|Landscape architect Thomas Church brought a new simplicity|
to landscape design in the mid-20th century.
In my town, countless front yards were stripped of their fuddy-duddy old lawns and covered with patterns of colored rock in diamond-shaped beds. Those spiky, kid-hating junipers invariably showed up as accents—just enough of them to scratch you as you rode by on your bike.
|Unfortunately, some of these ideas were taken a bit too far|
by less talented designers, leading to a landscaping riddled
with free-floating slabs and lots of sparkly white rocks.
• Consider your house and your garden as integrally related living areas areas, not as “indoors” and “outdoors”. With real estate prices soaring, it makes sense to capitalize on every square inch of land, whether indoors or out. Break outdoor areas down into functions, and design around them. For example, your outdoor needs may range from an area for
|Huge, chest-beating outdoor kitchens like this one have become|
the latest example of conspicuous consumption in garden design.
|The passage of time may not be|
your home's best friend, but it actually is
your garden's best friend.
Every era has its own plant fads as well—have you seen a trendy shopping center without palm trees lately? Still, you can never go wrong by sticking to your own preferences, whether they’re currently fashionable or not.
• Above all, remember to plan your garden in four dimensions, not three. Unlike a building, which can only decay over time, a garden is a living, breathing, and ever-renewing entity. Therefore, pay special attention to how your design will develop and mature as the years pass. Give trees and planting plenty of room for growth over the years. And give yourself room for growth too, because your needs will change as well. This year, you may want a sandbox for your toddler, but in five years, what will replace it?
Not sparkly white rocks, I hope.