A once-bare, tiny yard behind a row house in Brooklyn, N.Y., now features a canopy of plants, such as crepe myrtles and camellias. Landscape designer Michael Van Valkenburgh planted trees that naturally cool the garden terrace and house and created a bird habitat. The new paving is mica schist, which is arranged in a pattern that mimics logs flowing down a river. The garden was a 2015 ASLA award winner.
This garden's design was influenced by its original state. It originally was a cement pit full of gravel. To minimize the excavation of gravel, the designers created two levels: an Ipe deck with Synlawn grass on the upper level and a blue stone area with a waterfall/pond on the lower level. Breaking up levels made the garden visually bigger and engaging.
The plantings change with seasons and attract wildlife like butterflies and bees. The designer used plants with yellow, whites and grays that can reflect light in the evening. It also used some evergreen perennials and architectural grasses for winter interest. The lower paved area and the long cement planter are in permanent shade and the area by the grass is super sunny.
A modern waterfall adds to the city sights on a rooftop garden in New York's Tribeca neighborhood. The project, by Aaron Andrew McIntire and the Gunn Landscape Architecture team, won a gold award in the 2015 Association of Professional Landscape Designers' International Landscape Design Awards.
The landscape plan of this brownstone's backyard left lots of open space for the kids to run around in. Neutral-toned seating blends in with the bluestone patio and gives adults a comfortable place to relax and entertain.
The garden is 22 feet below street level and looked like a massive bunker because of cement walls. The designers did not cover or paint the cement walls and added polished concrete planters to refine the outdoor space. Semi-evergreen bamboo and English Ivy cover some of the space.
Challenges included the below-ground garden, cement walls, unmovable A/C pipes and a massive concrete pad that hides the dry well. The cement walls have a interesting way of reflecting light and fit with the modern structure.
Polished concrete planters add refinement to the urban garden, which already had a massive concrete wall. The designer used Chinese and American wisteria, English ivy and climbing hydrangeas in the outdoor space.
A sliding aluminum gate opens to a courtyard with a dining area. The artistry of the design by Matthew Cunningham, winner of a 2015 Association of Professional Landscape Designers award, matches the style of the urban courtyard, which also features western red cedar fencing.
Vegetables, herbs and greens are grown around the deck of a San Francisco garden that slopes 8 feet from the back door and is bordered by apartments. St. John Landscapes used succulents, variegated plants, Burgundy cordyline, evergreen vines that contrast with the ground cover border and evergreen grasses, for the APLD award-winning project.
The waterfall is a focal point in this modern, urban garden. The designer wanted to show the passage of seasons and wanted the existing concrete wall, which seems like a massive bunker, to be part of nature. There are multiple vines, including English ivy and Chinese and American wisteria, on either side of the waterfall.
This comely garden setting in this small home's backyard shows how careful planning can produce an outstanding design. K&D Landscape Management used unusual wood fencing material for the pergola and to line the perimeter of the yard and added colorful small and large scale plants for balance and interest. A well-conceived lighting plan, as seen here, produces a dramatic effect.