5 Amazing Landscapes Across the U.S.
Catch an eyeful to inspire your own yard, from the Virginia countryside to the California coast
Houzz Contributor. Hi There! I currently live in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta that I'll describe as "collected." I got into design via Landscape Architecture, which I studied at the University of Virginia. I've been writing about design online for quite a few years over at Hatch: The Design Public Blog.
Houzz Contributor. Hi There! I currently live in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta... More »
I'm going to take a trip across the continental U.S. from east to west, to look at some beautiful outdoor spaces. From gardens in rural Maine to a modern roof deck overlooking the Pacific, these landscapes are sure to stun. Whether you're looking to plant a perennial garden or bedeck your deck, stop a moment to pick up some lessons for your own backyard.
Pastoral Property in Maine
In rural Maine, a retired couple wanted to eliminate the need to mow their existing 2 acres of grass. The new design includes meadows, an orchard and colorful perennial gardens close to the house.
In the foreground, the landscape architect planned out more manicured elements: a diverse mix of perennial colors, textures and shapes, providing interest throughout three seasons. In the distance are views of Acadia National Park and Blue Hill Mountain.
Lesson from this garden: Perennials provide a palette of colors, textures and shapes to work with, as well as seasonal changes. Plants like irises add tall green spikes and flower earlier in the season, while plants like lamb's ear add soft silvery green texture closer to the ground for months. Do your homework when creating a plant plan. It's as easy as reading the tags on the plants at the nursery.
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Cottage Gardens in Virginia Wine Country
Two landscape architects created beautiful gardens in the Virginia countryside, a stone's throw from the homes of former presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. The main part of the yard is a rectangle of grass surrounded by perennial borders.
They created this staircase from the driveway to the back entry out of stones found on the property.
Extensive border gardens on a hillside welcome those who come up the driveway.
Lesson from this garden: Using a simple grassy rectangle, or tapis vert, surrounded by border gardens is a simple and striking way to design your yard. Check the tags on your plants when you are placing them so that they go from shortest to tallest from the edge of the grass to the edge of the garden.
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Sculpture Gardens on a Minnesota Lakefront
Once a tangled woodland, this expansive property takes advantage of the spaces and outdoor views, including one of Lake Minnetonka.
Entertainment space and sculpture placement helped drive the design, as did the spectacular existing trees.
A cutting garden occupies this area between the main house and the pool and tennis court.
Lesson from this garden: Choose flowers you'll enjoy using in floral arrangements inside the house.
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A Desert Oasis in Arizona
This well-planned backyard includes a pool, an open fireplace, an outdoor kitchen, a dining area and plenty of room to socialize and lounge.
Fire warms the outdoor lounge on chilly desert nights, making this room as comfortable as any indoor living room.
An outdoor kitchen and dining space mean that everything is close at hand, and the homeowners can maximize the time they spend outdoors. Colors and materials continue from one space to the next, including the stacked stone, the tile and the pops of orange, red and bright blue.
Lesson from this patio: Plan outdoor rooms just as you would indoor rooms. Think about how they are arranged (for example, the dining space close to the barbeque), the flow between them, the scale, the continuity of materials and the views each will have.
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Coastal California Roof Deck
Large lots are hard to come by in Marina del Ray, so residents make the most of vertical space and roof decks. This expansive space enjoys views of the Pacific and provides plenty of room for soaking in the sun and entertaining.
An extensive outdoor kitchen means lots of entertaining and parties on the roof. Stacked stone creates continuity between the outdoor rooms.
Lesson from this space: Don't forget that outdoor furniture is more stylish and comfortable than ever. Do your homework and find durable and stylish pieces, as well as fabrics, such as Sunbrella, that can stand up to the weather.
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Remember the Rooftop
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Ideabook published on July 22, 2012.
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