Archive for October, 2008

Design Ideas | Garden Rooms

Design Ideas | Garden Rooms

Dunbarton Oaks, Washington DC:  There are so many beautiful “Garden Rooms” to experience at Dunbarton Oaks.  We are so lucky to be able to visit and barrow from this joyous place.  Even the surrounding park and Georgetown neighborhood have bountiful inspiration.  I visited on the most gorgeous October day with my two daughters who were so drawn into the garden rooms that I had a hard time keeping them together and going in the direction I wanted to go.  Each of us was attracted to different spaces and even though this is a formal garden, they played and galloped happily enjoying the colors, textures and especially the transitions.


ABOVE:  Garden entrance, I especially like the drainage swale at the bottom of the wall. Simple, attractive and effective.

ABOVE:  Here are two adjacent rooms dressed up in fall colors.  The one on the left is a couple steps down from the one on the right.  Taking this photo, my perspective was from a wonderful wrought iron balcony (see below) in a third room – the rose garden.  Each room in this big garden has a well-designed view to at least one and usually more adjacent rooms.  This is what created the sense of journey we felt as we explored.  The patio on the left, makes you feel as though you are surrounded by water, when really there is only a little still water which acts like a glassy floor under the pavilion (see Lucy playing in the “glass floor” two photos down).




ABOVE:  The fluid lines of the concrete patio edging make you feel as though you are inside of a fountain.

Every room in this garden has beautiful attention to walls, ceiling and especially the floor.


ABOVE:  This is Lily in the “Prunus Walk” hallway orchard.  Lining the path is epimedium for ground cover with warm brick edging the aggregate walkway.  The growing garden is to the right downhill and the vegetable garden to the left uphill, now in fall is filled with windflowers.


ABOVE: The famous pleeched American Hornbeams Caropinus caroliniana a.k.a. the “aerial hedge”.  The circular shape of this room couldn’t be made more apparent than by the shaping of these cool trees as walls.

ABOVE: As I mentioned, the floors in this garden are phenomenal.  I will use this idea for brickwork.  The landing above has a diamond pattern in it.

ABOVE:  “Pebble Garden” has THE most amazing floor, as you can plainly see.  The 4″ high raised bed is planted with sedum amoung other things. The walls in ths room are covered with lattice.  There is a beautiful espalied magnolia on one wall to the left and just beyond it a wonderful window with a view (below).  Lily and Lucy couldn’t resist laying themselves down smack in the middle of the stone design (Two photos down).



ABOVE:  Here is yet another charming path, very simple in design and materials which could be done at anyone’s house going around the corner to the back.

ABOVE: We took a little rest in a private “Star Garden” just next to the house.  We wanted to drink tea here.

ABOVE:  Then we couldn’t resist going back for a look over the veranda to this view of the swimming pool, the “Pebble Garden” is just beyond and then of course you can see some majestic trees and rolling hills beyond that.

ABOVE:  Here is one of my favorite rooms.  This room is called the “Beech Terrace” where you can also see down the rolling hills and pool.  But the simplicity of the ceiling here is fantastic.  One unbelievable Beech tree shelters us, Fagis grandifolia.  We can really appreciate it’s beauty this way.  If I lived closer, I think I would read in this part of the garden.  Its very quiet.  Apparently, the roots of this tree are covered in blooming bulbs in teh spring.  I can’t wait to see that.
BELOW:  The finale – The “Orangery”.  Many people start their tour in this room but I’m so glad this was our last sight.   Covering the walls is a Fig tree that has been here since before the Civil War.  YIKES!  I’m in awe.

Design Idea: Steel Beam Trellis

小弟作品 – CMT6, originally uploaded by ‘navopaul.

This bright red steel beam “trellis” walkway is a beautiful addition to the urban landscape. The color works so well with other primary colors on the building behind and the lush green ground cover.

thanks, navopaul 小弟作品 – CMT6