Golightly Landscape Architecture

Portfolio » Private Residence, Mountain Brook, Alabama


  • Series of Garden Rooms Organized Off a Central Axis
  • Brick and Bluestone Hardscapes
  • Elliptical Boxwood Garden
  • Allée of Hawthorns
  • Boxwood Parterre
  • As seen in Birmingham Home & Garden's "Birmingham Style" 2014
  • 2013 Merit Award - American Society of Landscape Architects - Alabama Chapter


  • Architect: James F Carter Architect
  • General Contractor: Francis A Bryant & Sons
  • Swimming Pool: Hurst Gunite Contractors
  • Hardscapes: William & Carrigan Stone Masons
  • Landscape Contractor: Pratt Brown Landscapes
  • Jean Allsopp Photography


Golightly was approached by the homeowner and James F. Carter, the project architect, when they decided to add a swimming pool as part of a major architectural renovation and addition. The property is located on a severe slope with an elevation change of over 40 feet from the front of the lot to the back. In order to better utilize the natural slope, we recommended that they push the swimming pool further down the hill and utilize existing terrace levels to create a series of garden rooms organized off a central axis aligned with the house’s new ‘Great Room’ centerline. This decision extended the architecture into the garden, centralized the land disturbance, and preserved existing vegetation including over 2,000 square feet of mature American Boxwoods.

Along the central axis, we added brick and bluestone hardscapes as pathways to softer garden rooms defined by new native stonewalls, boxwoods, and trees. We connected the first room, an elliptical garden, to the pool by an allée of Hawthorns with a lawn ramp of bluestone slab steps to mediate the slope. At either end of the allée, we added two staircases that spill out into the lawn; opening the stone walls and reinforcing the central axis. We surrounded the swimming pool with a carpet of lawn that seamlessly flows to the open-air pavilion.