submit your photos to the AJC’s Private Quarters

Recently, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked readers to submit their garden photos from before and after the pandemic, and the submissions did not disappoint. After receiving dozens of photos from readers, five gardens were selected to be featured, and they each offers something different. 

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The five gardens that were selected belong to AJC readers Claudia Marcinak, Josh Green, Lory Macrate, Kevin Posey and George Wellborn. 

Marcinak started building her garden back in 2014. “I had recently gone through a divorce, and the work was such good therapy for me. Now that I am retired, it is definitely my retirement paradise,” Marcinak said. “Maintaining my garden gives me so much satisfaction. There are very few days that I am not out doing something.” Recently, Marcinak added a gazebo along with a fire pit and three cedar swings. 

When Green bought his Kirkwood home, the backyard posed several drainage issues. “The backyard, when we bought this home in Kirkwood, was basically a useless slope where grass would barely grow, which created a swamp at the bottom after heavy rains,” Green said. “Fortunately, I was familiar with the work of landscape design guru Brendan Butler. I reached out to Brendan during the slow month of January in 2015, and the vision was entirely his. He incorporated a French draining system beneath the stones to sweep the water away.”

» RELATED: Picturesque patios to inspire summer

Macrate created her own garden oasis in Roswell, and said she really likes seeing the various birds and frogs that stop by to enjoy it. “Nine years ago, I was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer and that’s when my garden became an even bigger focus,” Macrate said. “A waterfall and front patio became my bucket list obsession. It has become my little sanctuary.” Her garden also features a dry stream bed of Mexican beach pebbles.

“The rural countryside of eastern France is the inspiration for the informal rear garden,” Posey said. “The gravel drive is the country road, with fruit trees overhanging it. The front garden, which has the white, cast iron fountain, is more evocative of formal English landscapes like Kew and Stourhead.” Posey lives in the Lake Claire neighborhood in Atlanta, and said his favorite feature is the country lane in the back garden that transports visitors from the bustling city to a quieter, faraway setting.

In Tucker, Wellborn and Topping work to balance less is more, visual stimulation and calm and order in their garden. “We like to entertain in the garden when the weather allows. My nephew chose this place to propose marriage to his fiance,” Wellborn said. “Scott and I held our commitment ceremony here. So, the garden holds a special place in our lives.” 

All of the gardens submitted were certainly noteworthy, but the five selected show a dedication to detail and aesthetics. If you’d like to be featured in Private Quarters, we are currently seeking photos of sunrooms

Submit photos of your sunroom to the AJC by emailing crystal.villarreal@ajc.com. Submissions will be accepted until June 21. 

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