We know the landscape architect and designer members of our Architect/Designer Directory are talented, but nothing drives the point home like a good before and after. Here are some amazing gardens they've conjured in San Francisco, New York, England, and Southern California:
San Francisco: Before
Above: A verdant but unloved lawn; the owners' children had grown and gone and no one used the space.
San Francisco: After
Above: San Francisco-based Growsgreen Landscape Design created a large outdoor room and garden with a new wood patio that sits at the same level as the threshold to the house, lending the feeling of a continuous room indoors and out. At the back of the garden is a heated seating area. Photograph by Caitlin Atkinson.
Above: An empty backyard in Park Slope, Brooklyn provided little utility and privacy.
Above: Kim Hoyt Architect made use of the plot's generous length and created separate seating and dining areas connected by bluestone paving. A new stucco garden wall provides privacy and a crisp backdrop for the perennial plantings and styrax trees.
Southern California: Before
Above: A couple in Redondo Beach, California turned their garage into a studio and demolished their driveway.
Southern California: After
Above: Grow Outdoor Design used chunks of the old concrete driveway to build a retaining wall for a garden filled with Mediterranean and California native plants. Their design includes raised vegetable beds, dwarf fruit trees, a blackberry bramble, and large trees to provide shade and wildlife habitat. Photograph by Katrina Coombs.
Kent, UK: Before
Above: A thriving but impractical garden in Kent, UK sports vines destructive to cottage walls and shrubs that block access to the cottage doors.
Kent, UK: After
Above: Marian Boswall Landscape Architects redesigned the courtyard using local Kent ragstone and Breedon gravel. She created an herb-filled dining area surrounded by 'Mariette' red tulips in spring.
Northern California: Before
Above: A cramped garden in Marin County, CA with a bay laurel tree (disliked as a carrier of the pathogen for Sudden Oak Death) and a giant agave (adored by the succulent-loving client).
Northern California: After
Above: SF Bay Area-based Pedersen Associates managed to keep the client's beloved agave while creating a "classic Northern California" outdoor room carved out of the hillside.
For another dramatic before and after, see Garden Visit: Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan on Shelter Island.