Archive for November 2012

Foothill Contemporary

November 17, 2012

“Foothill Contemporary” was the tag line used to identify another “marquee garden” included on our APLD conference tour in the San Francisco Bay area in September. The description was just about perfect. Designed by Bernard Trainor & Associates, this garden has been featured in any number of magazines and books. Understated in its plantings and simple but impressive use of low-cost hardscape materials (concrete, gravel, and stone), this garden was one of my favorites. I wish the sun had been less glaring, but it was a privilege to visit regardless of how challenging this garden was to photograph.

In planning this post, I came across a wonderful article from a 2007 issue of Fine Gardening Magazine featuring photos of Trainor’s gardens and an interview with him. In it, he speaks about negative spaces and how he strives for simplicity without being a minimalist. To read more about his vision, and to see a photograph of this particular garden at night, click here.

Walter Hood’s Minimalist Garden in the Sky

November 3, 2012

I can truthfully say I’ve never designed a “modernist” or “contemporary” garden. One of the things I enjoyed most about my participation in APLD’s annual conference in the Bay Area this year was the opportunity to see a number of gardens with a modern aesthetic. (Look for the upcoming post on a Bernard Trainor garden in the foothills of the Peninsula area, or the last post on the stunning Tah.Mah.Lah). So I wanted to share with you one of my early favorites from the tours we took.

Described in our e-materials (the conference organizers decided to use an iBook, a terrific idea, to provide us background information on the schedule, gardens, etc.) as “Modern Garden – Commentary on Restraint,” this garden was designed by the eminent landscape architect Walter Hood. Located in the Telegraph Hill area of San Francisco, this garden is on the upper levels of a spectacular private residence whose owner graciously allowed us to traipse up to both the “front” and “back” gardens, even though reaching the back involved walking through the house. I’ve decided to present the photos of this garden as a gallery below. Enjoy.


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