Today’s gardeners aim not only to create decorative outside spaces, but to also give something back.
by Gestalten and Abbye Churchill demonstrates that no matter what size your garden is, you can create diverse and rich environments for plants, insects, vegetables and fruit. “Everything — from the food we eat to many of the clothes we wear — all started from plants,” notes author Abbye Churchill. Learn how to grow food in the city, get creative with native plants and design greener corners within urban areas. Gardens Of Eden: New Residential Garden Concepts & Architecture for a Greener Planet The Gardens of Eden looks at examples from around the world.
Scroll down for a taste of this lush love letter to nature!
“We wanted to highlight gardens that support a sustainable eco-system. Whether through native plantings, optimized irrigation systems, plants that support native wildlife, or those that help maintain soil health, we’ve featured garden designs that support the urgent and imperative mission of sustainability,” writes Abbye of this book.
Step into innovative little gardens on small terraces, city rooftops, as well as the suburbs and countryside!
In Brooklyn, a minimalist, contemporary approach to parterre gardening — with gridded beds and an open pathway — leaves room for growth, change and the wild. A mix of grasses and spherical topiary boxwood creates a high-contrast, sculptural feel for the garden. The use of boxwood in the garden lends itself to sculptural expression; almost any shape can be created over time and with pruning.
Photographer: Ian Allen
Designer: Susan Welti of Foras Studio
Artistic floral designer Sean Cook and his partner Matthew Bright have created a monochrome garden oasis full of texture and life in the heart of Sydney. They wanted to create an urban oasis in their backyard — a contrast to the hustle and bustle of the urban metropolis. A collection of planters from around the world house their robust collection of plants.
Photographer: Daniel Shipp
Designer: Richard Unsworth of Garden Life
Animated elephant ear, philodendron, frangipani, and ginger sprout up from concrete pathways in this garden in São Paulo, Brazil. The designers Ornaghi and Vasone use plants to soften the boundaries between architecture and the natural world. “We come from a tropical and naturalistic landscaping line concerned with positively impacting with the environment. We want to create a landscape inspired by the natural formations and socio-environmental heritage of each biome.”
Photographer: Rodrigo Bordigoni
Designer: Ornaghi and Vasone
In San Marino, California, native plant gardening helps to rehabilitate a landscape with water-wise, indigenous plants. This single-family mid-century home is surrounded by myriad gardens. Each multi-layered outdoor space and garden opens into the next, creating seamless transitions between environments. Large-scale sliding doors are connected by meandering paths and trails, linking the gardens, architecture, and the wilds of nature.
Photographer: Mark Mahaney
In Berkeley, California, this garden grows plants as creative material — natural plant dyes, culinary wonders, and flowers for bouquets. The seating area is surrounded with plants: yarrow, culinary sage, dark opal basil, lavender, angel’s trumpets, and more. “Every bit of land, including the vertical space on perimeter fences, was used as a growing surface so that there was visual depth and opportunity to grow a diversity and abundance of plants in a relatively small garden,” explains Leslie Bennett, owner of Pine House Edible Gardens, the landscape designers for the residence.
Photographer: Marion Brenner
Designer: Leslie Bennett, Pine House Edible Gardens
A favorite of celebs like Katy Perry and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Lauri Kranz is known for her wild yet productive style of gardening that creates edible bounty in residential homes. In this L.A. garden, a greenhouse yields abundant fruits and vegetables year-round. Lauri favors screened-in areas designed to let light, air, and butterflies inside that still protect the edibles like pole beans from local wildlife.
Photographer: Brian Ferry
Designer: Lauri Kranz
Gardening for kids can start a life-long interest in the environment and are places to contemplate colors, textures, smells, tastes and sounds. Plan special places just for them to spark their interest early, and encourage them to think of a garden as an active space.
Photographer: Nicola Stocken
A Dutch garden featuring a natural swimming pool and outdoor sauna is designed for year-round pleasure. The natural swimming pool is surrounded by bountiful flowers like daylilies and irises, as well as ferns and hostas.
Photographer: Noël Van Mierlo
Designer: Noël van Mierlo, Van Mierlo Gardens
A rooftop garden in Milan creates a modular solution for an edible rooftop garden — and builds a community along the way. Design studio Piuarch wanted to create a rooftop garden atop their studio building that would support an entire ecosystem — from a nursery where seeds are germinated, to a productive source of food, and a compost generator that provides fertilizer for the next growth cycle. Piuarch also wanted the garden design to be energy-offsetting, modular, and repeatable, a model that could be duplicated at scale.
Photographer: Piuarch Srl
Designer: Piuarch Srl
Seijun Nishihata represents the fifth generation of a legendary family operated Japanese plant and flower importer. The 150-year old wholesaler is renowned for their flower selection, providing pristine stems to ikebana masters in Hyōgo Prefecture and beyond. This high profile garden full of blooming cherry trees introduced Seijun’s sensibility to an audience of millions.
Photographer: Sora Botanical Garden Project
Designer: Seijun Nishihata