I am a bit excited about our garden. This is the romantic English-style garden I dreamed about three years ago when we first moved into our house. It was a big dream when we first started.
Our starting point is easy to describe…DIRT. A sloping lot of land behind our home. We had no landscaping, no pool, and no barn. All we had was dirt…and an idea. This plan included creating an English garden within our Southern California suburban area. We hired Michael Clint Landscape Design, a landscape designer who is a master at creating romantic English gardens.
[If I knew I was going share my yard with you all, I would have taken many more pictures before, but I found this one showing the construction of the pool and a copy of our landscape plan.
The yard has three levels due to the slope of the land. One group was designed for the patio area off the living room and family room, another for the pool, and a third for the barn. We wanted to achieve the desired look, so we included planters everywhere possible.
We planted tall flowers such as delphiniums, larkspurs, and foxgloves. We also wanted to add wisteria, which we chose to train around the entrance of our bedroom patio.
My husband and I love the idea of a garden swimming pool completely surrounded by grass. Keeping grass under lounge chairs and lawn furniture clean is not practical. But we always go for design.
In my youth, I visited Europe and vividly remember seeing these pools all over. The simplicity of the collections sitting on the grass is beautiful. The spa was added at the end, but we chose a simple stone-stacked face to make it a manageable statement. The sound of the water flowing from the spa into the pool is also a bonus.
For almost twenty years, we have owned horses. One of the great things about our home is that there are trails for riding right behind it. We built a small stable to house two horses because no stable was available on the property. The exterior was made from reclaimed Montana barn wood with a cottage-like style. The dome at the top gives the body a country feel.
We did not vary much in our loose, natural style in any part of the yard. We ensured that we used the same color scheme in our front and backyard. In our garden, I only wanted whites, pinks, and purples. It was somewhat limited but also gave the yard a uniform look.
Lavender was one of the flowers I had to have. I love its fragrance and that it can be cut and brought into the house. This small field of lavender spills out onto the lawn organically and loosely, creating that English garden feeling we were after.
We added two large climbing roses in pots (Eden Climbers) to our other patio this summer, and we are training them to grow all around the archway. These special touches can transform the look of your yard and give it that romantic feeling I love. You can see that we don’t trim or shape our plants. I love the natural look of flowers spilling out over walls and onto paths.
We used a few strategically placed hedges to cover areas we didn’t want to be exposed to. This hedge hides an air conditioning unit in my flower studio.
We used stepping stones or stone pads instead of solid paths wherever possible. This was another case where we chose design over functionality, but because the look was so appealing, we thought it was worth the effort to leave the grass or clover between the stones.
A small vegetable garden was the final part of my project. We didn’t have the space to build a large raised bed, but we managed to squeeze in a narrow, long bed near my flower studio. The raised bed was the perfect size for me and my daughter. We can plant enough vegetables to keep us busy.
I am thrilled with the outcome of all this. We went from a simple color drawing to a fantastic garden full of butterflies, hummingbirds, and my favorite flowers. Yay!