Outdoor Rooms Made Easy: Sorrel Project by HESS Landscape Architects

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When is a “room” of your house not closed in by four walls? When it’s a space outside — patio, deck, or garden — that serves the same function. Such is the case in this Sorrel property by HESS Landscape Architects. From the home’s front entrance, to the terrace, pool, and spa, landscaping extends living space from indoors to outdoors seamlessly. A graceful curved driveway has stone pillars accented by native grasses and a manicured green lawn. This stone continues to the back yard, where it serves as retaining walls for raised beds and arbors of trees, shrubbery, flowers, and even forms a witty sculpture — a parrot with a hollow “eye,” poking its beak up to greet visitors at one end of the garden.

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As you step out onto the terrace at the back of this home, you see the clear demarcations: a spa here, bordered in stone; an infinity pool there, with an edge that seems to drop clear off into the flora beyond. More native grasses lighten the look; the expanse of green, edged in unobtrusive fencing at the back of the property, slopes gently to a grove of woods that include maples, tinged with color in the fall sunlight, and established pines that will give the property privacy and seclusion even in winter. No matter what the season, skilled landscaping can give you extra “rooms” of this kind — lush and green to enjoy in summertime, for moonlight swims and parties on the deck, or as front-row seats to observe the subtle change of seasons, one to another, in all of nature’s glory.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).