From time to time potential clients ask, “Do you have a garden style?”, or “What is the blue house gardens look?”
Mention the name Piet Oudolf, Martha Schwartz, or “Capability” Brown to people who love gardens and you will conjure up a very specific visual. Many talented, local designers also have a signature style, driven either by aesthetic preference or, more commonly, a philosophical inclination such as using only native plantings.
House style is often the fist visual cue for garden style. Here in the DC Metro area, we live in a mishmash of architecture, often on the same block or even the same house! Authenticity is rare; instead, we speak of homes “in the style of.” This means that unless a designer chooses a very niche clientele, they will be moving between styles. The right balance between the architecture of the house and the taste, budget and lifestyle of the client will drive the design.
In my own practice, I’m committed to understanding what my clients want and then giving that to them in the best possible way.
Of course, there are constants that I tend to apply across all my projects. Strong form is a must, as it ensures a garden will read clearly, function well, and even withstand a certain amount of neglect. I prefer a limited plant palette, as masses of a smaller variety will naturally be neater and more manageable than a very diverse collection. I lean toward natural hardscape material, I naturally gravitate to blue flowers until someone tells me otherwise, and I’ve never met a site that couldn’t use some native Inkberry Holly. But with all that said, one could create any style of garden with those preferences.
So what is my garden style? Creating a landscape plan with the best version of your style through the application of thoughtful design.
Do you have a landscape project you’re ready to begin? Let’s work on it together.