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Living in the Garden
Integrating house and garden creates a coherent world, even on a tiny lot. Make useful and satisfying outdoor spaces that you can inhabit as time and weather permit. While a house requires maintenance to remain stabile, gardens are maintained to support change and growth. Evolving with the seasons, they mark the passage of time and impact of our efforts. The garden is our connection to natural world, where results are never for certain. We remain engaged, perhaps because the more we learn the more mysteries unfold. Living in the garden and nurturing its growth can provide many satisfactions.
Fences define a garden and create outdoor space. Here, low gate seems more an invitation than a barrier.
Fence with screen of plants provide privacy, and a transition from public and private.
House is tucked into contours with stone retaining walls and terraces. We can celebrate each spring with these glorious dogwoods in bloom.
This garden is an extension of interior spaces with its well defined borders and destinations.
This garden suggests a native landscape surrounding the house with its mysteries just out of view.
House built of natural stone fits beautifully into site, but also because there are no cultivated gardens-- no sense in taming a spectacular wild place.
A sea of sword ferns swaying in unison to a summer breeze-- this should calm us down.
We are naturally drawn to a sunlit clearing. Here, remnants of a path lead us in. All is green; plant structure and texture dominate the scene.
This garden draws us in. We want to find out where that path leads.
Composition, massing, color and light are in constant flux, but there could be times like this when everything seems perfect.
This garden is a painter's canvas. Her camera records its perfect moments.
Natural stone and clay masonry are materials taken from the earth to create shelter. They always seem at home in a natural setting.
Manufactured brick and lumber retain some of their natural character, and make an easy transition to gardens.
Colors of this house complement plant materials to create a good fit.
Small sheds and walls make a garden seem more inhabited. Want to merge with the landscape? Use natural wood, local stone and colors, low eaves...
Jack Frost Brunnera macrophylla is like an X-ray of leaf structure, and an example of the delights available close up for those paying attention.
Texture of Stachys byzantina, lamb's ear, is another small miracle to behold. Think of your garden at several scales, including close up, and within reach.
Fiddlehead ferns are a Maine delicacy, but we are content to just watch them unravel.
Summer kitchens may no longer be necessary, but the historic precedent could be a useful model for your garden retreat.
Retreats offer a little private space and another perspective on the garden. Sometimes they create a courtyard with the house.
Pots crowd the steps here, but their vitality is welcome. Something in bloom at the entry is inviting, and containers are easy to change.
Bright containers can also define a path or create a destination that leads visitors into the garden.
Ornamentals vs. edibles? What could be more beautiful than these peppers?
It can be thrilling to see the trees you planted bearing fruit. You grew your own sustenance! Radical.
For driveways, crushed rock and decomposed granite are appealing alternatives to concrete. They drain well, have soft edges, and announce the arrival of visitors.
Potting sheds are a welcome garden feature. This one provides covered porch, sink and bench-- and perhaps a place of your own.
Unrefined garden shed interior emphasizes utility, but it is also a pleasant contrast to life indoors.
This kitchen garden has enclosure, direct access from indoors, water, bright sun, and movable paving to expand beds.
Porches less than 18" above grade do not require a guardrail, and feel more connected to the garden.
Screened porch could be your summer oasis, long into the evening.
All that is missing from this farmhouse scene is the action. Everything seems poised and ready.
This French Quarter cottage in New Orleans is on a tight lot. Stone pavers, fountains, and container gardens fill the available space.
Stone of inset porch continues into courtyard, making open space seem as large as possible.
Sunny patio evokes an early California ranch with its pergola, wisteria, board & batten siding.
Covered breezeway is a great way to define useable outdoor spaces and integrate garden with house.
Stone fence becomes exterior wall of building, and creates a path with stair to upper garden.
Formal garden features, like this allee of plane trees, can over time set the character of a place.
Stone path that joins buildings and terraces is an easy transition to the naturalistic landscape surround.
Honeysuckle and other noninvasive vines can be trained to climb trellises, and provide a deciduous sun screen for your porch.
Mediterranean culture affords the ultimate in garden living with ample historic precedent to inspire you.
If yard maintenance is the only thing you do in the garden, you will never know its recuperative value.
This corner within garden wall is serene and evocative, a quiet sanctum.
Add plants to attract hummingbirds if you would like more of these little guys zipping around your yard.
It is a relief to find bees in the garden knowing the perils they face from insecticides.
When we are not paying attention many short lived pleasures pass unseen.
We are not just growing veggies here, but developing character and a life view.