The enjoyment gardens bring is not limited to when their perennials are in full bloom. In fact, winter’s barren beauty is especially vibrant after a sheet of snow blankets the surroundings. In the case of this garden, thoughtful elements provide beauty from winter to spring, and from summer to fall. “Axial lines and structured borders create focal views and garden rooms year round,” explains Gavin Duke, principal partner at Page|Duke Landscape Architects. His firm handled the landscape architecture for the home you’re about to see, and Gavin helps explain the process: “Much consideration is given to how the space will look in different seasons. You live in your house year-round and want to have seasonal interest throughout the year.”
Evergreen structure and the varying textures of those evergreens are key elements in this garden. That evergreen backdrop and foreground perennial and woody flowering plants are structural elements that define the space, no matter the season. Hydrangeas and azaleas were perennials chosen because, according to Gavin, you can never go wrong with these. “The element of seasonal change is a major attribute to living in the South,” he reminds us.
There is a smooth transition from the home’s architecture and landscape. “The beauty of the home is that from every room, you have two sight lines to the garden,” says Jamie Pfeffer, whose firm, Pfeffer Torode Architecture, designed several additions that were added to the original Edwin Keeble-designed house. “He was a prominent early Nashville architect who has done a number of homes in Nashville and the L&C Tower downtown, among other things,” Jamie tells us. “The key was maintaining that original piece, and we added the garage, screened-in porch and pool house, which are all secondary to the Keeble architecture.”
One architectural feature that seems to change with the seasons is the pool house. “It is something that is made to catch your eye,” Jamie says of the structure. “In the summer, colors pop around the lighter stone palette. When you get into the winter landscape, the crisp colors of winter make it a striking structure. This goes back to the basic design of an eye-catching folly structure in the garden.”
Come spring, snow-capped views are long forgotten, and vibrant hues take their place. Spring blooms signal the arrival of a new season of growth. “Witch hazel is in bloom now,” Gavin tells us. “Then, daffodils, crocus and redbuds/dogwoods.” The minimalism of winter’s landscape is replaced with color and texture from new growth in the garden. And although spring’s official arrival is not until March 20, Southern gardens tend to see life well before that.
While it’s likely we have seen the last snow of the season, these photos will remind you of wonderful wintery days that have come and gone and entice you with the spring days ahead.
“The moon gate is a special feature that was fun to collaborate with the owner in creating. Also, using the gravel as a decorative mulch added a new twist to a Southern garden,” Gavin says of his favorite features in the design.
Gardens are art come to life, no matter the season!
Thank you to Reed Brown for the photos of the garden in two seasons.
From exterior to interior, Southern homes hold a certain beauty we can’t help but love. Take a look at a few of our favorites here.