5 Gardens to Inspire Your Outdoor Rooms, Via Houzz.com
Get a peek at some exceptional Silicon Valley gardens and borrow ideas for your own landscape.
Like the tech industry that surrounds them, this year’s gardens were bursting with ideas. Though nothing quite beats the crunch of gravel underfoot or the perfume of citrus blooms warming in the sun, if you look at these photos long enough, you may just be able to see the grass blowing in the breeze.
Landscape designer: Sarah Warto, Boxleaf Design
This historic Arts & Crafts home has a towering presence on a corner lot in Palo Alto. Built in 1905, the home itself had been painstakingly restored before landscape designer Sarah Warto filled out the surrounding gardens.
Warto lightened up the home’s dark facade with a primarily bright green planting palette. Citrus, chartreuse, sage and other shades of green are echoed throughout the yard, creating continuity between all the spaces.
The second-story balcony sits directly off the master bedroom. Warto planted a variety of potted plants, including a couple of olive trees (Olea europea ‘Swan Hill’), allowing the homeowners to lie in bed and look straight out their windows to a wall of green.
A grove of tangerine trees (Citrus ‘Murcott’) in the background beckons visitors to see what lies beyond.
A foundation planting of chartreuse euphorbia pops against the exterior, complemented by the bright persimmon trim.
Warto selected cherry laurel trees (Prunus caroliniana) that slightly bend and arc into the pathway, allowing visitors to interact with the landscape as they move through the space. Variegated foliage, like dead nettle (Lamium maculatum), brightens shady corners along the way. Espaliered Little Gem dwarf southern magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’) line the other side of the pathway.
To achieve a similar monochromatic look, Warto suggests pulling plants at the nursery to see what works well together. Pick the boldest and strongest-textured plants first, placing them in the garden before all the others. Move down the line of boldness, filling in the second-most-textured plants until you finish with soft, wispy foliage and grasses.
Landscape designer: Debby Ruskin, Ruskin Gardens: Landscape Design and Maintenance
The design for the landscape of this restored 1897 home was all about creating kid-friendly playspaces while honoring the home’s traditional architecture. Mounded green dwarf Enlglish cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Nana’) shrubs climb up the front porch, while low-clipped boxwood edges the Old Carolina Park Ridge brick pathway.
The pool and outdoor kitchen area are to the left (just out of sight), keeping the visual axis from the back door to the rear of the yard clear.
Designed by the homeowners
Most of this contemporary home’s yard faces a busy residential street. Instead of planting a hedge to hide behind, the homeowners added low walls and bermed the landscape — adding height to the yard while reducing the sounds of passing car traffic. Instead of ending abruptly at the property line, the garden appears to recede even further back.
Five-in-one fruit trees (plums, pluots, peaches and apples) are planted along the berms.
Landscape designer: Jolee Horne Landscape Design
This Tuscan-inspired landscape is right at home in California’s Mediterranean climate. Landscape designer Jolee Horne planted the yard with drought-tolerant, sun-loving plants like lavender, sage and olive trees. An original wisteria vine climbs the trellis in the front of the yard.
Landscape designer: Dorrit Kingsbury, Kingsbury Garden Designs
The front garden of this home has a classic look, respecting the traditional architecture of the neighborhood. Designer Dorrit Kingsbury, who also happens to be the homeowner, pulled inspiration from the classic gardens of Europe but didn’t let formalities get in the way of having some fun. A low boxwood hedge on one side of the brick entry path creates balance but isn’t symmetrical. This use of traditional garden elements in a modern way carries through the rest of the design.
The curvilinear path invites deeper garden exploration, with cloud-like boxwoods guiding the way.
Orson B.Klender, Associate Broker
Keller Williams Realty Saratoga Springs
38 High Rock Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
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