Inspiring Gardens


Sometimes I just want to be inspired by what I see…and not be distracted by someone blathering on about some deep thought or story.  So in an attempt to not distract you, I’ll simply include a number of images of gardens that have inspired me. But because I can’t help myself, I will give you  just a few thoughts on each.


Living Outside

Inspiring Gardens...Lila Frendrick - Redeem Your Ground |

(Lila Fendrick | Landscape Architect, Wiedemann Architects, photos by Hoachlander)

    • Clearly an instance of where the architect and landscape architect worked closely to incorporate the interior and exterior living spaces.
    • The blue stone pavers tie the spaces together and lead the eye from one space to the other.
    • The simple palette of plants serves to complement the exterior spaces vs. compete with them.

Pleasant Path

Inspiring Gardens...Windsor Companies - Redeem Your Ground |

(Windsor Companies, Lake Minnetonka Project)

    • Sweeps of pachysandra flanking the flagstone path casually direct your way.
    • Pops of red in the containers on the patio and the large sweeps of white hydrangea in the background give you specific focal points, without being distracted by too many other colors or structures.
    • Again, the simple choices of plant material, texture and color create a pleasant, grounded space.

 Classic Carriage House

Inspiring Gardens...Traditional Home - Redeem Your Ground |

(Traditional Home Magazine; photos by Emily Jenkins Followill)

    • The landscape complements the architecture of the carriage house by allowing its details to be highlighted.
    • The large scaled boxwoods appropriately ground the space.
    • The arbor above the garage and climbing rose add a sense of history and bit of whimsy.
    • The window boxes on the second floor allow for a bit of color and additional interest without being overstated.

A Space to Stay for Awhile

Inspiring Gardens...Howard Design Studio - Redeem Your Ground |

(Howard Design Studio | Landscape Architecture, Atlanta)

    • Although the scale of this space is way beyond what most of us have at home, the clean lines, symmetry, and simple palette of plants and colors are all things we could apply no matter the size of space.
    • The variation in green and textures provides enough interest and depth, without being overwhelming.
    • The bench is somewhere I’d want to go and a space I’d want to stay.

A Blooming Pathway

Inspiring Gardens...Veranda - Redeem Your Ground |

(Veranda Magazine, article by Frances Schultz)

    • An allee of hydrangea and boxwood makes for a profound outdoor space between buildings that is often ignored.
    • The boxwoods provide structure – framing the hydrangea while clearly delineating where you’re going.
    • Although the hydrangea are busting with blooms, the few colors and plant selections keep the space peaceful and harmonious.

A Patio in Black & White

Inspiring Gardens...Purple Area Blog - Redeem Your Ground |

(Purple Area Blog,

  • What could have been an awkward or perhaps forgotten spot has been turned into a cozy gathering place.
  • Finished in black, the man-made objects tend to fade into the background…allowing the greens of the boxwoods and other plant material are to be more naturally displayed…while the whites of the pillows and the few accessories give a nice pop.
  • The gray pea gravel provides both a classic and edgy touch…complementing the rest of the décor.

sidebar-vineClearly, after looking at these  gardens you see that there’s a certain style and palette that speaks to me.  What inspired you about any of these gardens? What else speaks to you? Feel free to send me links to some gardens that have inspired you…I’d love to include them in a future post.

I look forward to hearing…no, seeing.

Take care,
Doug initial

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  1. Helen Barco on June 7, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I can’t wait to show the ways these pictures have inspired me. Now I just have to pass on the inspiration to hubby and get things done! He is having trouble keeping up with my inspirations, but I keep coming up with new ideas with your help!

    • Doug Scott on June 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Too funny Helen! And that dynamic sound a bit too familiar! Good luck and I look forward to hearing and seeing how you’ve been inspired. Take care, D.

  2. Deborah Larkin on September 10, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Doug,
    I recently was given your Business card by Helen Barco. I am a friend of hers from Florida. I recently bought a victorian Beach house in Destin Fl. I am very interested in putting a Florida Dogwood in my backyard where something was was but died. Will it do well in the climate of Destin? You have a diagram of a kidney shaped backyard that looks like mine.If it will you can add another person who has been inspired by you. Have a blessed day.

    • Doug Scott on September 11, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Deborah: Thanks so much for your comments…and I’ve so glad to hear that our blog has inspired you. I too love Florida Dogwoods…we have several in our yard and it’s often one that I recommend as an understory tree in my designs. Not having lived in the coastal region of Florida’s panhandle I don’t have personal experience with growing them there, but it’s my understanding that they will. I’ve also read that the pink varieties don’t do as well as the white varieties that far south…i.e., they don’t bloom as much. So if you don’t have a strong preference for the pink, I wouldn’t risk it and go with the white. All that said, the more important thing is to make sure you plant it in a space that is appropriate for dogwoods…which is where they don’t get direct sunlight…they prefer dappled sunlight. The Kousa dogwood does a lot better in direct sunlight…however, although their flowers look very similar, the timing of their blooming, and their habit looks very different (the K. dogwood looks more like your typical tree w a denser canopy…vs. the gangly, airy look of the dogwood…which btw, is my preference). I hope this is helpful and please let me know what you end up doing. Take care, D.

  3. DJ Donnelly on May 15, 2023 at 7:37 pm

    Such inspirational photos – thanks for sharing!
    I keep coming back to the Pleasant Pathway and I’m envisioning a flagstone walkway in my backyard where there is quite a bit of shade. I am curious what was planted between the flagstones to help soften the look?
    Thanks again!

    • Doug Scott on May 17, 2023 at 12:48 pm

      Hey DJ, thanks for reaching out. That simply looks like fescue that they’ve seeded between the stones to create “green joints.” You could also use moss … or depending on how shade/sun, you could also use creeping jenny or ajuga. Thanks again for reaching out and take care, D.

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