The landscape design for this contemporary home strived to tie the house to the grounds while seamlessly blending the architecture with the neighborhood's venerable historical homes, some dating back to the late 1800’s.
The goals for this home's extensive outdoor space: Keep it sustainable; include spots for entertaining and quiet reflection; and evoke the Iowa prairies, the homeowners' native terrain. Grasses are a low-maintenance choice and lots of shade trees temper the sun and glare.
This contemporary pre-fab home and studio were built on a flat city lot. The landscaping was inspired by the clean, simple lines of calligraphic Asian painting and aimed to incorporate light, movement, lots of pretty views and a strong connection between indoors and outdoors.
Gentle mounds and boulder piles enhance the site's drainage and reduce the total planted area and water use. They also create wildlife habitats and collect runoff. A drainage “moat” was built to prevent runoff from collecting under the house.
This welcoming Zen garden draws the eye by placing statues, stones and a prayer bell in a gracefully meandering path. Foliage, like the miniature Japanese maples, provide a backdrop for the focal points.
Mirrors give the illusion that this quaint Japanese-style garden is much larger. Here, one reflects a stone pathway through a Zen garden. The sparse plantings work as a backdrop rather than a focal point.
This courtyard uses classic Japanese style to exaggerate perspective, creating the illusion of a much larger space. The plants provide a backdrop for the statue and the pathways, rather than acting as a focal point themselves.
To make this beach house backyard more functional, designers raised the land by 18 inches, using beach sand retained by stacked flagstones and retaining walls. Now, comfy teak chairs can cozy up to a new fire pit.
This seaside fire pit includes a stone bench that's seamlessly integrated into the surrounding landscape. Blue and striped yellow pillows add a hint of color and graphic pop to the picturesque hang-out spot.