Wee Bonny Butte


Reflect the architectural character of the mid-century modern residence in the landscape.
Provide privacy from the street for the front garden and the house.
Design a back yard garden that beckons equally at ground level as from the second story.


One of the greatest challenges was designing the back garden to be as interesting to the viewer from the second story public areas as it was walking through it. Using simple statements, large textured plants, and bold colors and contrast to hold the attention of a viewer so far away was the key. Custom art for the back garden was purposefully placed to catch both morning and evening light while not competing with the commanding view of the city.


Orthogonal gravel paths in both the front and back gardens define planting beds and the views while gesturing toward the rectilinear architecture of the 50’s. By choosing plant materials for texture and contrast rather than mainly for bloom, the garden has structure, color and interest during all four seasons. Plantings were grouped in drifts for higher impact and easier maintenance. The mantra was “plant in threes, fives, sevens and nines!” Plants with the similar water requirements were strategically grouped together so water can be reduced in selected zones and maintained in others.


The result is garden that provides privacy, uses water wisely and invites the visitor to linger.