File this under Seemingly Antithetical but True: The tinier the outdoor space, the more verdant it should be. “We find that minimalist garden strategies work well on large, vast spaces, while smaller gardens are more conducive to wild, exuberant approaches,” says David Godshall of LA- and San Francisco-based landscape architecture firm Terremoto. “Therefore, in this small space, we got wild.”
The garden in question belongs to architect Fredrik Nilsson of Studio Nilsson, a neighbor and friend of David’s, and was, when the pair began, “mostly just dust,” David remembers. Construction had just wrapped on the compact, architecturally forward LA house Fredrik designed for his young family, and the remaining space on the lot was tight—some of it set at an incline. Still, the family “wanted to make the most of it. They have a young daughter and wanted to spend family time together outside as well,” David says.
Creating the feeling of an oasis, even in a busy urban environment, was key. “Through conversation and walking onsite together, we realized we want to create privacy from the street, and thus we planted jasmine to intertwine with the steel fence and make the garden smell wonderful,” says David. A mix of native California flora, low-water plantings, places to lounge, and artfully hardscaped paths complete the pocket-sized escape.
Join us for a look at this garden that’s every bit as lush as it is compact.
Photography by Caitlin Atkinson, courtesy of Terremoto.
More by Terremoto:
- Garden Visit: ‘Nuance and Unplanned Fun’ in a Landscape Architect’s Echo Park Garden
- The Four-Season Garden: An Enchanting Indoor/Outdoor Landscape in Sonoma County by Terremoto
- Before & After: From Desert to Redwood Forest, the Essence of California in One LA Garden
- Before & After: A Landscape Where ‘Horticultural Worlds Collide’ at Scribe Winery