A Surprising Modern Garden Spot by Zeterre Landscape Architecture

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The upscale landscape architect Zeterre gives us this lawn-in-miniature — lots of modern chic in a small space. The path approaching the garden gate is broad, lined with lush lawn and rows of trees — and deer statuary that are so lifelike you almost expect them to graze. Once you’ve entered the garden, it’s an eclectic mix: over here, an ipe and cement bench with greenery on it that looks very like a giant friendly caterpillar — behind you, rich blue shrubbery interspersed with long “spires” of polished metal. Even in ultra-modern simplicity, color plays a key role: red ground cover and spiky green shoots balance out the rounded blues. Look further and you see a bank of tropical plants — and an Oriental-inspired gate beckoning you to a small stone patio and seating area.

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Behind the garden walls is a surprise: a pool, gleaming azure in the evening light, against a background of delicate bamboo and wooden fencing. Lounge chairs here are a neat salmon-orange, playing off the neutral wood fence and the blue/green/red beds around them with panache. What appears to be an ordinary round table holds two more surprises: a contemporary sculpture of spheres and branches in a stylized “flower” centerpiece — and what happens to that centerpiece at night, when it is lighted by the fire pit all around it? Up-lit foliage adds a soothing ambience to the area, making it a perfect spot to gather for a little stargazing — or a moonlight swim. It’s called “compact” modernism, and it successfully makes the most of space with both multi-function furnishings and skilled use of plant color.

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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).