Monday, July 6, 2009


SURFER CHICK & TENNIS bought a dystopian ranch. Then hired architect John Knight . Do you see any hint of the ranch? It's still there, all of it.

SURFER CHICK & TENNIS liked my idea of French doors off the dining room, above. Creating a magic circle.
After the landscape design was complete TENNIS said he wanted a level frontyard.
Hence the stone wall, above.
Plantings are not yet a year old. A true dwarf loropetalum 'Purple Pixie', above, will soon soften the wall. Along with gardenias, variegated pittosporum, hydrangea, Southern Indica azaleas, & perennials.
Stone for the wall copies what John Knight chose for the house.
Repetition & copy are 2 landscape design tools.
The new landscape is redolent of another era, 1930's, using pass along plant favorites.

John's details are fabulous, above, round copper downspouts, and a slight pitch to the shingle siding where it meets the brick.

Entry to the garden from the street, on axis from the front door, creates an enfilade. Adding depth, warmth, welcome, focal point, movement.

Thru the black-eyed Susan's, above. Pairs of gardenia are used at the front entry near the curb and at the front porch.

Last Friday I was on site to draw the backyard landscape.
I've added another pair of French doors to the left of those above. And 2 new arbors. One extending from the screened porch and the other directly opposite. Ceiling fans on the arbors, cozy seating with Adirondack chairs and a harvest table with chairs.
Potting table & gravel terrace (#89 granite gravel) will be added in front of the back wall, above, with the oval window. Camellia sasanqua hedging will embrace the gravel terrace.
The upper lawn, above, will keep it's tapestry hedge of azalea, ligustrum, liriope, camellia. I've added several oakleaf hydangea and a new sitting area.
The front door has an enfilade thru the French doors, patio & lawn, above. A bench has been placed on axis with it in the plan.
And I'm feeling negligent I didn't get a picture of the plan for you.
I'll ask SURFER CHICK to send a picture of the plan AND a picture of their original ranch.
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara


Southern Aspirations said...

Perfection! Would love to see the plan and before pics of the house. Hard to believe.. though This Old House has showed before and after Ranchers and it is amazing what one can do.

Have you tried carpet roses? Even after your guidance, I fell for those stupid Azaleas that one plants and quickly kills but I LOVE Flower Carpet (and blogged about them today). Must find the George Tabor.

Tara Dillard said...

Azalea 'George Tabor' has thrived in my garden throughout the worst of the droughts. He's a Southern Indica & they do great here, zone 7-8.

No, haven't tried the Flower Carpet roses but I do like antique roses and Knock-Out roses.