Simple, Elegant, and Relaxing: An Unfussy Garden Haven in Memphis

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Some exteriors are attractive without much obvious “fuss,” without a great deal of ostentatious frill. Such is this yard and garden area in Memphis, as executed by Page|Duke Landscape Architects. Enter the yard through an arched stone doorway, with a lantern to light your way, and you’ll instantly feel wrapped in cozy green. Terraced levels greet you on the lawn, leading from a back “porch” of stone planters and trimmed shrubbery. On the wall is a bronze floral plaque; off to one side is a graceful al fresco dining area tucked in amongst the trees. A green and white weathered wood ornamental “shutter” faces one window; a ground-level concrete planter is carved with fanciful beasts, from bulls to gargoyles, intertwined with foliage that looks almost like “wings.”

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One after another, you see tiny garden “rooms.” Pink tulips bring a burst of color; carefully arranged miniature bushes sit in trimmed splendor around a cobbled court. A wrought-iron gate in a red brick wall is lighted with yet more lanterns; over the wall next to it, a spill of climbers nearly touches the tops of tall lilies in a bed. A flagstone path leads you on a pleasant ramble back toward a sloping sweep of lawn…and a gleaming pool, ready for a few laps before you lounge in the sun. As you climb shallow steps, your hands are tickled by greens that seem to climb the rail with you. It’s a cooling oasis in the midst of a warm summer day — at once exuberant and serene, a match the best gardens always seem to achieve.

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