The prevailing trend in landscaping today is outdoor living and dining areas; an outdoor gathering space where friends and family can come and enjoy being together outside. These areas combine the elements of and outdoor kitchen or bar and blend them beautifully with intimate seating areas that may include a fireplace for warmth and ambiance; a pergola overhead for shade, or even a trickling fountain for a tranquil sound. These fundamental elements can be blended into any of the other styles listed on these pages, utilizing different types of stone, wood and steel to perfectly blend with your particular preference in garden style. Whichever garden style you choose, this area will become the primary destination and gathering area that will draw all of your friends and family together on those warm summer nights. The pictures on the following pages of garden styles are shown to merely give you a sense and example of what these particular styles are like.
The Asian garden has captured the imagination of western gardeners since they discovered its delights in the 19th century. Over the years it has been adapted to gardens the world over in a variety of climates and still evokes a sense of simplicity and serenity that continue to draw people to its unique style.
The Mediterranean garden style is generally a good choice for those who love to entertain or just spend late evenings sitting out on warm summer nights. The gardens are generally typified by large, predominant patio spaces. Wood clad, overhead structures such as pargoles define the outdoor room and give some needed shade, while large planters or sculpture add detail and interest. A water feature is commonly introduced to add a cool, soothing element to these spaces also. Bold plant shapes, colorful blooms and fragrant vines are chosen to discreetly dress the patio spaces, lending a feeling of a warm tropical atmosphere. These are fairly low-maintenance garden spaces that are ideal for the person that wants to enjoy the outdoors without spending all weekend dressing and taking care of a large garden space.
If you are fortunate enough to be surrounded by tall woods on your site, this garden style is a great choice for you and one that won’t disappoint. Northwest gardens are characterized by their lush green foliage, stately evergreens and delicate seasonal floral displays which give these garden space a rich, woodsy feel. Natural stone and Cedar tend to make up bulk of the building materials that are used to construct the beautiful patios, walls, and vertical structures that make up the bones of these spaces. The striking beauty of the plant material and the use of natural materials blend seamlessly with the land around you and help to create a peaceful and serene environment for seasonal outdoor use.
Similar in style to a Mediterranean garden where hard surfaces prevail and low maintenance is paramount. The key difference is the type of plant material found in these gardens. Straight from the land of enchantment, the plant material in a southwest garden requires little to no care and very little water. This doesn’t mean a dead looking landscape. On the contrary, if you have ever seen the desert in bloom, you truly understand why so many are drawn to the sheer beauty of these landscapes. The bold shapes of Yuccas, Agaves, and various cacti varieties nestled into the soft, flowing desert perennials with their long lasting blooms blend together beautifully. These dramatic forms grace patios and landscapes like a rare jewel and will lend an exotic feel to any space. There is a remarkable number of plant selections from the southwest that have proven to be very hardy and that will thrive in our local climate.
A modern garden tends to lend itself to a “less is more” type of design in theory. It is characterized by very clean and often geometric lines and details. Plant material and/or some asymmetrical element like a sculpture or interesting fountain, or perhaps even a unique wall detail, will be introduced to break the tension and stark uniformity of the space. All of these features unify together to add a strong visual emphasis to the overall design. Modern design has no one particular style, but will be in keeping with the existing architecture of the home and surroundings. Modern garden design allows us to really stretch the bounds of possibility and push through the barrier of “the norm” to create some truly amazing and jaw-dropping living spaces.