Hiring a landscape architect to design a home exterior for you doesn't have to result in handing over the reigns of control, as Mrs. Lana Valenta learned when she partnered with Mary Palmer Dargan of Dargan Landscape Architects.
The Cashiers, N.C. property was extensive and surrounded by acres of natural setting. It was multi-leveled, with large drop-off areas which begged for greater definition and color variations, as well as a more harmonious interplay between the stone and wood three-story structure--and the endless green plant and tree life that adjoined it.
That's where Mrs. Valenta came in, eager to put her mark on her home's landscape in a personal and colorful way, but mindful that experts in landscape design would need to be there to help her do it. And she chose a landscape design couple that would welcome such input when she selected Mary Palmer and Hugh Graham Dargan.
The Dargans strive to give their clients exactly what they want and need in order to accomplish a lifelong landscape design on their properties, since many of them will retain the home for years to come, just tweaking it as their lifestyles and other factors change over the years. And they welcome clients like Lana.
A more ideal client would be hard to imagine! Lana was involved with enthusiasm during every part of the design process while we drew the plans," Mary Palmer told the Atlanta Landscape Design Examiner on August 28.
When the petite redhead opened up and shared her fondness for certain color choices used inside her home by her interior designer, she unwittingly gave the Dargans inspiration for some clever and harmonious ideas for use in the outdoor design of the property as well.
When the time came to work with the plant materials, Lana shared her love of a cinnamon color chosen by her interior designer, Francie Hargrove, for the outdoor cushions. This epiphany of color choice opened the door to creative material choices. Thus, chocolates, chartreuse, pale orange, yellows and cinnamon foliage and flowers were chosen for the immediate use areas around the house," Mary Palmer said.
The photo slideshow above reflects that these colors were used in particular in the flowers and plants planted at the Cashiers property entrance in North Carolina. And one can see how well they complement Mrs. Valenta's own hair color and her clothing accessory color choices, too.
Creating a utopia landscape environment that is such a perfect fit for each client and their own preferences--be it in color schemes or other elements of design--is why the Dargan Landscape Architectural firm continues to draw clients from far and wide.
But Mary Palmer Dargan isn't satisfied with being merely a landscape architect who designs utopias for clients who can afford her services; she wants to teach others how to design their own home landscapes. And she and her husband, Hugh, who is also a distinguished landscape architect, offers workshops throughout the year in various locations to accomplish that goal.
If learning how to design your own landscape from a professional sounds like something you would be interested in doing, then Mary Palmer will be offering a three-day workshop at the Atlanta History Center's Cherokee Garden Library this upcoming September. Space is limited, so sign up right away to be assured a seat and start landscaping your life and home environment.
Atlanta Landscape Design Examiner Radell Smith interviews landscape experts from around the country, conducts book reviews by lifestyle and landscape experts and attends workshops and events that celebrate gardens and home exterior designs in Atlanta and beyond.
Follow her landscaping column on the Examiner for tips and advance notice of events and opportunities to create a utopia at your home by clicking on the subscribe button at the bottom of this page.