Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Sandy Garden


This brand new West Palm Beach house, currently a Red Cross Designers' Showcase, features a garden by the celebrated tropical garden designer, Mario Nievera. I've seen a lot of grasses used in gardens in recent years as it's become quite the rage for properties by or near the sea, but this one includes an element you don't always find with this planting style.

And I'm not talking about the palm trees used so effectively here in a Caribbean scheme, as if they'd spontaneously appeared in the inner yard of this plantation house.

 The interesting element here, to me, is sand.

It took courage to lay out this garden in sand where most often you'd find a pristine green lawn instead. After all, this house isn't on the beach, it's on a road where cars pass and park. My compliments to the talented Mr. Nievera for this intelligent small garden that is water-wise in its creative use of indigenous planting material.

You can appreciate Mario's work in depth through the evocative photographs in this newly published book that features, for the most part, his masterful work here in South Florida.


David Cristiani said...

Nice sense of place design - I especially appreciate the use of sand, and in a protected area, it seems like it will work. Sounds like a great designer's work to look at.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Paul:
Our immediate instincts tell us not to like this garden. But, in fact, the truth is far from that for we find what you show here to be truly inspirational and to fit so well with the Colonial style house. It does give the whole, house and garden, a great feeling of being by the sea.

We imagine too that the sand is relatively easy to maintain although wonder what it is like after heavy rain.

Laurent said...

I like how the feeling of indigenous habitation could have allowed either covering material for "the lawn," not to question the sense of courage which probably does apply at this remove from the strand. It's an exceedingly handsome effect and as welcoming to bare feet at a party as the most seamless swath of green. It's a valid sensual choice, as one of elegant sensibility; very glad to have felt this suggestion.

The Down East Dilettante said...

It's really good, isn't it? Something fresher, more vernacular than the usual WPB formula of spray-on stucco and roll-out lawn

columnist said...

If you hadn't said otherwise, I would have imagined this house to be on Mustique or St Barts. What intrigues me is the sand on the outside of the white wall, which presumably goes to the street, or have I got that back to front?

La Dolfina said...

I love it!!!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend in paradise!

Tara Dillard said...

It was common, a century ago, in the deep South to have homes with swept sand 'yards' around the house.

Brought to us by Africans.

Many of the traveling photographers of the era record this, by accident.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Miguel Carson said...

Great designing, it does require some extra extra skills and knowledge when it comes to creating a garden, i had to hire a professional company as i am not good at this.