10 chic gardens to inspire you this spring
The swimming pool's clean lines highlight the natural charm of the lush hydrangeas and privet in the garden of a 1920s Shingle Style cottage in East Hampton, New York, designed by Robert Stilin.
For a garden outside of her Hamptons cottage, designer Podge Bune chose roses for their scent and didn't worry about color.
"I thought, 'Well, let's just have a riot.' I'm so bored with all white. But be warned. Roses are persnickety. I have to do a little nip and tuck every day."
Voluptuous 50-year-old wisteria vines drape a Victorian wire gazebo outside of a New York house by designer Robin Bell, with the assistance of landscape designer Deborah Nevins and architect Stephen Potters.
The Cloister Garden in William Christie's 16th-century house in France features the classic rose Katharina Zeimet.
"The garden is very personal and breaks all the rules," Christie says. "But I am immensely happy and proud of it. I spend as much time as I can here. I don't need to take vacations anywhere else."
Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller of Carrier and Company designed an outdoor dining area perfect for entertaining in the backyard of a Florida house. The colorful garden is anchored by a Chiswick bench from Janus et Cie.
Pear trees trellis
In Nashville, a new house with an old soul merges indoors with outdoors. On her front terrace, antiques dealer Jeannette Whitson designed a Charleston-inspired secret garden enclosed by pear trees espaliered on a trellis. An arched window adds architectural interest.
Tucked into the backyard of Lynn Morgan's Savannah row house, the walled courtyard garden is a fragrant oasis lush with jasmine, hydrangeas, orange trees, and creeping fig. Antique bricks and boxwood define the form, and crushed oyster shells cover the ground.
The 1950s iron table and antique French garden chairs are shaded by a Pottery Barn umbrella. Garden design by Marshall Stone.
Back garden dining area
Even though designer Myra Hoefer's Healdsburg, California, house had a small, lackluster lawn, she turned it into a pocket paradise. Her inspiration? What she saw while working in Paris.
"I noticed that Parisians would turn balconies or pathways or little handkerchief-size terraces into these poetic spaces for lunch, drinks, dinner," she says. "Or someone would turn some nothing courtyard into an outdoor living room."
In the back garden of her house, lunch is served in the shade of a massive camphor tree.
The front door of this oceanfront Los Angeles house opens to a surprising open-air courtyard. Designer Chris Barrett clustered plants in antique pots on a concrete table from Inner Gardens. Metal garden chairs are from Hollyhock.
"The courtyard is the first room you enter, a sort of vestibule — it just happens to be outside," Barrett says. "It's a sheltered haven with clusters of antique pots and lush plants and flowers, and it feels so good, so calm and nurturing. It was the first space I really tackled, kind of like a springboard for serenity."
A stone faux-bois dining table from France and an iron gazebo from Anthropologie sit at the end of designer Jill Sharp Brinson's gravel driveway in her cottage house.
"The gazebo was on display at a mall store in Atlanta, and I lusted after it for years," she says. "One day I was there shopping and I saw a 'for sale' tag on it. I bought it on the spot."
With the help of Dan Cleveland of Boxwoods Gardens and Gifts, Brinson planted waves of clipped boxwood, magnolia, hydrangea, anise, and holly to screen out the 20-story building just 15 feet away.