Stonework, a fountain and brick-lined paths with unusal plantings fill a backyard that’s both formal and functional

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by Katherine Poole | photography by Jaclyn Morgan

The stately home tucked in one of Hayes Barton’s oldest streets ticked all the boxes for Anne and Scott Wein: They wanted a welcoming home for entertaining, expansive grounds to satisfy their love of gardening and plenty of space for daughters Helen (12) and Hadley (9), along with Hank, the family poodle, to play. The property also had a koi pond—something Scott Wein had always wanted. Plus, it was in a location they loved, right across the street from where they were living. So in 2017, when the opportunity presented, they purchased the home from their neighbor.

The historic 1922 home sits on .79 acres. The previous owner had a grand vision for the grounds and sought out prominent North Carolina artists to bring it to fruition: Renowned landscape architect Chip Callaway designed the front yard, a formal layout highlighting an elm tree-lined front drive with manicured boxwoods, and for the back yard, they commissioned sculptor Robert Mihaly to build a massive limestone fireplace depicting Dante’s Divine Comedy. The Weins shared that grand vision. Both grew up in families of gardeners—he kept up a vegetable garden in medical school and she is a longtime member of the Green Thumb Garden Club, which her grandmother started 63 years ago—so they were prepared for the challenge of updating and maintaining the impressive garden. Working off preliminary site plans, Scott Wein and John Boone of Precision Landscaping, LLC designed a terraced seating area with the fireplace as the focal point. From there, a brick path leads to a rose garden, raised-bed vegetable gardens and a koi pond with a fountain feature. Throughout, boxwoods, rhododendrons, laurels, perennials and palm trees—an unexpected element planted by the previous owner—create a casual atmosphere.

True gardeners that they are, the Weins do all the yardwork themselves. (Though they admit they have help with the lawn and big jobs like mulching.) “Having a yard our size, there is always something to do,” says Anne Wein. “But we love it. We don’t even like to leave the house on the weeknds. It’s our little oasis.”