The title here might have you saying, “I don’t get the problem.” However, when the native environment is so spectacular and singular as is this lush setting on Bainbridge Island, WA, it can be a challenge to create a landscape that feels like a natural extension. The key, according to landscape designer Tish Treherne of Bliss Garden Design is don’t even even attempt to compete; make your playbook “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. She used plants with scale that weren’t dwarfed by the surrounding trees, and continued the calm, natural feeling through limited colors and plant palette, and repetition of that palette. And, she kept it low maintenance. Says Tish, ” Everyone is so busy these days – a garden should not be another “have to” – it should be restorative.” We agree! (“Before” shots here.)
Gravel paths with bluestone steppers wrap the house. Comprised primarily of evergreens (helps cut down on maintenance), the landscape is vibrant due to the foliage hues of lime, black, silver, and burgundy.
Get the Look: Seamless integration
Scale is everything when you have a mature surrounding landscape; this is your chance to go big and bold
Gravel, in additional to mirroring the nearby creek here, reduces hardscaping costs and improves permeability
Avoid pricey irrigation by using drought tolerant ornamentals and native plants where possible
Using plants such as the hydrangea and barberry at the entrance and layering in shapely containers (left), adds a note of formality to this natural scene
Never underestimate the impact of stone, rocks, boulders; they add texture that helps both break up and amplify massed foliage.