My clients had a large property that had been a historic dairy. They already had the fabulous old craftsman house that they had lovingly restored. I was hired to create a landscape design. They needed a detached garage for cars, extra parking and a studio for Hudson’s photography business.
They had a design for the studio/garage and thought they had the perfect placement. I quickly realized the placement of the garage was all wrong as it would have the patio, outdoor dining and entertaining area looking directly at parked cars when they had guests. After establishing my credibility, I told them I could make it so much better and that we needed to think about the property as a whole in order to place the garage to its best advantage. They were surprised and then grateful. As we got into the design process, we discovered the right location for the garage meant changes to their original garage design. It was the right thing to do.
No matter how much I love plants, landscape and garden design, design is all about how you move through the property…. and that includes cars. When I’m having dinner with my friends outside, I don’t want to look at parked cars. They had a large property but we needed clever use of the usable space.
My design: I turned the garage so that while on the back porch of the grand old house or down in the woodland patio, what we saw was the inviting studio entrance complete with its own small porch and softening summer interest plantings. We did not see the garage doors.
The garage was turned so the cars would enter on the 45° angle. This also created more room for lawn and plantings on their property. I used screening plants to hide guest’s parked cars. Driving into the property we saw the attractive facade of the garage with overhead arbor. Because the garage is angled, the doors are not the most powerful visual you see as you drive up. This greatly enhances curb appeal.
When they were working with their architect, they didn’t know the questions to ask that might have led them to the same placement I selected. While they thought they were hiring me just to create the garden, they were very pleased that I took on the task of designing for the whole property.
We created wonderful plantings for the new woodland patio garden and foundation plantings for both the house and the garage. This is one of my happiest designs because I was able to make the property work so much better.
“The landscape design is perfect for the property. There was a lot more to placing the garage that we didn’t realize until Carol pointed it out.”