Establishing harmonious links between areas of the landscape is a challenge that landscape designers embrace. Interlocking spaces of the garden with adjoining garden rooms creates strong spacial flow and reflects a well-thought-out plan. Below are illustrations of how we have resolved the challenges of transitional design.
Landings and cut-throughs
Forks in the road often need a transition space to alert guests which is the casual route reserved for family and which is the formal route for invited guests. Here the paving material changes from flat angular smooth bluestone to a natural slab stair.
Paving to Turf
Entrance to the lawn from the paved court was transitioned over the naturally shaped stone strengthening the casual nature of the garden and its residents.
Sideyard to back yard
A brief journey through a garden upon entering the rear gate can be a nice transition space from side yard to rear yard.
Patio to path
An entrance stone undertakes the transition between patio and pathway.
Patio to lawn
The transition between patio and lawn is strengthened only by the plants flanking both sides of the walls. A hearth stone of some sort would have made this transition more interesting.
Sidewalk to Entrance (1 of 2)
Bounded by a freestanding wall and the sidewalk lies a perennial border. The extra large Goshen stone bridges the guest from sidewalk to the pillared entrance. Another transition acts as a threshold between the entrance stone and the front walkway. (shown next slide)
Entrance stone to front walkway (2 of 2)
Bounded by a freestanding wall and the sidewalk lies a perennial border. The extra large Goshen stone bridges the guest from sidewalk to the pillared entrance. Another transition acts as a threshold between the entrance stone and the front walkway.
Dry creek to driveway (1 of 2)
A dry creek-bed garden transitions the mouth of the bed to the driveway by enlarging the stone sizes.
Dry creek to driveway (2 of 2)
A dry creek-bed garden transitions its curves from pebbles to mulch embankment with a pad of Mexican pebbles.
Patio to Lawn
A narrow slice of planting bed softens the transition between the patio and the lawn.
Stairway to Driveway (1 of 2)
Awkward spaces can be functional transition spaces. Large enough to put some chairs in, this tiny court acts a little sitting space and container garden for driveway basketball enjoyment.
Court to Stairway (1 of 2)
A trim of bluestone transitions the natural flagstone court to the flat bluestone stair treads.
Driveway to stairway
This photo illustrates an abrupt and severe joining of materials without a transition space. We would have preferred a cobble apron in front of this stair to soften and invite the guest up the steps. (The choice was made for cost containment)
Landing as transition
Guests are given a brief pause on the landing to enjoy the garden before transitioning between the front walkway and the driveway.
Pattern and Material changes (2 of 3)
It becomes obvious that one is exiting one area and entering another.
Entrance stone (3 of 3)
The angular shape of the entrance stone gives a subtle hint you are moving to a more formal space. (It was also easier to snow shovel)
Stone Steps and landings
Stepstone path to patio through the sunny garden.
Simple stone seperation
Small stone cut-through path
A cut-through pathway can be treated like a transition area when it is short like this tiny embankment. We used an artistic material change to notify the guest that it is permissible to walk through this space.
Through ways as transitions
Walking through this enclosed arbor gateway transitions the guest between the courtyard and the front yard.
Walkway to Lawn
Often getting from a walkway to the side yard requires guests to walk through the garden. Small informal paths can act as transitions from the walkway to the lawn. Transition gardens can be filled with little garden surprises as the one shown here dotted with color and needle-like textures.
Driveway to walkway
An apron of bricks defines the entrance and transitions the guest from the driveway to the garden walk.
Street to front door & driveway to pathway
A circle garden acts as the transition area and screen between a busy street and the house. The cobble grade change marks the transition between the driveway and the pathway.
Upper patio to lower patio
Natural stone was coupled with man-made pavers to transition between two levels of paver patios. After the groundcovers fill in, the joints will be blurred and the passage will be softened.
Gateway to back yard (1 of 3)
Material and pattern shifts alert guests to space changes serving as transitions.
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