The Great Escape
Landscape design that creates a private getaway.
Your vacation home is your private retreat. Maintain its sense of calm with a few tricks of the landscape design trade to enhance the experience and help maintain your privacy and security—even after you leave.
1) Successful design schemes all share a sense of place, offers Russ Cletta, of Russ Cletta Design Studio in Venice, Calif. “Relating the landscape to your surroundings supports the idea of being away—of being somewhere special. It also keeps your property from calling unwanted attention to itself. Anonymity is a great hedge.”
2) Ah yes, the hedge. The literal one. Generous greenery framing your property’s footprint is an elegant and friendly fence, especially with the use of evergreen varieties that keep their leaves year-round. Whether you prefer a strict form or a more free-form organic style, Cletta suggests choosing slow-growing plants that don’t require constant trimming to look good.
3) Hedge your privacy bets by layering the greenery with a wall for maximum protection. According to Cletta, whose many celebrity clients demand reliable protection, “Wall height is limited and hedges can get thin, so combining the two helps create layers of privacy. You also achieve nice depth by not relying on just one thing.”
4) Depending on the site, the view from above may also need to be considered. Create an outdoor sanctuary with the use of trees, screens and pergolas. Strategically placed overhead scrims or tension shade sails make for immediate privacy without blocking out light or views. Plus, they immediately add a sculptural element to the right landscape.
5) Most importantly, Cletta advises homeowners to keep it simple. “Upkeep means managing people when you’re trying to relax.” Plus, it means a constant flow of people while you’re away to keep things in check. While there’s no such thing as a maintenance-free garden, lower-maintenance options support vacation home pursuit No. 1—perfecting the art of relaxation.
Image Source: Russ Cletta Design Studio
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