While the original design leaned heavily on Asian-inspired aesthetics, it was also necessary to integrate some indigenous flowering options for the yard's pollinators. The result is a blend of traditional Asian structure and form, with colorful flowers and shrubs.
The curbside view of this white, midcentury modern ranch gives a tiny peek at the home's structure -- it's mostly hidden by shrubs and grasses and amongst trees. A white gate provides privacy and security for the home.
A Midsummer Day's Dream - A lot of gardening seems to come down to trees but there is opportunity for more. Having a diverse structure supercharges the seasons, and this means planting with trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses and ground cover.
With a main house and a carriage house for guests, this picture-perfect property in Montecito, Calif., needed several parking spaces. So the landscape architects installed a large driveway between the two structures, with rose bushes and lavender to break up all the stone.
The roofline is completely transformed, adopting a 'saltbox' style profile that's actually common to New England farmhouses. The structure gets new siding as well as French doors in raw wood finish, new windows, flagstone walkway and a newly planted oak tree — from the ranch of former president and first lady, George and Laura Bush.
Shrubs and trees planted too close to your house can trap moisture, damage siding when the wind blows, and fill gutters with debris. “I want to be able to walk behind shrubs — they need to be at least three feet from the house and from air conditioning units because they block airflow,” says Steve Gladstone, owner of Stonehollow Fine Home Inspection in Stamford, Conn. “With trees, you don’t want them rubbing against the house at all. If the sun can’t dry your house, you’ll have to repaint more often because mold and pollen will build up.” Prune regularly to keep your house envelope clear.
Climbing vines like ivy, although beautiful, can splinter and rot wood siding and even weaken the mortar between bricks. Prune any existing ivy so that it stays away from windows, gutters and trim. If your heart is set on adding a climbing vine, choose a twining vine that wraps around a trellis or other nearby structure rather than a vine that climbs by tendrils or rootlets that cling to the surface of your house.
Purple flower clusters (8 inches long) cover this small tree all summer long. Blooms beckon pollinators of all kinds—it’s a great plant for a bee or butterfly garden. Gray-green leaves have purple undersides that complement blooms. Look for other chaste tree varieties with flowers in shades of pink or white. The branch structure is very architectural and adds good winter interest to a landscape. If your chaste tree develops lots of twiggy growth and starts looking more shrub-like, prune it in late winter. Remove all smaller twigs along five or six major trunks to create a tree-looking plant. Size: 6 to 8 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 6-9.