Garden Tour: Formal French Design on Lake Minnetonka
December 9, 2018
When homeowners that love to entertain purchased this house on Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota, the house and grounds needed a complete renovation. They desired to enjoy the yard with their kids and guests and create better views of the lake. “The yard was very woodsy and was jeopardized by junky invasive species,” says landscape architect Meg Arnosti of Windsor Companies. “The new layout is very French and formal near the house, and adjustments into less formal and woodsy as you move away from the house.”
Project architect Dan Gleeson placed sculptures out of the homeowners’ set in areas that honored them. The plan also included cleaning up the plants that are invasive to show the perspective, including a cutting garden for floral arrangements and building an indoor pool with a terrace above it. Circulation around the yard was also enhanced, so the customers could take the big parties that they like to sponsor outside.
at a Glance
Who lives here: A family of four
Location: Orono, Minnesota
That is intriguing: This garden was inspired by French landscape layout and especially the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
“The property provides a number of adventures,” says Arnosti. The atmosphere is atop a mountain over Lake Minnetonka. A daring axis in the shape of a broad bluestone route lined in shrubs connects the back of the house and the terrace to a modern sculpture. Wing walls enclosing the sculpture terrace frame the stunning view.
On the opposite side of the house, the redesigned driveway terminates in an official entrance courtroom with a sculpture in the middle. The new columns foreshadow the house’s French villa–inspired renovation.
Together with the boulder walls, yet another modern sculpture and elm trees articulate the bounds of a large bluestone terrace right off the house and function as a transitional space between the house and the yard.
Rectilinear lines articulate the proper distances but are softened by plants. Pachysandra serves as a blanket of green immediately enclosing the terrace, while Annabelle hydrangeas bloom right beyond the walls.
“This terrace is the customers’ favorite part of the yard, and they also use it all the time,” says Arnosti. They use it casually whenever the weather permits and to their regular parties. Whenever the Minnesota weather has them housebound, they can can still enjoy the gorgeous view around it and out to the lake.
The axis in the house to the lake overlooks this rectilinear pond along with the huge sculpture, and brings out the eye to the lake beyond. “The pond has been a way to formalize the lake at the terminal stage of this axis,” Arnosti describes. The pond provides a different transition between the natural and built landscapes.
The proper stucco walls that border the rectilinear terrace back become less formal as they curve around the ideal side of the house. Lady’s mantle and Brookside geraniums accentuate this part of the wall’s border in green, yellow and purple.
This sinuous part of the wall overlooks the cutting garden, arbor and tennis court. “Windsor also did extensive and amazing work renovating the inside of the house, but nearly everyone who comes over comments on how much they love the landscape,” says Arnosti. It’s easy to see why.
The graceful curves of the less formal stone route extend all the way round the border of the lawn, separating it in the woodsy place.
The lengthy arbor using a pavilion in the centre sits between the perennial cutting garden along with also the tennis court, which Gleeson put on the bottom part of their property. He centered a large abstract sculpture in front of the pavilion. Its combination of curves and crisp edges fits right into this region of the landscape.
Beautiful cutting gardens adorned in barrels direct up to the pavilion. The homeowners use it often for gathering floral arrangements, once more connecting their house to the spectacular landscape.
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