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Good garden design must begin with a sober assessment of the context of the site.  This has to do with obvious things like Brooklyn brownstone backyard or Fire Island pine barren; quarter-acre suburban plot with a mid-century split-level ranch or Old Brookville estate; new-development fake-masonry mcmansion or Santa Fe adobe or stately Garden City.   But the designer should also be sensitive to the flora of the site's surroundings:  thus would a garden design be doomed to failure if it attempted to impose upon a Texas ranch an English Cotswold garden, or upon a suburban front yard a Japanese Zen.  Not that design elements from an exotic  style could not be imported, e.g., river rounds could be layed Japanese-style to form a path in beach-house garden to greater effect than a lawn


Below are examples of happy marriages of House & Garden

[Mid-Century MODERNIST House]  &  [understated planting]:
a stand of bamboo underplanted with prostrate dark-glossy-leaved myrtle
or a grove of Japanese maples underplanted with lawns and beds of hostas and ferns
or large drifts of ornamental grasses punctuated by Eastern redcedar

[American TRADITIONAL/VERNACULAR House, big or little, new or old] [garden rooms]
defined by hedges and variously planted with perennials, bulbs, annuals
bosky rambling beds and borders, planted with medium-sized flowering trees,
broadleaf evergreen shrubs and flowering shrubs, climbers, grasses

[MEDITERRANEAN House, bright-colored stone or stucco]  &  [devoid of lawn]
formally laid-out with gravel paths and dwarf boxwood edging and punctuated with geometric topiary;
formal water features, a large grape arbour over a stone-paved terrace
espaliered fig trees and drifts of lavender




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