Modern Gardens

French Style Courtyard

French Style Courtyard

Summer is around the corner and this French style courtyard awakens dreams of outdoor gatherings. This amazing building, formerly a mill in the 16th century, was converted into a residence by Gerard Faivre. The beauty of the building itself...

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11 Apr 2011 | Architectural Elements

Drought Tolerant Garden Design by Eckersley Garden Architecture

With the often-harsh Australian climate to work with and mounting concerns for the environment, Richmond-based Eckersley Garden Architecture has designed this drought tolerant garden to bring life and vibrancy to the outdoors, even when rain is scarce. The garden encircles the house with its gravel walkways, timber decks, a swimming pool, a tennis court and organically shaped plant beds featuring hearty trees, shrubs and groundcovers. This landscaped garden provides many wonderful vistas on both the small and large scale, from the juxtaposition of unusual plants and trees, to the grand hills of northern Melbourne on the horizon. “This is a property owned by passionate gardeners who generously open it for public and private viewings throughout the year.” Eckersley Garden Architecture.

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27 Jan 2010 | Modern Gardens

Sustainable, Drought Tolerant Garden Design with 'Natural' Swimming Pool

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What better place to go “green” that in the great outdoors? Eckersley Garden Architecture has indeed gone the green way in its sustainable garden design. “Climate change is having a real impact on the way people are approaching garden making in Australia. Our traditional approach of copying northern European gardens is failing as our country faces protracted drought, flood and fire,” according to the Richmond, Australia-based landscape architecture firm. “There needs to be a change in attitude toward gardens if they are to be successful in the future.” This forward-thinking eco innovator designed this garden as a personal attempt at a fully sustainable garden using drought-tolerant, native plants. A “Natural Pool” is chemical-free and puts the principles of natural filtration into practice: the water run through the roots of native water plants growing along the edge. Eckersley Garden Architecture.

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24 Dec 2009 | Modern Gardens

Garden Design Ideas inspired by ancient Japanese Tea Garden

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The stunningly beautiful Passage is where garden design ideas inspired by ancient Japanese Tea Gardens. The Passage garden ideas came from the practicing Buddhist owners, and the design was a collaborative effort from landscape contractor and architect, and different artists to create a spiritual retreat to accommodate everyday functions as well as a space in which to be nurtured and find rest and peace.

The Passage is a contemporary interpretation of an ancient design. The garden is on a wooded, 10-acre lot in New England, Massachusetts, on which an existing house stood for about 20 years. An addition was put on the main house, a private temple was turned into a guest house, and a connecting bridge was built between a new bedroom and the main entrance.

The idea behind “roji” (or “passageway”), an ancient tea garden, is that the "garden was designed not to be viewed from a single location, but as a series of experiences along a path leading to the tea ceremony." It can be appreciated from many locations – not just looking into the backyard from a kitchen window, as we do.

The viewing areas in The Passage include a parking court and entry garden with a curving fieldstone wall that emerges from the woods, a steam garden, a courtyard garden, perennial borders, a woodland path, and a meditation circle. A koi pond, a soaking tub, a ceremonial planter, water basins that collect rain water, an outdoor shower that doubles as a lantern, and a stone path all add to the ancient appeal of The Passage.

The Passage received the Residential Design Award of Honor from ASLA.

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At the beginning of the path, at the property entrance, there is a circular parking lot that is enclosed in a curving fieldstone wall. It repeats the bowl shape of the nearby kettle hole.
Similarely, at the end of the path, there is Meditation Circle, "a small terrace overlooking the woods, where the third Tsukubai - the Woodland Bowl - rests." "Sitting on the rim of the vast kettle hole, one is consumed by nature, and moves effortlessly from the worldly to the spiritual." (Photos by Brian Vanden Brink)

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Also at the entry, is the first of three Tsukubai - the Raincatcher - a cast concrete water feature which collects falling water from the roof. "Water overflows from the Raincatcher into a copper ring filled with washed stones." (Photos by Brian Vanden Brink)

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In ancient tea gardens, one would find a wooden arbor defined with mortise and tenon joints, but in The Passage, an arbor is made up of a grid of copper piping, strong enough for hardy and fast-growing Wisteria vines. (Photo by Brian Vanden Brink)

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The Akari outdoor shower also serves as a light tower. Drawing from the design ideas of traditional rice paper lanterns, the shower is constructed of copper pipes and wood slats and is illuminated through a custom fiber optic system. (Photos by Brian Vanden Brink)

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In the perennial garden, the second Tsukubai - the Garden Sink - "incorporates copper detailing of the shower and arbor". (Photos by Brian Vanden Brink)

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18 Sep 2008 | Modern Gardens

Luxury Garden Design by Estate Gardens from ValleyCrest

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Attention luxury estate owners of Southern California – Estate Gardens by ValleyCrest offer custom garden design for the most discerning clients who desire the highest level of personal service. As an undisputed leader in luxury garden design, Estate Gardens have designed hundreds of luxury gardens, ranging from contemporary to classical. Only the finest landscape architects, contractors and horticulturists will tend to your estates, providing luxury maintenance and care for your property. Designers Daniel Weedon, Bruce Meeks and Russell Cletta, all members of ASLA, are widely recognized and profiled in magazines like Garden Design, Sunset Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, Celebrated Living, along with features on HGTV’s programs. The ever-distinguished horticulturist Brian Helgoe oversees Estate Gardens ensuring the finest workmanship goes into each design. Whether these are vast expanses or secluded spaces, stylized landscapes or naturalistic gardens, Estate Gardens can design, build, and maintain a perfect luxury garden that reflects the individual style and taste of each client. Skillfully blending hardscape and softscape design elements, they can create exceptional outdoor living spaces: contemporary sanctuaries and exotic tropical oases, flowing waterfalls and sculpted pathways, romantic pergolas and koi ponds, filled with stark native plants or bright colorful blossom. “At Estate Gardens, we believe that gardens are as unique as the people who love and live in them.” Contact ValleyCrest for exceptional outdoor living, inspiring and romantic settings and magnificent natural gardens.

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14 Aug 2008 | Modern Gardens

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