The clients requested a contemporary style garden with well-defined spaces, an open feel, and ample space for their young children to play. The landscape design had to integrate the swimming pool, sauna, and pool house and complement the house’s architecture. The clients also wanted to have two fire and water bowls beside the swimming pool and to connect the new pool deck with the existing patios. Finally, some features for the children included a trampoline, a lawn area, and a small vegetable garden for the kids to learn about growing food.
The design solution is a response to the existing forms of the swimming pool and the patios. The new garden areas are organized into a tapestry of rectilinear forms that were softened with planting arranged in curves. Throughout the garden, the linear geometry contrasts with the spherical shapes of formally clipped boxwoods, round river pebbles, and large round planters.
A narrow pool deck progresses into the garden with a sequence of granite pavers that have black pebble joints. Together with carefully curated light fixtures, the pathway creates a visual rhythm drawing visitors into the garden. Black pebbles are also used in narrow strips to connect the differing materials of the new pool deck with the existing patios. The swimming pool area gains architectural definition from the addition of a low feature wall that serves as a base for the two fire and water bowls. The feature wall is mirrored on the opposite side of the garden with a low, trough-style Cor-Ten vegetable planter that, together with the large rectangular lawn area, provides a balance to the overall composition. The fire and water bowls are referenced by using the same shape and materials for the patio planters that feature sculptural pines, extending the garden into the dining area. The long, rectilinear planting bed separates the pool area from the lawn and is planted in long curved swaths of rosemary, blue fescue grass, and evergreen geraniums punctuated with architectural compositions of boxwood spheres, creating an understated yet elegant planting scheme. A river of blue fescue grass leads the eye deeper into the garden towards more informal planting beds organized around a repetition of forms, textures, and colours, while a combination of ornamental grasses, astilbes, and bugbane add movement to the garden.
Balancing tree logs and natural boulders echo the natural surroundings and create an edge that separates the lawn from the play area and also act as steps to the trampoline. The stepping stones encourage the children to venture further in the garden, offering rewards of seasonal fruit such as pink lemonade blueberries, cherries, and figs.