Across the Pond

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An Ardsley backyard with English inspiration

Photo by Mike Schalk

When Jane Townsend moved into her home 22 years ago, a concrete pond stood dead center in her backyard. Over the years, Townsend has transformed that simple pond into a tranquil water feature complete with a fountain, lilies and a school of goldfish acquired from Exotic Aquatics. Every season, frogs and toads find a home by the water, and Lola, Townsend’s Labrador retriever, loves running around the slate perimeter all year round. The garden’s signature pea gravel, a ground cover often used in the gardens of Townsend’s native England, was also inspired by canine antics — it’s the perfect solution to muddy dog paws. Thriving evergreen giant liriope adds a dense and lush pond border.

The yard’s sweetgum tree and crepe myrtles are original to the property, and Townsend enjoys filling in the garden piece by piece with plants from Herb Creek Landscape Supply and décor found at yard sales and local shops like Secret Garden and Picker Joe’s Antique Mall. 

Her one rule? White blooms only. As a result, the garden feels verdant, clean, simple and timeless — a little surprise that awaits visitors just beyond the garden gate.