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Traditional Design Sheets
Use these design sheets to get color, décor, materials, plant and fabric recommendations for each of the five types of traditional garden.
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The District of Columbia is not only our nation's capitol, it's one of the most historic of all communities with architecture and landscapes dating back to Colonial times. Those who live within its boundaries enjoy upscale outdoor entertaining during all but the winter months. The city is divided into many small neighborhoods composed of beautiful older homes and row houses. With sky high real estate, it makes sense to expand a beautiful interior or remodel to increase square footage with decks and patios with spaces appointed for the latest in outdoor dining. When these include a beautiful outdoor fireplace or fire pit, the outdoor season is extended well into cooler evenings.
Washington is home to countless museums including the Smithsonian, but for those interested in landscaping, the National Arboretum is a more valuable resource for evaluating trees for this area. Horticulturists there are actively breeding improved varieties of crepe myrtles and many other familiar plants that make better candidates for contemporary gardens than their predecessors.
Across the Potomac River from the capitol is Arlington, Virginia, perhaps best known for Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon, a major local employer. It has been touted as one of the best places for the "rich and single" to live, so here home remodeling is upscale and trendy. This is where highbrow foodies gather in their free time, with no better place than a roof garden, a breezy outdoor kitchen or grilling center for cocktails and relaxation during the humid summer months.
For those seeking behind the fence views of fabulous home landscapes in this area, many events of Virginia Garden Week include tours of prestigious private residences. Don't miss the Historic Alexandria House and Garden Tour with a fresh selection of landscapes every year.
Alexandria was a colonial port on the Potomac located at the extreme southern point of the District of Columbia. It is a beautiful area that features distinct neighborhoods, many of them rich in vintage and historic architecture while others are growing more international in population. With a beautifully restored Old Town, the city features some of the most well-known "streetcar suburbs" and is considered an easy commute via public transportation. Alexandria's 20th century planned communities are some of the best areas for larger lots that support outdoor living and its welcome amenities such as dining alfresco, cooking outdoors and creation of play space landscaping for growing families.
Bethesda, Maryland is a suburb north of the capitol with one of the most affluent populations in the area. It is home to Walter Reed Military Medical Center and many other military institutions. Homes here are very expensive, so building out for maximum use is a wise way to get more space. With many childless homes, the good life is exhibited here in the latest bluestone masonry and lighting features. Many outstanding contractors and designers know how to give these well heeled, often professional couples a landscape to enjoy the good life at the end of a long work week.
Further north is Rockville, a community that feels like a small town but is well connected to the capitol by major highways and public transportation. Here family life and larger lots means that landscapes feature great amenities for kids while offering relaxing spaces for parents to wine and dine throughout the summer months.
In this humid climate with the presence of major rivers and the coastal influence, landscapes benefit from the finest plant choices, this requires a talented local designer. With homes and patios featuring the same brick, stone and wood work as colonial times, the aesthetic hasn't changed much since Washington inhabited Mount Vernon. Only the lifestyle has evolved, rising to meet the exacting standards of the District of Columbia's current crop of 21st century residents.