American Society of Landscape Architects ASLA 2005 Professional Awards
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The garden is organized by three vertical planes. A black slate terrace and reflecting pool are flanked by freestanding sandstone walls. The entry terrace leads to a bocce lawn and a secret garden (photo: Scott Smith).

The entry terrace and reflecting pool meet the sandstone wall at the gardenís entry. Movement is inferred amid stillness. Proportion, geometry and scale provide order within a restrained planting palette (photo: Scott Smith).
A cantilevered stone step creates a union between the two adjacent levels of the terraced garden. Grape vines create a dynamic interplay of light, shadow and transparency on the bronze vine scrim (photo: Scott Smith).
A cedar bench is suspended from the bronze vine scrim (photo: Scott Smith).
Two slate steps cross the black reflecting pool. Concrete edging defines a crushed stone surface upon which serviceberry trees are planted. Their branching disguises a path to the secret garden (photo: Scott Smith).

Private Residence/Garden of Planes, Richmond, VA
Gregg Bleam Landscape Architects, Charlottesville, VA

"Remarkable. . . the landscape architect has made the space feel so much larger. . .very familiar vocabulary of mid-century modernism, but is much richer. . .extraordinarily precise. . . nice scale to the materials."

— 2005 Professional Awards Jury Comments

For this project the client asked Gregg Bleam Landscape Architects to design a minimalist interpretation of an Italian terraced garden. Economy and proportion are intrinsic qualities of the design. Freestanding Tennessee sandstone wall planes flank the entry to the new garden. Bronze gates, reminiscent of Japanese shoji screens, lead to a black slate terrace whose edges are defined by a naval brass reflecting pool and a bronze vine scrim supporting grape vines. On the left, a cantilevered slate step leads to a bocce lawn surrounded by stucco walls. A long cedar bench suspended from the vine scrim faces the perennial garden for spectators to sit and enjoy a match. Staggered rows of European hornbeam border the end of this upper garden terrace. On the right of the entry terrace, slate steps subtly cross the adjacent reflecting pool. Serviceberry trees planted in a quincunx pattern similar to that of Tuscan olive groves disguise a path that leads to the secret garden, a pleasant place to enjoy a glass of wine.

A long sandstone coping marks the change in elevation between the pool and the lower terrace (photo: Scott Smith).
Freestanding stone walls and bronze gates as viewed from the serviceberry grove (photo: Scott Smith).
The dark umber patina of the bronze gates compliment the shadow-set joints of the stone wall (photo: Scott Smith).
A sliding bronze gate opens to the bocce lawn at the upper terrace (photo: Scott Smith).
A chokeberry grove mediates the interplay of the stone walls. Bronze gates unify the entry sequence providing momentary stasis in the dynamic forms of the garden (photo: Scott Smith).
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