With smidges of a New Orleans antebellum mansion, a touch of English country garden, and, yes, even dwarf orange trees, this Monte Sereno residence landscape by Zeterre Landscape Architects displays what could be called a very “Catholic” taste. Yet these eclectic touches all work together with a smooth harmony, primarily because of a couple of key unifying elements. First, there’s the foundational color scheme. Natural stone in the family of peach and white hues plays off a smoky blue-gray in the wrought-iron railings, the background of the fountains, and the roofs of both the main dwelling and the pool house. That subtle color pairing is serene, cool, and “neutral” enough so that whatever hues emerge from stone planters, terraced beds, or table centerpieces, they’re going to show off to excellent effect.
Given that blank canvas, it’d be tempting to let loose a veritable rainbow; however, in another piece of masterful restraint, Zeterre limits the palette instead. Lush green is everywhere, of course: on the lawn, in an explosion of ferns along the brick wall, on the slope toward mature trees. The other colors? True red, in climbing roses next to the outdoor barbecue and pots on the al fresco tabletops, while white is red’s foil in these tabletop pieces and trails in delicate blooms from stone planters lining the pool and terrace. When you put those pure, clean colors together with the whisper of purple in lavender plants — and, of course, the glow of orange — you get a bouquet of both sight and scent that’s unbeatable. So it’s lavish, it’s exuberant…and it’s just right: the garden at Monte Sereno.