The family that owns this cottage-style property set within a large square yard wants to make the most of the wraparound garden. The relatively shallow back garden has its limitations, but, fortunately, the eye travels over the boundaries to the spectacular coastal view beyond. The difficulty is how to make the space into a comfortable garden and “plant” the house into its surroundings.
Size: 100 feet x 80 feet (30 meters x 25 meters)
Owners: Couple with two children, ages 7 and 9 years
View: The back yard overlooks a coastal view.
Wants and Needs
- Dining area for grownups and children
- Somewhere to sit and enjoy the view
- Natural pond to attract wildlife
- Shed for bicycles and gardening tools
- Greenhouse for propagation and early vegetables
- Shelter for plants from salt-laden winds
- Space to park the owners’ two cars
In the landscape design plan (see above sketch), the garden is divided from the drive with a screen and plantings, so that cars are not visible from the lawn when you walk around the house. The plan has coherence: The yard is united by the lawn, which looks like a giant doughnut with the house in the central opening. A patio goes almost all the way around the house, allowing the family to follow the sun throughout the day. The front of the property is well planted; the approach to the house is fluid and very pretty. Trees and a gate set into a screen take you from the drive through to the back garden. In addition:
- Wildlife is attracted by the small circular pool in the lower right hand corner of the yard, one side of which has a shelved edge.
- Informal paving slabs on the patio are softened with herbs, such as thyme, planted in the cracks.
- The children have a swing set to the side of the house so it does not obstruct the sea view.
- Cars are screened by trellis, with trees and shrubs planted on the driveway side.