Romantic, Modern Landscape Design: Seneca Avenue by Zeterre

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A delightful shaded entrance leads to courtyards, espaliered flowering vines, neat ornate lanterns lighting the way, and even a pool with three waterspouts, in this simply elegant landscape design from Zeterre Landscape Architecture. On Zeterre’s site, this treatment is grouped under its “traditional” portfolio for many wonderful reasons. First of all, while its design is clean-lined and uncluttered and has some undeniably modern touches, such as a beamed pergola, its connection is to a two-story home with a warm, welcoming, even old-fashioned style to it. Carved work on the clay planters around the pool might make you think you’ve stepped into an Italianate estate — and who doesn’t love wrought-iron balconies? But make no mistake: “traditional” in this case certainly doesn’t mean stodgy, predictable, or tired: modern touches are integral to this landscape space.

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Case in point? On first glance, you could easily miss the stainless steel grill and compact kitchen tucked into one corridor, but you’ll love the options they give you for entertaining. Unobtrusive wood fencing provides privacy in understated, minimalist style…while also affording ivy a place to climb. Yes, concrete paver stones are a stock element — but they provide a no-nonsense path all around and through the different outdoor “rooms,” just as you’d expect on a contemporary estate. And look carefully at that “fire pit” in the center of a ceramic-tiled square; it’s not “fire” but well-spaced lighting that provides the glow. Expected and unexpected at the same time — a neatly illustrative element of how this garden and courtyard design gives you modern convenience and style while in harmony with the traditional setting in which it’s realized.

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Written by Janet Butler

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).