Sometimes a homeowner gives a landscape designer a blank canvas and directs them to fill it to its best potential. Other times, the homeowner/gardener has a specific request – an idea, a look, a few must-have features — and calls on a designer to bring it to reality.
That was the request of this homeowner in Green Hills. She had visions of an English garden surrounding the house, one with lush growth and vibrant colors. Over the course of several years, she worked closely with Gardens of Babylon designers Mike Omar and Chloe Barret to achieve the look. The designers give the details on how the landscape developed:
What did the homeowners want?
Landscape designer Mike Omar completed the original design, and designer Chloe Barrett added the English gardens some time later, in 2019.
“The homeowner wanted a garden with color and vibrancy that provides blooms almost year-round,” Barrett says. With almost an acre, and much of it receiving full sun, there would be plenty of options for fulfilling that request.
What was your biggest challenge?
The house in the Green Hills area is from an earlier era – the 1920s and ’30s — and is distinctive for its stone exterior, including a massive chimney on the front of the home. Omar’s biggest challenge was getting the hardscape (the walkways, a patio, the gravel driveway, etc.) to match the features and the era of the house.
Once that was in place, Barrett’s biggest challenge was matching the homeowner’s vision of an English garden, one full of vibrancy and color that could provide blooms for cutting almost year-round.
“She sent me pictures of an English garden from the Northeast,” Barrett says. Since many plants are more suited to a specific climate – plants that grow and bloom in the northeast may not perform well here in the humid South, for example – the challenge was to select plants to achieve the look.
“We almost matched the pictures with plant variety, bloom style and color,” Barrett says.
What do you think is the project’s best feature?
The pictures here don’t do justice to the way the landscape has developed, Barrett says.
“The main focus is on the evergreens with the use of lavender, boxwoods, and full-color perennials, crossvine on the house, lots of salvia, echinacea, some veronica and solidago – native wildflowers. I also added some Asiatic lilies from my nursery.”
The English-garden vibe is strong now, Barrett says. “The homeowner had a specific vision, and just needed some plant-centered guidance with how to execute.”
The Gardens of Babylon landscape design team is ready to help with you landscaping needs. Click here to book a phone consultation with a member of the design team.