Dallas, Part 2a – Cool and Modern

My trip to Dallas last week with APLD included five days of garden visits to 35 gardens both public and private.  This marathon of visual input and inspiration was exhilarating and surprising.  The traditional and the contemporary exist side by side in this cosmopolitan and culturally sophisticated city.  Since there were so many great gardens, I’ve decided to break it up into a few posts.   The first two are by a local landscape architect who is creating a lot of buzz.

The first two gardens are contemporary.  I saw some of the the best modern design I’ve seen in a long time in Dallas–there will be others profiled in subsequent posts.  Both of these gardens are products of the same design team–Landscape design by David Hocker, ASLA + Residence designed  by Gary Cunningham.   Each project used space and borrowed views to advantage, celebrated local materials and plants in a surprising and sometimes challenging ways, but most important of all, they were human in scale and were designed for people to interact with both the land and each other.

The Northrup Garden

This garden had a controlled color palette of cool grey-blues, white and tan.  It was on a gently sloped corner lot and was designed to be relatively maintenance free without the need for excessive water.  It capitalized on the borrowed views of the park across the street.  What resulted is a serene, contemporary space that respected the genus loci and felt larger than it was.  Great attention was paid to the details with local materials and native plants used throughout.  The elliptical plunge pool was a pleasant surprise and didn’t feel forced or out of place.

The corner of the property
View from the street
The front yard looking back to the entry
Raised edge of pool set into gentle slope

The Ballangee Garden

The same team created this contemporary home on the eastern shore of Joe Pool Lake.  There are similarities in the architecture style, but the plant palette and use of space was completely different.  Native plants, local materials and wildlife habitat make this very modern home feel as if it’s been there for a very long time.  I ran around for 20 minutes taking photos before settling in at the top of the tower with a glass of wine to watch the sun set.  Close to the house, the space was very grid oriented, but as  you moved into the larger landscape the spaces became more natural and expansive.  Mowed areas were punctuated by natural areas and conversely, natural areas had mowed paths through them.   I was really enamored with the turf ramp that went from the veranda to the open lawn.

The back view of the 'lookout' tower
A view from the tower to the pool and the lake
Pool detail, outdoor kitchen and fire pit
The last golden rays of light

One thought on “Dallas, Part 2a – Cool and Modern

  1. Great spaces, Susan. Who wouldn’t want to live in them? I like the loose organization of the plant materials; order without rigidity. Wonderful shot of the dying rays and shadows fanned across the lawn.

    They really made me want to get out of my little antique cottage and into something more…well 21st century!–s

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