The Private Oasis

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Product: The Private Oasis
Retailer: Amazon
Designer: Philip Langdon

The Private Oasis: The Landscape Architecture of Edmund Hollander Design [Hardcover] Philip Langdon (Author)

Whether a home is a great place to live often depends on what lies beyond its walls. The landscape – when it has a well-thought-out shape and character – gives a home much of its character and satisfaction. In The Private Oasis, two of New York’s leading landscape architects, Edmund Hollander and Maryanne Connelly, guide readers through a series of remarkable landscapes and gardens, explaining how to apply their techniques, no matter what the size of the reader’s property.

Since founding Edmund D. Hollander Landscape Architect Design in 1990, Hollander and Connelly and the more than a dozen landscape architects on their staff have designed hundreds of residential landscapes, from the palatial to the somewhat more modest. Every landscape, they believe, has a story to tell. The aim of the landscape architect, when working with the homeowners, the site, and the architecture of the house, is to decide what that story is, and see that it is told well.

You can’t plant whatever you want, wherever you want it. You can’t rearrange the earth arbitrarily. You have to respond to the makeup of the land and its water flows, its vegetation, wildlife and other features using that knowledge to fashion a living landscape. That was a key precept Hollander and Connelly learned from the pioneer of ecological planning, Ian McHarg, and it undergirds all their thinking. Hollander and Connelly marry factors from nature to an understanding of human ecology. Says Connelly: “The solution is always driven by who will be using the landscape and how they will be using it.”

The Private Oasis focuses on built elements in the landscape including the entry, seating and gathering places, outdoor dining, swimming pools and water features and tennis courts. It is lavishly illustrated with over 1000 color photographs. A successor volume will focus on plantings. Together, the two volumes will give readers a comprehensive orientation to the making of residential landscapes.

Philip Langdon is a writer and editor on architecture, urban design and planning. Based in New Haven, Connecticut, he has authored several books, including American Houses and A Better Place to Live: Reshaping the American Suburb.