Winning Transformation: Godfrey Garden, Huettl Landscape Architecture

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This award-winning Lafayette, California landscape, with its lavish plantings of pink, lavender, and blue, is the Godfrey residence garden spot redone by Huettl Landscape Architecture. Beginning the project, the problems were numerous: thick juniper growth, old fencing, and a misplaced fir tree closed off the space too much, while the decking and concrete were in need of refurbishment. Once the space was opened, a new deck could be installed, setting up a nice space for dining and entertaining in view of the rolling hillsides surrounding the home. Now, the shade comes from trees set in convenient spots next to the house; a terraced effect, secured with retaining walls and bridged with a course of broad, leisurely winding steps, allow for the owners to enjoy the garden literally on more than one level.

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From the new deck, the owners now have a clear view of colorful native and Mediterranean grasses — among them Japanese bloodgrass, sedge, feathergrass, fescues, and fountain grass — as well as perennials such as lupines and heathers that dot the hillside and cascade next to the steps. Cuttings for indoor use are easy to get now, wending down a path with convenient solar lights at the edge and the colorful new stone patio at the bottom that blends new decking, stone-edged beds, and hills into one stunning whole. The success of this layout — on ground that can be called “challenging” at best — was such a transformational difference that, in the Sunset Magazine Western Garden Design competition, this garden won a 2002/2003 “Award of Excellence.”

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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).