Ground Work
ripe persimmons in basket after a successful harvest

Landscape Architecture is the design of space on every level – At our eye level, above our heads, and on the ground plane beneath our feet. The ground is an often-overlooked aspect of design, but it has the ability to define space and create interest within the landscape. Here we focus on a few of our favorite ways to define spaces from the ground up.

Creating “Rooms”

Young peaches may continue to ripen well into the winter

“Rooms” in the landscape are spaces that have been defined visually to serve individual purposes of Outdoor Living – Cooking, Dining, Lounging, etc. This sitting area above, for example, is a “room” created for the purpose of lounging in the morning sun, and it is defined by no more than the change from gravel to a Bluestone paver pad. To make it even more eye-catching, the porcelain pavers in the foreground imitate the color of the Bluestone, leading the viewer to the intentional space within the open landscape.

Pattern & Interruption

Young peaches may continue to ripen well into the winter

When working with large, flat areas of the landscape, breaking up the space can create visual interest and help to slow the viewer’s experience. In our fast-paced world, we all sometimes need a reminder to slow down and enjoy our leisure time! The detailing in this poolside walk above bridges the space between lawn and concrete in a unique way, and causes us to slow and appreciate the detail of the design instead of rushing.

Borders & Boundaries

Borders create delineations in the landscape, also have the ability to serve as boundaries, which can be very useful for organizing space.  Note how the low hedge above forms an effective boundary around the table, despite its short stature.  Never underestimate the power of suggestion!  While most people could easily walk over the hedge, almost everyone will instead follow the patterned walk around to where it meets the concrete patio.  Defining the circulation, or how people will move through a space, is one of the most important elements of good design.

Young peaches may continue to ripen well into the winter

A living border is an excellent choice for contrast in a space with predominant hardscape.  Instead of a boundary, this type of border serves as an accent.  This Sedum album above creates a neat edge between path and wall in this contemporary landscape, with no expectations of being mowed or trimmed.  Not to mention, it thrives on nothing more than the overspray from irrigation in the garden above.

For a more casual effect, groundcovers like this Isotoma can lend charm to a path or patio.  Its masses of little blue stars give the sense that great care has been put into every detail of the landscape.  The look is perfect for a cottage garden path, or as in this case, a path bordering a lawn.  Once again, the lawn irrigation takes care of the plant, so it is both a seamless and non-fussy detail that is impossible to overlook.

J. Montgomery Designs creates landscapes that are perfectly custom, down to the last detail. While we are entering into the winter holidays, we are also planning ahead for our 2020 design season. If you’d like to talk with us about next year’s landscape, contact our office!