5 Modern Fire Ideas for outdoor living areas … think outside the circle.
Tue, Dec 3 2013 10:13 | Outdoor Living
|Photo by Terraflamehome.com|
Gel fuel powers the torches and the vertical flame pictured below. Both are instant fire that can be extinguished just as quickly and simply.
|Photo by Venturi Flame|
Linear burners, especially those with electronic ignition, are also easy to use. The fuel source doesn’t need replacing as often because most are fueled by hidden propane tanks. There’s also the option to connect to your gas line.
I love the simple, clean lines of the granite & stucco fire table pictured below. I would place comfy outdoor sofas around this for a very relaxing outdoor living area. The patio below it could be stained concrete or bluestone possibly edged with Japanese garden pebbles to echo the sleek luster of the granite on the table.
|Uptown gas fire pit table|
The reflecting fire wall below would certainly be the focal point of the landscape where it’s used. The bench shown, though beautiful and artistic, would not be very comfortable or practical in a residential back yard. I would suggest different furniture unless the theme is Minimalist or Zen.
All of these products make sense for the way we live today. Upgrade your home. Enjoy your outdoor space. I can design one of these ideas into your back yard. Construction is available also.
The fifth idea I’d like to share is of a wrap around linear fire. Give me an circa 1950’s/60’s brick planter around a carport or patio and I’ll transform that space into something interesting, exciting and usable.
Danna Cain, ASLA
Home & Garden Design, Inc., Atlanta
New walkway and interesting plants transform curb appeal at this John’s Creek home
Tue, Dec 3 2013 05:13 | Curb Appeal
Soft textured plants and meandering walkway create a welcoming entranceThere are many things to consider when designing a new entrance walkway. Orienting guests, slope of the land, ease of use and architectural style are all very important. The most special entrances, however, are the ones that create an ambiance that reflects the owner's personality thus truly welcomes guests to the home. Given the style of the house, the walk could have been very linear and formal however we chose a more informal design. The owner wanted a much softer and more welcoming look that would incorporate low maintenance Southern color and texture. Tops on her list were old fashioned favorites such as forsythia, gardenia and daylilies.
On my first visit to this home, I was shocked to see that the builder had provided only a stepping stone path to the front door. It was difficult to walk on and completely too small as the approach to this huge front porch. The landing that made the transition between the path and porch was settling and of mismatched materials. This all needed to be replaced.
After much deliberation, I decided to keep the old clipped ilex bushes because the house really needed the massiveness of these shrubs. Reclamation pruning has begun on these to equalize the heights, remove dead limbs and encourage healthy, interior foliage.
To soften the look, we added 8’ tall forsythias on the corners of the house behind the old shrubs. More softening was achieved by adding daylilies and perennials in front of the old shrubs. We also introduced evergreen Indian Hawthorne ‘Eleanor Tabor’ and Crown Jewel dwarf gardenias with the intent that these shrubs would grow together forming soft masses.
On the left side, we started reclamation pruning on the large sasanquas. We reshaped the one by the chimney, deciding to keep it shrub-form as a backdrop for all the perennials in the butterfly garden. The other sasanqua by the garage was limbed up into tree form.
Danna Cain, ASLA
Home & Garden Design, Inc., Atlanta
See our portfolio
Transform your holly bushes
Sun, Sep 1 2013 08:11 | Curb Appeal, Herb Gardens, Italian Garden, Organic Edible Gardens, Perennial Gardens, Pots Containers, Pruning, Small Front Yards
|These holly trees have been "limbed up" into tree form|
plus new, more interesting plants added around
for color, texture and an Italian flair
Morphing a holly hedge into an award winning statementHere's an idea you can use! When faced with a huge, boring hedge, consider "limbing it up" to morph it into a row of trees. That was our solution when the City of Atlanta arborist would not allow us to remove these Virginia Highland hollies. The raised canopy gave us space and sun to plant the herb and perennial garden that the client desired. This idea won the 2013 Atlanta Home Improvement, Best Before/After Makeover contest in the landscape division.
The hedge was so fat and robust that it was difficult for the owner to keep up with pruning it off of the unique, yet small driveway. The first goal was to give the client more space.
The photo below was taken immediately after pruning the hollies. Yes, that entire hedge was from only 2 plants! Notice how we selected only a few of the best main trunks on each plant. We then shaped and cleaned out the canopy. Strategic limbs were cut back severely so that they would “bush up” to fill in and grow into a more compact form. Drastic reclamation pruning, such as this, should be done in February while the plant is dormant. This timing, just before the flush of new Spring growth, assures that the plant will not be barren for long.
The next photo shows the holly trees "limbed up" into tree form plus the new, more interesting plantings surrounding the hollies. This client wanted color, texture, herbs and an Italian flair. Notice how we incorporated the Italian cypress that he really wanted for texture. He did not mind seeing the neighbor's house. In fact, he welcomed the more spacious view that this idea presented.
Between the hollies, we placed a large Italian Terra Cotta urn as a focal point. This provides color rear round, especially in the winter when the surrounding perennials are dormant.
The sunniest place in the yard was at the corner, so this is where we placed the main herb garden. See how the pruning of the hollies, addition of the Italian cypress and the herbs plus perennials have transformed the curb appeal of this Midtown home.
|After photo shows how this idea provides better|
curb appeal plus space for the herb garden
at the sunny curb
Read more about this project:
Portfolio photo #1 curb appeal
Portfolio photo #2 perennial gardens
Good Housekeeping features our organic vegetable garden
"Creating an Outdoor Oasis" article about HGD
Good Housekeeping's official website has selected one of our projects to feature in an article about "Creating an Outdoor Oasis". Here, you'll see an interesting oasis in a front yard landscape that just so happens to be a beautiful organic vegetable and herb garden. We're excited to be picked up by this well respected national magazine.
More about this project ...
In Good Housekeeping
In UAC journal
Atlanta Home Improvement magazine chooses Hoover project as Best Before/After
Mon, Jul 1 2013 09:46 | Awards Recognitions, Curb Appeal, Italian Garden, Perennial Gardens, Recent News, Small Front Yards
HGD wins 1st Place Landscape in Before/After Contest
This contest was sponsored by Atlanta Home Improvement magazine. They asked local professionals to submit before and after photos of renovation projects in categories ranging from interior design to landscape. We won 1st Place in the landscape category for Hoover's front yard makeover in the Virginia Highlands area. We were not only given a lovely plaque .... we were featured on this beautiful 2 page spread in the April 2013 issue of the magazine!
See more about this project!
Atlanta InTown features HGD's Buckhead play garden
Mon, Apr 15 2013 10:29 | Awards Recognitions, Children's Play Gardens, Outdoor Living, Perennial Gardens, Recent News, Trends Ideas
Before & After section features the Starr project
This kid friendly back yard design for a Buckhead home was featured in the April 2013 issue of Atlanta Intown. This client wanted an attractive play area that could easily be converted to more garden space when the kid grew older.
Here we leveled the yard and used granite cobble stone edging that complimented the architecture of the house. The large round sandpit will one day become a fountain just off of the rear patio with fireplace. The area where the custom play set sits will be an extension of the shade garden that features hostas and ferns.
On the cover of the AJC Homefinder!
Thu, Apr 4 2013 10:35 | Awards Recognitions, Children's Play Gardens, Organic Edible Gardens, Outdoor Living, Recent News, Trends Ideas