Behind the Private Gates, Design, In the Garden

Inspiring Garden Design: Geometric Juxtapositions

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The narrow rectangle that serves as a “front lawn” to this stately, handsome home in New Orleans gives you a hint that free-thinking, creative minds have been at work here.


As you enter from the street and circle the armillary (slowing your pace so you are primed to take in the statement view)…


…you are poised to look over a collection of varying-size balled boxwood.


And then, the unexpected design reveals itself — cobblestones laid in a diagonal-to-the-street patchwork are “interrupted” by three large flat-pruned boxwood squares.


The finer details of the juxtaposed round and square elements become even clearer as you walk the length of the porch to the front door.


On the significant property to the side of the home, a grass rectangle cleaves the two sides of the garden — a nod to the amount of entertaining that takes place here. This is, after all, the town of Mardi Gras!

On the right side, a pool with subtle fountain sprays…


…on the left an open stone seating area that backs up to a clipped, geometric boxwood series of parterres that recall the front design.



Closer to the house itself, set perpendicular to the street, are mixed plantings to include repeated round shapes, this time of azaleas.



While softer plantings dress up the stone patio off the garden room.



In the far back corner, a traditional example of New Orleans architecture serves as a gracious guest house.


The fitting conclusion to this thought-provoking afternoon was to learn that it was New York interior design maestro, Billy Baldwin, who had decorated the home in the mid-twentieth century. His signature look, so well represented in the vignette in the curve of the entry hall’s stairwell, was equally as exciting as the garden to this long time fan of his.


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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

6 thoughts on “Inspiring Garden Design: Geometric Juxtapositions

  1. Truly a garden that plays with the house, not to overshine or understate. It apears that evergreens are everwhere, to keep the garden looking at its best year round. Combining the trends of europe with the dutch wave, and the necessary formality of at stately mansion.
    Thanks for your many inspiring post

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