Somewhere in between the manicured perfection of a cactus rock garden and tranquil appeal of a Japanese Zen garden is a garden out there for the modernista, far, far away from the traditional combination of geraniums and wrought-iron garden benches.
Photo credit above: VKG Terrace Collection from Design Within Reach
An exciting trend in gardening and landscape design is the selection of plants that are colorful, structural and unique but are hardy enough and require minimal watering. They look great integrated together in a landscape, planted together in mass or groups or in pots and planters. Tilandsias (below), or 'air plants' are bromeliads that do not need soil to grow. They are hardy and have an otherwordly, architectural look. Other great examples are the yucca plant (below, center) and the agave plant (below, bottom).
Planters raised at varying heights make plant groupings look more dynamic and interesting.
Above: Bullet planter medium, $140, www.dwr.com, Left: Quadrant plant stand, $199, www.crateandbarrel.com, Below: Sun Yellow Egg Planter, $95, www.jschatz.com
Keep color palette to a minimum, even in seating. Black and white are great options. Look for unique yet streamlined forms. Modern forms are very light, and use very little material. This set looks like a topiary form.
Above: Emu Ivy Collection by Paula Navone for Coalesse, starts at $425, www.coalesse.com
Seating that double-duties as side table and sculptural accent.
Left: Frank Gehry Left Twist Cube, $250, www.dwr.com
Think out of the box when it comes to lighting. Solar and LED are the obvious choices. These lighting are geometric, functional and understatedly ornamental.
Right: Freestanding LED orbs, $140-$169, www.frontgate.com, Below: Solar LED yardlight, $20, www.target.com
Invite the wildlife. Feeders attract fluttering, feathery creatures into your space.Top to bottom: Left: Egg Bird Feeder, $135, www.jschatz.com, Top-feeding Mobile See-saw Birdfeeder, $195, www.jschatz.com, Peanut Birdfeeder, $98, www.dwr.com
Nix the kitschy (tiki torch) and take accessories out of the ordinary.
Top to bottom: Lighthouse Outdoor Torch, $90-$230, Nikko Fountain, $25, www.zgallerie.com , Chameleon Solar Light Stick, $29, www.target.com