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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