September 2, 2014

Landscape Design.....Matching your homes Architecture with your landscape

September in Illinois is the number one month to plant.

The soil is warm so plants root quickly
The temperatures begin to moderate
Rainfall is more frequent, think less watering!
With all these benefits, perennials, in particular, will fully root prior to freezing.
Sounds good doesn't it?!

Thinking of a landscape renovation? My uppermost principle is to wed your homes architecture to the landscape. Each should compliment the other. Let's investigate further.........

My hands down favorite!
WHY THIS WORKS; creating a focal point with the center protrusion   .   the 3 fountains repeat the color ways in the roof    .    the hardscape blends with the color ways of the siding
WHY THIS DOES NOT WORK;  No thought to the landscape let alone to the magnificent architecture.
One of the aspects to think about is if you prefer asymmetrical, as above, or symmetrical designs. Many times the house will make that decision for you, however it is not a steadfast rule.
 A symmetrical design that flows with the architecture.
WHY THIS WORKS;   My favorite combination, the structured bones of the boxwood which mirrors the structured lines of this home and the randomness of the flowers which take a nod to a farmhouse   
The white of the home is reflected in the flower selection
WHY THIS WORKS;    symmetrical    .    the boxwood pattern is another layer as are the steps    .    an uncomplicated design for a contemporary home
WHY THIS WORKS;  If i may be so bold, this after all, one of our clients.....A European styled cottage and the same style landscape, random and free flowing. Note however the repetition of plants down the line, a good pattern to follow for this type of garden or it can be too hodgepodge.    .    The broken stone path is a nod to the homes stone and brick work    .    bench in the far background is the same color as the limestone in the walk
WHY THIS WORKS:    the pathway emulates the rectangle pattern of the stone wall  and the door   .    same color way    .    an example of symmetry in the landscape against a asymmetrical home    .    lighting emanating from the front door is the same in the garden, LED uprights would have been incorrect
WHY THIS WORKS;  At times the architecture is so interesting a subtle landscape allows the home to shine    .    The Belgian fence of ivy, mirrors the transom lights
WHY THIS DOES NOT WORK, WELL;  A cape cod styled home, in it's grandest form to a simple cottage has a great landscape style. This looks like they ran out of money! How can I say this when in the above image I said simple can do well without upstaging the architecture? Now this is all personal opinion, but think this could have been so much more interesting.
Sometimes you have a home style that is regional, as in this case a more modest cape. If your home is of a regional style think about the indigenous plants. Capes say Hydrangea's, roses and ornamental grasses
WHY THIS WORKS; Planting are appropriate for the home    .    The fence matches the trim and the style    .    The arched arbor mirrors the windows and the porch, 
WHY THIS WORKS;  A GREAT blend of materials    .    the portico roof, door, containers, hardscape all play off each other. 
NOTE: My fav bluestone called 'Full Range' has tones of browns in it and is less expensive!
WHY THIS DOES NOT WORK;    A hulk of a house, Teutonic in style, has such a small and diminutive garden, but there are great lessons here. Notice how the beds hug the house, scale wise they should be much larger with much larger plantings    .    There is nothing going for it that relates to the architecture, colors or materials
WHY THIS WORKS;  The hardscape blends with the stone on the house    .    The ball finial repeats the circular element on the portico and further enhanced with the boxwoods
WHY THIS WORKS;  Scale is great with the garden extending away from the house. Consider doing this so that when you look out your windows you have a great view. Hugging too tight to the house eliminates that opportunity    .    The orange of the trim is repeated with the plantings    .    An informal style matches nicely
WHY THIS WORKS;    Love how the grand entrance is made even more so by the plants hugging the house and not the walk    .    plantings are appropriate for the architecture    .    The square blocks in the walk reflect the door and window pattern  
Love how the topiaries are trimmed to reflect the windows
WHY THIS WORKS;    Ornamental grasses are perfect for this style and particularly planted
 en masse    .    The house is very austere, the plantings loose and sway with the wind, opposites attract
No doubt you are seeing the trend
When adding structure, pick up color ways on the house

Lastly, want to thank everyone that participated in our event DOG DAYS OF SUMMER. Thought you might like to see some of the images from our photographer Nancy Villwock
Our manager, Monica's dog Cooper
 This man signed up for the raffles and won the Dash and Albert bed!

 We exceeded our hopes in donations. A dear friend of mine from upstate New York read the blog and sent in a donation
 All photo's inside and outside the shop.

 This pooch is 14 and in the latter days of her life. Her people had a series of gorgeous photo's taken.
 These images are of two siblings available for adoption, CUTE!
 Thank you Nancy and to all that participated to benefit H.E.L.P!



  1. An education! Getting it right isn't easy! Unless you know what you are doing - you do!

  2. Debra you gave us so many superb examples of what works well and what doesn't! The difference can be quite subtle at times; however oh so important! Cute, cute, pupsters!

    The Arts by Karena

  3. Debra,
    There were times when my partner and I would have a challenge trying to convince people to be true to the overall design/architecture of the home for maximum benefit where their yards were concerned. Your examples drive the message home beautifully. I love the house that you have worked on and there are at least 5 others I could move into and be happy!
    Best pictures ever of dogs. What is it about dogs out in public with their people that just puts a smile on my face.
    Great post. I hope your weather is gearing up for the fall will be awhile here before we see the cooler temps.

  4. Love this post! Gardens and pooches, wonderful :) Debra, thanks for sharing your expertise on garden design in relationship to architecture. I'm currently in Maine planning the garden beds here. What are your suggestions for yellow flowering shrubs and perennials for Maine? Our home is clapboard - will be white with black shutters and yellow front doors. Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day! xo

  5. hi loi

    would love to assist. kindly forward images and let's get it just right!

  6. A fantastic post! Thank you so much for all the hard work and effort you put into it's compilation. This should be a primer for landscape design students, as it perfectly illustrates the need to mesh home with garden.
    I agree, the dog photos are amazing and it was wonderful of you to host a fund-raiser for such a wonderful organization. I so enjoy each and every one of your posts! Keep up the magnificent work!

  7. Hi Debra,
    This is a wonderful grouping of landscape/home photos! And I just LOVE the dog photos! How precious!
    Barbara @ The Treasured Home

  8. Wonderful post. Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. I just found your blog and I immediately followed. As a painter I agree wholeheartedly with your sage advice on the architecture of the home and garden
    Looking forward to future posts.
    Helen Tilston

  10. I love these "example" posts, Debra. I always learn so much. Happy Fall!


  11. Oh Debra, you always find the perfect images. We have finally gotten most of the outside of the Beaufort house finished, but the yard is definitely not there - so needing your expertise!!

  12. Such a thoughtful and detailed post. One of the difficult things about landscaping is that things grow and quickly crowd each other if they are not given enough initial space. Love the dog pictures. How wonderful! xo, N. The Lady's Life

  13. Nicely, you will find your blog.your articles are very interesting.Thanks for sharing such an informative article. Vastu Shastra Designers & Consultancy in Lucknow

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  15. I love all the colors involved in those landscapes! My wife and I just moved to a new home and want to redesign the yard. We should probably find a good landscape designer to help us out.

  16. Very unique and creative landscape designs completely matching with the home design to give best look to your house.

  17. I think I just learned more about landscaping from your examples than I've learned in a bunch of reading. Thanks for your clarity and the great photos. The one labeled perfection readers are curious, I just took a fun quiz at that nailed my style exactly. I don't have a house, so I answered for my imagined dream house, and it was just as much fun. With your vision of what works and a style name to take to the garden shop, people might be ready to give it a try.

  18. I gained new knowledge from well written content of this blog. It is showing some different kind of strategy to keep work better and improve with every new assignment. Gracefully written blog
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