Modern Cottage Garden?

peachymomo(Ca 8)July 21, 2013

I have a good friend who is a landscape architect and she's helping the DH and I fix up our landscape, I love cottage style gardens but the house and shape of the front yard dictate a more modern layout. Has anyone ever seen a transitional style that mixes modern esthetic with cottage plantings? I think it should look good, but I've never seen an example of something similar.

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What does your friend, the landscape architect, say?

I've previously thought about this as want a more easy care garden altho still haven't actually changed mine from the chaos it is.

I think if you control the chaos of cottage style and use cottage garden plants in an orderly manner, leave spaces between plants to allow the mulch to show, and use modern elements and hardscaping rather than rustic it might be more 'modern cottage' style.

The pic in the link below shows what I mean by controlled chaos. The paving stones are plain and modern and the plants are orderly.

Here is a link that might be useful: modern cottage style

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 7:48PM
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Wandering through photos in the modern landscape area of Houzz (the website in Luckygal's link) might well give you ideas.

Posting a photo of your house and the area of your yard (I assume the front) that you are considering may give us a better idea of what you are trying to design for. Modern covers a wide range of styles to my mind, and so without a photo, I am somewhat stumped as to what you are referring to.

I will also give you a link to one project of a Detroit area designer, Deborah Silver, who often uses a combination of structure in the form of shorter clipped evergreen hedges, gray washed modern steel or neutral ceramic or stone containers, steel arbors, and clean stone work with areas of more voluptuous plantings that fit the cottage idea like hydrangeas and full beds of perennials to see if some of her work fits what you are looking for.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deborah Silver: Dirt Simple

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:50AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Hmm.. how to say it best? I want to have modern style hardscape, but cottage style plants.

Our designer friend convinced me that the style of the house and the angles of the fence that enclose the yard call for a modern hardscape; concrete raised beds with lots of straight lines and 90 degree angles, large rectangular concrete pads with gravel in between for the pathway/courtyard, etc. I have done a lot of browsing through pictures on Houzz and other websites and I have found great examples of these types of hardscapes, but none of them have had cottage style plantings. They usually have succulents, or phormiums, or some other plants that I'm not particularly drawn to. The most similar to my style I've seen have been more naturalistic, native plantings. Which I like, but almost the entire backyard is going to be turned into a native meadow, the front yard is my spot for a cottage garden with roses.

So, do you think a garden that mixes cottage style in the plants with modern style in the hardscape will work?

Here's an old picture of the front yard, I was experimenting with plants in pots to get a better idea of exposures and where there was enough sun for roses to grow.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 12:01PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Here's an unskilled rendering I made of the plan for the front yard, the green blobs represent hardy groundcover and the blue circle is our fountain. Sorry it's off kilter, my scanner will not get things straight no matter how hard I try.

I realize that we already have a mix of different styles, so eclectic/modern/transitional would probably be the best description of the esthetic we're slowly creating.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 12:09PM
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I will suggest looking at the Piet Oudolf designed gardens. Although meadowy it can be crafted to make it look cottage like gardens. He is the designer for the Lurie Garden in Chicago and the High Line garden & Battery Park gardens in NY.

Here is a link that might be useful: Piet Oudolf

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 2:40PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I designed a cottage garden for an ultra modern home several years ago. The home was based on a mid century style, so like you peachymomo I used a very linear design. The seating areas and area closest to the home were simple, very architectural while the area farthest away (still not a very large property) was raised, and mainly a cottage shrub area, but had stairs going up to a small seating area and some lovely cottage garden flowers. Not only did the architecture of the home dictate the style, but one of the homeowners is an architect of the ultra modern buildings in Dubai and the other used to European style cottage garden styles. It just proved to me that you really can sometimes have the best of both worlds.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 9:20PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Thanks girlgroupgirl, that's exactly what I wanted to hear!

My original idea was to have a 'Secret Garden' courtyard, very wild and with all curves and no straight lines or hard corners. But my friend's design won me over for it's simplicity and how well it will function, so now I'm trying to figure out how to blend the modern design I like with the wild garden I first imagined. I think it'll work out great, even if it does take a bit of trial and error.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 4:07PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Peachymomo, I also did a wild secret garden for a very pruned and manicured intermediate style garden around a pool. The "wild" part was given a sense of enclosure by using a trellising system that was quite linear. This allowed for jasmine vines and antique roses to create a very tall enclosure, the interior was a bit less wild - romantic though, with a stone walk, a bench and a bird bath plus a few bird feeders all in white. The walk was 3.5' wide (and sort of circular) to allow for children to play along it, lots of lilies, scented daylilies and in the back corners a few scented screening shrubs were chosen so that there was 12 months of bloom and scent. It can work, just keep the structures linear.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 3:36PM
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