small is beautiful

Studio_Team_03It might be counter-intuitive to believe that designing a small garden is harder than designing a large garden.  A condensed space is a difficult challenge. Tom de Witte and Corinne Lecluyse have accomplished something amazing at Corinne’s home.  The garden is approximately 10 ft wide by 40 ft long.  It’s enclosed on all four sides. The garden borders the house on one long side, parallels the property line on other long side: the two short sides of the rectangle provide an exit to the street and at the other end front of the house.

bench by corinne

A change in level between the curved path that runs the length of the garden and small inset near the back end of the garden creates a feeling of spaciousness and repose.  This garden has a human scale.

garden 6

overall from above

View looking down on the garden from the second floor.

IMG_detailI could talk about the plants, the choices that have been made, which are very deliberate and interesting, but I what I feel is unique is way the space has been divided up.  You want to spend time in the garden.  There is something of interest to look at no matter where you are in this tiny area. It’s not claustrophobic.  In fact, it’s the opposite: the garden breathes life into the space.

prince charles and diana

Clematis viticella ‘Prince Charles’ and Clematis texensis ‘Princess Diana” growing together. Somebody has a sense of humor.

IMG_me tom corinne8640

Tom, Corinne and myself talking about the garden.

This garden has something in common with the Japanese stroll garden.  It is a garden of unity and harmony.  This is a case where LESS is MORE.


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