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Posts Tagged ‘Garden Design’

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One of my favorite things to do each spring is to attend The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days which are held all over the country. This past weekend the tour took place in Pasadena, which never disappoints.

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Many homes in Pasadena are built on hillsides which makes it a bit more tricky when designing. This home sits on 2 1/2 acres and was originally designed by architect Louis DuPuget Millar in 1908. It was recently updated by architect David Serrurier. This photo looks out onto the pool terrace from a wisteria-laden dining terrace seen in the photo below.

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The outdoor dining terrace situated under beautiful wisteria.

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The homeowner chose some gorgeous lights to hang above the outdoor dining table.

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All the gardens on the tour were beautiful, though I unfortunately missed one of the gardens designed by Judy Horton. Of those I viewed, I especially enjoyed the garden designed by Nod Eriksson (featured in this post). He was on site answering questions and talking about his work on this particular project.

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Me, taking a photo of the lovely fountain pictured below.

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Pride of Madeira and Bougainvillea hang elegantly over the fountainthumb_DSC00321_1024

Trimmed boxwood and antique urns lead guests into the rose garden.

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My photo doesn’t do this main entrance justice. The details were really lovely. Especially delightful were the water feature, herringbone brick walkway and beautifully potted gardenia. Other plants used in this area were, iceberg rose, boxwood, and lamb’s ear. Not visible in this distant picture, are delicate pink roses, called Eden, outlining the entry.

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Beautiful potted gardenia

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Clipped Boxwood and Pittosporum

Later in the week I’ll post another garden which had the most gorgeous agave.

If you would like to see more lovely gardens, just click on my category “garden tours” on the right.

Cheers!

Shannon

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The Home, Before

With this project, I really wanted to highlight certain parts of the exterior, as well as add warmth to the home by incorporating more color and texture.

unnamed-27Above, my inspiration behind this Long Beach project. I wanted to bring a bit of old world charm along with California influences to the exterior. In order to do this I brought in antique light fixtures, a water feature and wonderful easy Southern California plants like the iceberg rose and agave.

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Our first task was to paint the home (which required quite a few samples).

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 It worked out nicely because the neighbors next door to my client wanted to join in on the fun — so we were able to do both yards at the same time!

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Beds are prepped and ready for plants & flagstone.

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I found these beautiful lights at one of my favorite salvage stores. They came off of a Mediterranean estate in Beverly Hills and I knew they would be perfect for this project.

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Before

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After

We planted tons of water wise plants like orange kangaroo paw, purple salvia, blue fescue, iceberg rose, rosemary and agave. Once everything starts to grow in, the front yard will have tons of color and texture.

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For me, it’s the little things that make me happy on a project, like when I found these amazing boulders that look like they’ve been plucked from the ocean.

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We added red mandevilla, a vine, on either side of the garage that will eventually frame the garage, adding color, as well as soften the front of the home.

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A water feature near the front door.

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We placed two tall limestone planters on either side of the front door. Like most things, they’ll get prettier with age.

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Before

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After

Though it’s hard to tell in the photo because the plants are so young, in between all the flagstone is the ground cover – silver carpet – that will spread and add even more color and texture to the landscape.

I can’t thank the clients enough for being so wonderful to work with! I’m really looking forward to seeing this landscape mature over the years to come!

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Although, I didn’t have much time for sightseeing on my recent trip to London, I was determined to visit Petersham Nurseries. Located a short walk from the train station, along the River Thames, Petersham has two cafes, a wine cellar and an inspiring garden center.

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The setting around Petersham couldn’t have been more picturesque.

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The public footpath

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Above, the sign to Petersham Nurseries.

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A peek inside the glasshouse restaurant

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The teahouse, with gorgeous hydrangeas and geraniums out front

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Inspiration for my next garden party…

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Lunch…

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How lovely & simple is this?

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Although, I couldn’t bring back gorgeous plants or antiques, I was able to enjoy a beautiful lunch and take it in, if only for an hour. Looking forward to my next visit!

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As a garden designer there are so many other designers I draw inspiration from — Edwina Von Gal, Louis Benech, Jinny Blom, and Scott Shrader to name a few. The garden below was designed by Scott Shrader, and was a big motivation for why I decided to go on the tour.

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The Mimosa table

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The tour was part of The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program. The program is offered throughout the country and gives us an opportunity to poke our heads inside some gorgeous private gardens. Click here, for more information regarding this program.

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Although, this garden tour happened a couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed it so much I really wanted to share my two favorite gardens with you. This first one, situated on three lots in Brentwood, was just gorgeous. From its “multi-purpose barn” to the layout of the vegetable garden to the many wonderful seating areas — I walked away with some beautiful ideas.

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The multi-purpose barn in the background

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Inside the barn

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Small orchard

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Seating area near the main house

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Dining area

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Beautiful little play house with climbing rose

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The main house

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Loved this rustic pergola with dining area and fireplace

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Climbing rose on pergola

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Another seating area with fire pit

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Next time, my favorite garden on the tour — a gorgeous gem in Santa Monica.

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Settled in a gorgeous residential neighborhood in Santa Barbara, Lotusland is a 37-acre garden that was once the private residence of Ganna Walska, an eccentric opera singer turned plantswoman. The garden is full of subtropical and tropical plants from around the world, as well as more than 130 varieties of aloe, rare species of cycads, Chilean Wine Palms and massive amounts of cactus. unnamed-2

 The main house (now offices), was built in 1919 by architect Reginald Johnson and is a gorgeous example of Mediterranean style architecture.

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The famous Lotus pond, which was once a pool.

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An old Euphorbia drooping from weight and old age.

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A fountain near the Olive Allee and Cactus Garden.

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Old Man Cactus

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A beautiful old Euphorbia in the background with barrel cactus and purple aeonium in the stone planters.

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One of my favorite agaves, and one that is extremely popular here in Southern California –the Fox Tail Agave or Agave Attenuataunnamed-47 A group of striking colored Euphorbia

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An idea any garden lover can take home — an interesting planter potted with one type of succulent — left alone to grow into a little gem like the one above.

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A 130 year old Dragon Tree
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Ganna Walska’s reflective pool with giant clam shells and tons of abalone shells

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She lined her entire reflective pool with abalone shells.
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The work that went into this garden is amazing. The dedication in growing many of these species from seed, or as small pups, must have taken an extreme amount of patience and vision. It’s definitely worth a visit. For more information on Lotusland, click here.

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There are many designers that inspire me, and although Edwina von Gal is not designing gardens anymore, I never get tired of looking at her work.OB-SR317_mag051_H_20120422170355love this focal point

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a classic exterior

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Probably one of her most popular gardens — Ina Garten’s garden in East Hampton, New York.

If you’re inspired and want to check out more ‘lovely gardens’, click here.

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Like so many, I absolutely love the gardens in Provence! When I visited the region 5 years ago, I fell in love with this part of France including its gardens & slower pace of life. The beauty, simplicity, sophistication and disregard for contemporary ingenuity was beautiful to me. The effortless style drew me in and I tried to take notes of everything that appealed to me. I particularly loved the areas in the gardens which were designated for eating or entertaining.  The materials were so simple — an old farm table, rustic chairs and simple plantings all made up that certain feel that is so desirable for so many of us. Therefore, while remembering my Provencal vacation, I thought I would put together some simple tips on how you could create your own little South of France right in your backyard.

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Although, many of us don’t have a charming French farm-house or the amazing Mediterranean climate we can still obtain “the look” in our own backyard. It’s relatively easy, all you need is some space and a couple of items.

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STEP 1: SELECT THE AREA

First, figure out the area in your garden where you are going to add this little Provencal nook — preferably a shady part of your garden.

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STEP TWO: ADD GRAVEL

There are many types of gravel but the gravel usually used in Provence is similar to our ‘pea’ gravel.

(Click here, for a how-to video, from This Old House, on installing a gravel pathway (same steps would apply when doing a larger space). Also, click here for more examples of gravel spaces from Houzz)

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STEP 3: ADD TABLE AND CHAIRS

A place to sit and sip on a glass of Rose and enjoy a late lunch is always nice. I like a simple picnic table and benches but it can be really anything. Places, like Restoration Hardware, Ikea and Pottery Barn offer some type of “farm” table. If you don’t want to wait years to get an aged look, try Craig’s list for a used (weathered) teak or picnic table.

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STEP 4: SELECT SOME SHRUBS

Of course, plants like Lavender and Rosemary are well know Provencal plants but there are tons more. Plants like Pittosporum, roses, salvias, and certain citrus are popular as well. If you don’t get full sun in your garden, or live in an area that doesn’t allow for you to grow Mediterranean plants then try plants that are similar. It’s really about working with the climate you are living in and using similar shapes and textures to Mediterranean plants. Also, these gardens tend to keep the plant list simple — using only several varieties of plants. Too many varieties and it becomes more of an English cottage garden. Your local nursery should give you the best advice on which plants would be comparable.

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STEP 5: ADD A LARGE PIECE OF POTTERY (OR 2)

Pottery adds a certain sculptural element, as well as a sense of history. (Restoration Hardware has some gorgeous ones at the moment)

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STEP 6: POUR YOURSELF A GLASS OF RICARD OR ROSE & ENJOY!

We all know it’s not really what you put outside but what you do with it or how you live in your space. Even if you only have a simple courtyard or balcony, the main thing is to take time with friends and family, pour a glass of wine or a cup of coffee & just enjoy the moment.

Cheers!

~ Shannon

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 If there is an exterior wall, or even a retaining wall, somewhere in your garden — think about adding a built-in bench to it

bench5  bench3The fabulous thing about using a built-in bench is that you can customize it to fit your space and style
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bench11 Add a thick base cushion, throw pillows, and plush blankets for total comfort
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Can you just picture yourself lounging here for hours? I can!

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I first heard about Patrick Dougherty in 2009 when Southern Accents did a story on him, and I couldn’t believe what he could create out of twigs! These incredible works of art seem to compliment each setting in which they are constructed. In nature, they look as though they’ve existed there forever. When placed against buildings or in galleries, the contrast between the natural and the manmade — is gorgeous! I do want one of my own.

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Just Around the Corner

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