Award Winning Small Garden Design
Exquisite small garden design by Fernhill Landscapes
Within Sterling Residence resides a perfect example of a tranquil, meditative garden. Designed by Fernhill Landscapes, the garden merges a perfect balance between the hard and soft pallet of lush plantings and elegant contemporary forms. To be in the presence of such a garden seems like a soothing sensory experience, with simple, striking visuals of rich textures that could transport the owners into a peaceful state of mind.
Four interior walls surround this courtyard of a garden, making this a visual experience as much as a physical one. The home, built in 1948, was designed as a mid-century modern house. The clients wanted a space that would compliment the building style and provide a visual interest from inside the house. The designer chose to create a garden that would provide those qualities, as well as possess a clear sculptural manner.
The strategy combines the use of hardscape materials characterized by simple geometric forms and a planting palette that emphasizes form over color. The materials are then arranged to comply with modern aesthetics.
The three elements — the hardscape material choices, the carefully selected planting, and the flow of the water — create a design that is coherent and physically appealing. The courtyard is presented as a graphic composition of geometrical hardscape and is defined by stones and plantings. Regular slabs of Teakwood flagstone form most of the ground surface; these are then framed and contrasted around the edges by dark Mexican beach pebbles to accentuate the patterns of the sandy brown flagstone. A low-profile edging contains the outside perimeter of the pebbles.
Central to this design is the water feature. The soothing and constant presence of water really takes this design to another dimension to create an atmosphere of relaxation. A contemplative environment is created through forming a journey of the water that flows from a custom-made copper bowl into an attractive L-shaped pond.
“Justin Brouwer” Boxwood, “Sum and Substance” Hosta, white Anemones, black bamboo and ornamental grasses contrast dramatically with the clean lines of the hardscape elements. While color was a secondary concern in the planting, it was nonetheless carefully considered, with subtle greens that burst occasionally against white flowers to accentuate the sculptural quality of the design and its form.
The project won the 2003 Gold Award in APLD’s International Landscape Design Awards, in the category of small residential design. Doug Myers from Fernhill Landscapes built his first landscape in 1994 with the intention of creating beautiful landscapes that would last. To provide these detailed, well-crafted landscapes, Myers says the firm’s approach is simple: “We believe that listening to your needs is the foundation of the design process and the key to a successful project. Every job is considered a privilege and a responsibility.”
This well-considered and simple design is timeless. The colors are warm, welcoming, and pleasing to the eye, making this the kind of garden you would want to linger in. The thoughtful, carefully detailed space takes into account existing conditions to make sure the garden complements the modern feel of the home and creates a striking view from the courtyard and the house.
If you love small garden design see also:
Stylish Terraced Garden Makes The Most Out of Small Space
Royal Horticultural Society Small Garden Handbook: Making the Most of Your Outdoor Space by Andrew Wilson
Big Ideas for Small Gardens: Featuring Dave Egbert’s Garden Notebook by Dave Egbert
Article written by Win Phyo
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