Showing posts with label landscape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label landscape. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Design Tips for Dramatic Landings and Terraces

While some may wish for a one-level garden, designers like Jill Benshoof and Gary Baker of Plân-aire, a Laguna Beach, California-based landscape architecture and planning firm, are grateful for a many-tiered one. Follow these tips for creating drama in your own yard.

  • Designers use changing grades and levels to create intimate, private areas in the garden. (Think about the mood created by a sunken living room and employ the same idea outdoors.)
  • Steps and staircases allow for gentle transitions between each distinct space.
  • Use each level to showcase a collection of objects, pottery or plants.
  • A small bridge or employing a variety of path paving materials—crushed shells, pebbles, wood chips, stepping stones—in different areas will add interest.
  • Enclose patios or terraces with vegetation to softly screen the space and create a sense of mystery. Rather than a dense hedge, plant a mixture of evergreen and deciduous shrubs. Light can flow through the openings; niches and gaps offer glimpses of the interior views.

  • Landings and thresholds are small but useful “stages” for displaying your favorite plants in containers.
  • Provide a place to sit and enjoy the quiet setting. A low chaise, a built-in bench or ledge, or even a cushion placed on the steps invite lingering.
  • A free-standing arbor, a gazing ball on a pedestal, and fruit and ornamental trees can serve as focal points and delineate areas with color and height.
  • Add sensory details. Make your garden a place for inhaling sweet fragrances, hearing sounds of water and wildlife, touching the appealing textures of leaves, and more. A birdbath or fountain can serve as a focal point as well as invite a variety of songbirds to hear and watch. Cultivate flowering plants that have alternate blooming seasons to provide a constant fragrance. Temporarily place books, pillows, blankets or baskets to invigorate sitting areas.
By Debra Prinzing
Photography by Jaimee Itagaki
Styled by Hillary Black and Jacqueline deMontravel

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Victorian Garden Inspiration for Spring

Here’s how landscape designer CJ Forray of California-based Cottage Garden Design
softeneda medieval-style garden’s geometry by using rounded shapes and strategic plantings. 

victorian garden

• A curved walkway along the back portion created two halves of the garden. The curved path uses 12-inch stone pavers.

• Thyme, chamomile, blue star creeper and dwarf strawberries knit together the stepping stones with their tiny leaves and surprising scents.

• Interlocking half-circles of silvery-gray santolina and glossy green germander (Teucrium sp.) form the parterre.

• Planted inside each of the three crescent-shaped sections is a tapestry of edible and ornamental herbs and perennials.

For more landscape ideas and expert advice from CJ Forray, visit

By Debra Prinzing
Photography by JaimeeItagaki

Posted by : Victorian homes