A Secluded Haven

This is not your garden building standards variety garden.

Towering palms. A splashing fountain. Flowing greenery along a curving colonnade. These are just some of the highlights of the formal garden designed by Scott Redmond, the landscape architect for The New American Home 2011. His creative vision was three-fold. In sun-drenched Orlando, a garden is a year-round pleasure, meant to provide both a relaxing outdoor space and a spectacular window view. In addition, on the smaller lots of an urban infill home, the garden is also a way to create an inviting private haven in a busy neighborhood.

From the beginning, Redmond was captivated by the possibilities of The New American Home. “We got involved because I saw the plans and I was intrigued by possibility,” he confides. “The basic structure for the landscape was cut out by the architect in the house plans. The geometry and rhythm of the architecture suggested strong spaces and very different spaces,” he says.

The classic design of the formal garden breaks a property into a variety of “rooms”, each with its own very different style. The New American Home’s outdoor blueprint includes a palm court, a secret garden, a pool and outdoor entertaining area.

The palm court is the largest garden room. The broad, green lawn is lined with palm trees, concluding in a 12-foot wall and fountain as focal point. The fountain wall provides the luxury of privacy while the open lawn and palms create a feeling of expansiveness. Designed on the center and crossaxis sight-lines of the house, the garden forms striking vistas from the Great Room, Family Room and the Master Sleeping Room.

Visitors make their way into the secret garden by way of a curving path through tall, lush landscaping. Tucked in a corner of the property, the area is a step down in elevation, providing even more solitude. The space embraces the guest with the gently arched wall and colonnade, surrounded by greenery. From above, the space becomes a verdant tableau when viewed from the Family Room.

Connecting the two spaces is a bar and dining area, perfect for entertaining or quiet family time. In addition to the glorious setting, the area includes all the food-preparation must-haves, including a grill, icemaker, refrigerator and pizza oven.

And what’s a home in Florida without a swimming pool? Once again taking on the powerful geometry of the house, the pool area becomes an extension of the Master Bedroom. The effect is yet another breath-taking indoor view and inviting outdoor room.

What’s designer Redmond’s favorite aspect of his green space? “The strong definition and connection between the spaces, very different rooms in such close proximity,” he responds. “It makes the space very striking.”

It’s certain that the homeowners will consider it their own private garden of Eden.

This article originally appeared in Volume 11, Issue 1 (January 2011) of Portfolio Magazine.
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