Most gardens have a shed or structure tucked away at the back or side used for storing all those tools, mowers, implements and anything else that we need, but don't necessarily want to see! The family who owns this garden in San Francisco decided on a low-maintenance garden re-design (fewer tools needed!) which made it easier to convert their shed into an artist's studio instead.
The city-garden is on the small side, but the garden designers - Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture have maximised the available space, using clever techniques to trick the eye - for example the paved bluestone terrace is designed in a wedge shape which widens the space as it goes out from the house.
The garden borders a wooded urban park and references it's surroundings with the natural lush foliage (Japanese Maples are used to great effect, creating an elegant leafy canopy over the deck near the house) and the garden also uses a mainly white flowering theme in keeping with the elegantly simple but layered design.
The artist's studio resembles a living-green cube, which was achieved not through the contemporary vertical garden route, but by planting an English Ivy variety (not as invasive as some). In order to make it easier to keep in check, the studio was clad with a thick wire frame upon which the ivy is trained away from the actual building's walls. "It's basically a rigid framework, and you can get behind it to trim off any tendrils that escape," says Lewis in a recent interview with Gardenista - "It's in some respects an easier and much less maintenance-intensive solution than a green wall, because you just have to trim the ivy a couple of times a year".
The image above shows the before the house and garden renovation, and then results below! The new modern steel windows and doors make a big impact in updating the property, and the garden needed to link this updated aesthetic with the natural wooded surroundings.
The project won an American Society of Landscape Architects national Honor Award in 2010.