Custom gardens are one of the hallmarks of Exterior Worlds.
Many times, for whatever reason, a strictly formal, traditional European, or noticeably contemporary garden simply will not work. This can be due to any number of mitigating circumstances ranging from the style of home architecture, the size of the property, or the dimensions of the lot.
In these cases, however, there is always a way to create superb garden designs in even the most challenging environments.
One of the areas where we often build a custom garden is in an oddly shaped and unused portion of a yard.
Many homes have a garage that extends into the back yard. The space between the home and the garage is often very small, and it is also often oddly shaped. Most homeowners simply resolve themselves to leaving this part of their yard untouched. They assume, because of its proportions, and the fact that it typically receives less sunlight than other areas, that it is totally useless.
Such an area is prime real estate for a custom garden that is planted with shade resistant plants.
There are many such species that can provide multiple layers of green and even very brightly colored blooms. Lighting can be added, along with a small walkway that ends in a patio viewing area, to transform what was once the ugliest part of the yard into something special to show to guests.
Another great place to build a custom garden is within a portion of a patio itself.
This may sound odd to some readers, but it is something that all of us have seen plenty of times before. Any patio made from stones can have one or more stones omitted or removed. This gap in the stone then becomes a planting area. If the patio is made from decorative concrete, all we have to do is lay a steel frame down prior to pouring the slab, then pour the concrete around the planting area. In either instance, we have a space for a custom garden that can be any size or geometry necessary.
Custom gardens are almost always what we plant inside retaining walls.
Formal gardens in the traditional European forms we are familiar with can be modified to fit within the confines of an elevated wall, but they must be changed. Certain elements have to be scaled up and down, or possibly even omitted in order to make the garden look proportional to the wall and complimentary to the home. Still, there are ways of making a custom garden within a retaining wall appear visibly English, French, Mediterranean, Italian, or contemporary when so desired.
Another place where custom gardens are often necessary is in the front yard of a patio home or very small house.
Many of these properties have so little green space to work with that we cannot fit a full-sized garden into the picture without overcrowding the façade of the home. However, by developing a small garden design and carefully selecting our plants, we can create a shade garden under a tree, a linear garden that runs parallel to the front of the house, or a geometric garden that compliments the driveway.