Exterior Worlds
Modern Garden Design
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Modern Home Garden

Modern home gardens are contemporary corollaries that either directly reflect or indirectly compliment the architecture of a contemporary or modern style home. As we have discussed in other articles of our website, contemporary and modern architecture are aesthetics that exists primarily on the mental plane of consciousness and as such tend to shy away from embracing too much organic presence. They also tend to avoid the use of recognizable forms and prefer instead to rely upon simple geometric patterns and shapes arranged in challenging or complex arrays.

The complimentary power of a modern home garden adds to a house is that of a multi-dimensional experience. As a blend of reflection and contrast, a modern home garden forces you to look at hardscapes, Spartan plantings of greenery, and home architectural keynotes as a forced unity of apparent contractions fused into a synthesis that insists on aesthetic cohesion in defiance of all expectation.


Without this sense of aesthetic tension, the garden takes on too much of a minimalist presence and falls flat with its intention to magnify and draw attention to the house. By carefully constructing opposing corollaries, however, a modern home garden expert can create a space in the yard that is every bit as complex emotionally challenging as the structure of the house it is constructed to enhance.

As esoteric as it sounds, it all boils down to lines, angles, and arcs. Lines in a modern home garden provide reflective parallels to the lines in home architecture. When we say “lines” we mean more than just etchings in stone or concrete. A line in our industry can be any relatively narrow form that follows a straight progression from one point to another. Lines include the hardscape structures that form the boundaries of the garden and the many decorative elements inside of those boundaries.

Many of these gardens even use small architectural walls to contain both inorganic and organic elements. Others utilize a visual pattern created by certain types of stone or certain patterns of brick laid along vertical and horizontal axes. These progressions then mirror the edifice of the home exterior and suggest to the subconscious mind a certain sense of “framing” that begins in open yard space and culminates in human living space.

Radii also play a very significant role in every modern home garden. This is due to the heavy use of curves and arcs in contemporary and modern construction design. Radii are either built into the hardscape itself or they are created by careful and creative plantings of low-level, dark green ground cover species. Regardless of size or material build, however, every radius does two very important things. First, it provides much welcome contrast to the presentation of lines, converging lines, and resulting angles evident in the home design. Second, it generates a veritable mirror image of curved spaces above that suggests an extension of home architecture into the landscape itself.

Please remain aware that what we are talking about here are not typical circular forms and compound curves you see in traditional architecture and landscape design. Contemporary arcs are more like cut-outs from a circle than a geometric form unto themselves. They are portions, not wholes, that break the progression of linearity and angularity at strategic, deliberately planned intervals. In architecture, these arcs enhance the visual power of rooftops, eaves, and wall areas adjacent to windows. In modern home gardens, they can create either quadrants of complimentary curvature or depart from straight lines to chart new territory in defiance of lawn areas and traditionally open space. This lends a sense of dominance and power over Nature to the appearance of the house itself.

As complicated as all of this cognitive theory probably sounds, please understand that a modern home garden is not so much a complex form but rather a complex combination of simplicity arranged with an infinite variety of possible combinations. The geometry is simple; the arrangement is complex, and speaks to the many subtle abstract qualities of mind that roam beyond time and space independent of fixed ideas and assumed forms.