Miskovsky landscape design

An oversized fire pit is the crown jewel of this expertly designed outdoor living area.

Paul Miskovsky takes a family’s vision and makes it a fantastic reality

Paul Miskovsky, owner of Miskovsky Landscaping, Inc. in Falmouth, is never shy when it comes to talking with strangers about gardening. So when one day he approached a homeowner who was tending to her garden across the street from one of his projects, it’s no surprise to discover their conversation evolved into a deep and meaningful experience.

Olya Baryski was working in her garden, taking regular breaks between her weeding and watering to catch her breath by sitting on the seat of her walker. Miskovsky, not only to extend polite inquiry, but mostly due to genuine curiosity, was drawn to a gardener who would toil in the dirt despite needing a walker to safely navigate her yard.

“Anytime I see someone out in the garden, I just have to stop and say hello and say God bless them. You know it’s sort of a lost art these days,” Miskovsky recalls. “We just hit it off immediately and she said, ‘One day I am going to have you build me a garden.’ I hear that from so many people, but sure enough, a few months later she called and we sat down to make a plan.” Olya remembers it with a bit more passion, but equally as profound. “I had become intrigued with my neighbor’s new landscape as I watched it evolve, and there was something so different about it. So when Paul came over and introduced himself to me, I felt an instant connection.” she says. “The following spring I decided my yard definitely needed a major overhaul with new plantings and some reorganization.”

Miskovsky began by transforming the circular driveway and front façade of the home, including adding new native trees and shrubs. An underpinning of low-growing evergreens had an added bonus of filling the garden during the warmer months but, as Olya discovered, created a beautiful and artistic landscape through the winter months. “The skillful selection of trees, shrubs and plantings based on color and texture keeps the garden alive during those dreary months,” she says.

Olya, born in the Ukraine, immigrated to the United States from France with her family in the middle of the 20th century. She has always loved growing fresh vegetables, herbs and flowers and takes tremendous pride in cooking for her family. As the years marched on, it was harder and harder to maintain the robust gardens she had always loved. Miskovsky put some thought and ingenuity into action and created ‘Olya’s Magic Garden,’ a courtyard complete with several substantial raised beds at waist height–the perfect level to tend while resting on a walker seat. Later, a discussion of how Olya might like to sit in her secret garden when her sisters and best friend visit led to the installation of a pergola over the garden to provide shade. As is often the case when a homeowner has a discussion with Miskovsky, his easy way of listening and exchanging ideas is bound to lead to another new project.

“My son Paul and his wife Leah were thrilled with the decision to call Paul Miskovsky, so I was happy to let them have major input during this entire project,” Olya says. While communicating with Miskovsky about what he would like to accomplish, Paul Baryski expressed the feeling he gets when he visits a lush resort, particularly as he explores the grounds and finds places to sit and chat, places to get a drink, or a secluded grotto or unexpected water feature. Soon a vision began to take shape, and beyond that vision a strong foundation for a special friendship took hold.