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A gently sloping property under giant spreading oaks, was presented with the need for a green, tidy and “fresh”-looking garden. The landscape solution married these qualities to a water-spare blend of natives and knitted them together with a selection from the most “unthirsty” of usual garden plants. The resultant design supports the oaks’ dry requirements while serenely clothing, but not obscuring, the natural lay of the land.


Water elements appear and reappear, lightheartedly descending the slopes – now as a dry creek whose winding course reminds one of next winter’s rainy season, now as a birdbath, now as a brimming pond, or lily pond – finally culminating at the property’s lowest reaches in a classically-styled swimming pool. Rock was used generously: as landscape boulders, as carved-out cradles for garden hoses, and as finely-tooled masonry around the pool. There are other uniquely crafted embellishments, too: the decorative housings and figurative handles for faucets; and the personalized compass points inscribed into the cobbled driveway, which not only shows true north, but announces who the owners are.


This surprisingly green and lush-appearing property was made to create a winter welcome for its Midwestern owners. To enhance the effect, the property’s entrance was bounded by citrus, as if entering the land of sunshine through a fragrant grove.  


2 acres: four-year project, completed 2000

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