Landezine
International
Landscape
Award
The Wide Sky Garden

Located in the woody outskirts of Kaunas, Lithuania, a slightly sloping 1-acre site needed both visual and functional upgrade. The open and windy space around the modern, one-storey residential house looked somewhat monotonous and dull, and lacked a sense of unity with the surroundings. Curvilinear stepping stone paths as well as several garden elements such as stones, the sculpture and the fireplace, were scattered in the backyard and overwhelmed the crisp and clean layout of the house, the paving and the swimming pool, while the sharp tops of Chameacyparis lawsoniana hedge along the front border competed for attention with the landscape beyond.

The owners invited the designer to create more privacy in the front yard and around the existing swimming pool. However, the primary consultation resulted in the overall transformation of the site as it appeared that the site needed a better defined structure, adjusted terrain as well as a visual link to the outside views. The rolling hills with several years old pines along the southern border of the site and the fascinating sense of the open and wide sky became the key features which the new design somehow naturally evolved around. The solution was to create a more tidy and rectangular layout around the building, surrounding the site with undulating planted areas which would serve as a screen from the neigbouring sites and help to split the garden into separate functional areas.

The scope of the work included planning of the new rolling terrain, a sitting area by the swimming pool, a fruit garden area, a fireplace area, a shady garden, a few extensive planting areas, also, adjustments to the existing paving in the front yard and in the northern part of the site. The sitting area by the swimming pool was created as an extension of the terrace lines which complimented the geometric backyard structure. This new retaining wall with wood finish serves both as a ground support and a perfectly tailored bench. The northern part of the site with several mature rhododendrons which are seen from the living room, was turned into a secret shady garden with stones, trees and carpet plants. The moss covered stones were dragged here by local sculptors using a traditional lift winch as no affordable crane could reach this place. Nearly all the existing garden elements were reused here. The stepping stones were laid out in a geometric, random pattern, the rocks were relocated and grouped in the planting borders, the sculpture was moved towards the pool to strenghten the main garden focal point. Deciduous trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials helped to soften the stiff impression of the existing pines and other evergreens, and bring the surrounding landscape into the site by blurring it‘s boundaries. The site became a blissful, comfortable retreat under the wide, serene sky.

 

Entrant office name: Asta Grabauskiene Landscape Design
Role of the entrant in the project: Landscape Designer
Website: www.astagrabauskiene.com
Other design firms involved in the design of the garden (if any): no
Project location (State or Country): Lithuania
Design year: 2015
Year Built: 2016

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