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This formal grass terrace with a central pool leads the eye through to a natural landscape reminiscent of the English landscapes of the 18th century.
The garden blends seamlessly with the more natural land beyond — a trick the English landscapers employed using a sunken ditch known as a "ha-ha," beautifully executed here.
The simplicity of this landscape performs the main task of setting the house in the landscape. It doesn't compete with the architecture or stand out in its own right, but the two together make a complete picture.
The design creates a vista back toward the house at the end of the stepped path as well as creates pastoral views out from the main house.
This contemporary landscape design links perfectly to the house it adjoins. The paving, planting and grassy area give the impression of a Mondrian-style painting in complete balance.
Is it a viewing garden, you may ask, or has it a purpose other than its visual benefit? It is without doubt a garden designed to sit in. A bench is provided for that purpose, but I feel the overall design is meant to be viewed from the house.
A minimalist garden space can become a picture in its own right. Plants don't always need to be the main contributors of the garden picture. The combination of textures and restricted color range used in this patio give an almost Zen garden contemplative view — which is completed by the dancing flames of the fire pit.
From garden to art installation. Sculpture gardens have become very popular in public spaces and private grounds. They provide the perfect exterior viewing theater.
This combination of stone-shaped seating over meandering artificial grass is a real art installation and could be found at any modern art gallery. Surely this must be one of the most maintenance-free gardens you could design, but it still has such great visual appeal.
Set amongst the formality of the allée of standard deciduous trees, rusty ball sculptures bring this viewing garden to life. The minimalist buildings behind, including the sculptor's studio, create the perfect background and setting for this nearly plant-free garden.
Standard trees, this time pear trees, are again used in a modern parterre-style entry courtyard.
The indirect route along the pathway to the front entrance gives a wonderful vista through to the wall of golden conifers.
Creating a pleasurable vista does not always mean intricate planting or wide, manicured lawns. Sometimes it can be much simpler.
This urn water feature set amongst wayward grasses changes a simple planted area into a view reminiscent of the British artist Andy Goldsworthy, who uses nature to create amazing artwork.
I suppose you could say all gardens are, in the end, to look at and enjoy. But I do feel that some surpass that and are designed for the sheer visual pleasure they provide.
From the roots of the herbaceous borders of the beginning of the last century, the mixed borders we now enjoy planted with shrubs and perennials create a feast for the eye, without perhaps providing any further practical use other than ground cover.
The French impressionist painters didn't paint the landscape, but painted an impression of the landscape as they saw it — just think of Monet's paintings of poppy fields.
We can see how in this wonderful swath of pastel flowers, including lupins, the same effect has been created — a living impressionist painting — to just delight the eye.
This most modern of gardens must be the epitome of viewing gardens. Both the design and the planting scheme create a combined picture that can be seen on many levels.
The patterns cut in the lawn serve no purpose other than the visual impact they make and the interest and pleasure they give the viewer.
Old-School Design: Frame Your Garden View