Don’t you wish occasionally that you could just plant something and walk away? Never have to prune, water, feed, deadhead, divide, or replace when it turns up its toes? Then maybe I have an idea for you. What if I told you you could just about have it all? Year-long color and zero maintenance. Never have to reach for your snips because your garden addition would always be exactly what you put in the ground. I’d like to show you some ideas for additions to your garden that will last and last.
Whoo Pig Sooie! Go Hogs! I am so excited the college football season has started. It always brings such energy to things here in Northwest Arkansas and also signals the pending arrival of autumn…my second favorite season. Although it rained for a good part of game day this past Saturday, the weather eventually cleared, and it has been absolutely gorgeous since. The garden is enjoying the good soaking and cooler temperatures for sure! As I said last month, I like to design a fountain, pool or water feature into a garden whenever possible. As the source of life, water is inherently appealing, and its refreshing, soothing qualities can help transform any outdoor space. We have been working on several projects recently where we were able to introduce water elements, including several fountains and one swimming pool, so I thought I would share them with you. Perhaps it will inspire you to add the element of water to your own exterior spaces! You have seen it before, but this is the fountain in my own garden. It is a custom-made vessel I commissioned from a local concrete artist. Its severe, geometric design is an unexpected and modern contrast to the garden itself which is mostly traditional. It occupies a location that is the intersection of two strong lines of sight and so can be seen (and heard) from almost anywhere in the garden.
This is another vessel fountain we recently installed as part of a courtyard makeover in Little Rock. It consists of a large clay jar that overflows into a precast concrete basin and serves as the primary focal point of the space. Flanked by oversize planters and traditional boxwood, it makes a large and powerful statement in this small outdoor room.
This fountain in Fayetteville is a traditional stone basin with a central water jet. It is nestled in a small, intimate and secluded part of the garden, and nearby benches provide the perfect place to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the water. Thyme and moss around the base of the pool, along with water iris, help give this fountain a sense of age and a casual feel.
Here is another vessel fountain we recently installed in a new front garden in Dallas, Texas. The motion of the water is very subtle, but it is just the dynamic touch this small garden needed and really brings the space to life. The charcoal glaze on the jar mimics the house trim color which, again, keeps the statement this fountain makes somewhat subtle.
At the same house, we designed a simple, elegant and refreshing swimming pool for the rear courtyard. The new stucco wall and lattice fencing will soon be covered with fragrant jasmine and creeping fig vines, giving the entire space a soft, lush feel. Brightly colored planters and accents make the pool area fun and inviting.
Well, I hope that was refreshing! Consider using water to bring new life to your own garden or outdoor living space. Fall is the perfect time to design and plan a water feature, so you can be enjoying it by next spring! Have a wonderful September and come back next month, when I will share photos from my recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Believe me: they know how to Live Outside the Box, and I am simply enamored of the whole place!
Exterior designer Daniel Keeley is an Arkansas native and founder/principal of DK Design. His work has won numerous awards and accolades and is featured regularly in various publications. For more information visit dkdesignoutdoor.com.