C California Style

Atherton project with Aidlin Darling Design architects. PHOTO: Marion Brenner.

Geometry Lesson

by intern

Green roofs, Mediterranean ground cover, drought-tolerant plants instead of English gardens, spaced plantings to avoid a “fire ladder” effect.

For veteran Blasen Landscape Architecture, every detail is analyzed. Notes principal Eric Blasen, “Doing a meadow, you don’t just throw some seeds down.” This angular, manicured look—a shapely minimalism—shines on a Napa Valley hillside. To play up the stellar view, “we added an infinity-edge pool and put lawn in between square pavers in two colors. It was originally intended to be a chessboard.” And on an unusually flat site in Atherton, the challenge was size. “We planted ginkgo trees to take the scale of the house down. We wanted the pool to feel more like a pond, so we kept the paving to a minimum. At the end, we nested a stone firepit and boulders. Blurring the lines of paving…We’re contrasting geometries.” blasengardens.com

Written by Alison Clare Steingold