Magazine article Sunset

Geometry Lesson: How to Use Shape and Color to Link House and Landscape

Magazine article Sunset

Geometry Lesson: How to Use Shape and Color to Link House and Landscape

Article excerpt

SQUARES, CIRCLES, AND HITS OF COLOR bring order and structure to this front garden. It's a combination that works perfectly with the home, a midcentury design in Palo Alto by noted developer Joseph Eichler. To integrate the yard with the home's prominent lines and angles, landscape architect Rosemary Wells chose to repeat the angular geometry throughout the property.

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Pavers and other hardscape materials repeat the steel gray hues of the house, furthering the sense of continuity. Concrete patios have a dark gray integral color, and Connecticut bluestone pavers, slightly darker than the patio, are set in charcoal-colored Mexican beach cobbles. Small doses of vibrant hues--such as the crimson pot and atrium door--enliven the overall palette.

Large windows around the house look out onto the garden, so to keep the views clear, Wells avoided using traditional foundation plants against the home's perimeter; she planted next to the house only where windows are higher up. The plants--mostly structured ones such as papyrus and bamboo and low-mounding fescues and ferns--are arranged in clusters and rectangular beds for impact and to create a contemplative mood. …

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