Easy-care, pet-friendly outdoor spaces build on a family’s remodeled home, and its spectacular views.
SHELLEY AND ERIC BRODERSEN hired garden designer Stacie Crooks near the tail end of their big home remodel. Still, it was early enough for Crooks to take full advantage of the indoor/outdoor potential of the home’s midcentury style.
The Brodersens’ Shoreline property was spectacular from the get-go. Even for the Innis Arden neighborhood, known for roomy properties and great views, the Brodersen half-acre is open and spacious. The 1950s home, which the couple has owned since 2004, was thoroughly remodeled, featuring a welcoming entryway, lots of glass and a ripe-for-the-landscaping courtyard.
But initially, the Brodersens just wanted to change the driveway, and remove some dense, dark trees. Once Crooks was involved, though, they decided to go ahead and have her relandscape the entire garden. “I wish we’d brought Stacie in even sooner,” says Shelley.
And no wonder. Crooks, who uses pretty much the same palette of hardworking foliage plants in every garden she designs, brought in small-scale trees, easy-care shrubs and perennials to create a leafy, colorful tapestry of plantings that carries the garden through the seasons.
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The busy Brodersen family includes two sons and two dogs, so the design needed to be practical and reasonably low-maintenance. The kids play basketball in the driveway, and the dogs … well, they don’t always stick to the paths. Because the property is open and sunny, Crooks played around with Mediterranean plants that thrive in the warm, bright conditions. And she kept in mind that the Brodersens recently had returned from living in France for a few years. “We were influenced by how, in France, nature and gardens are such an important part of home,” Shelley says.
Because the new driveway dips down below street level, screening the house and garden was important. “The front garden felt dark and boring before,” says Shelley.
Now a slatted screen defines the entry to the home, accented with bronze pots and sweeps of glossy, golden Japanese forest grass. Keeping neighborhood covenants about tree height…