While physically, gardens are defined by boundaries, mentally they transport you into a limitless world accentuated by the forces of nature. Paul Hendershot’s enchanting landscape solutions are exactly such spaces.
Based in Ojai, California, Paul Hendershot Design, Inc. is a landscape design company that works closely with its clients to create gardens that adopt a classic approach.
European aesthetics and designs are embedded and maintained to unite the architecture of the home with that of the expanded views that lie outside. The firm’s main focus is to create usable landscapes that grow as an extension of the concrete-scape. Paul says, “I have a great passion for landscaping. I listen closely to what the clients want for their outside space and strive to create a landscape that not only satisfies them but also complements the style of the house.”
While Paul’s designs are simple and sophisticated, they possess the ability to make a bold statement. His spaces are always re-writing the grammar of greenery in a way such that they are ready to start a conversation in their own unique natural tense.
The Ojai Cottage
Located in the Ojai Valley, the Ventura County city is blessed by a climate characterised by Mediterranean flavours. The hot, dry summers and mild winters, dictate its vegetation. The Ojai Cottage, designed by Paul picks on a simple garden design which is not overdone yet stands to speak volumes.
The cottage garden, built on a Tuscan backdrop renders a timeless feel to a landscape where everything seems to be in place. Paul tells us, “I was inspired while travelling, mainly in Europe where I saw courtyard settings that had a recurring use of the same or similar plants that I use now. This creates that lush look with very low watering and permeable ground.”
The main concern while designing the garden was to cultivate a low maintenance space. Hence Paul chose to use hardy plants like the Westringia balls and Agave Attenuata that require less water and looking after.
Natural stone is an inseparable part of a Tuscan garden. Its use on earthy toned pathways and boundary walls only comes forward to fit the bill. The use of warm terracotta roof tiles, undulating pockets of gravel, wooden pergolas and large urns restate the hallmarks of the landscape style used.
The Agave Attenuata is a local Mexican plant that forms rosettes of succulent like, soft, fleshy, lime green bluish leaves. It is one of the easiest plants to establish and maintain and therefore qualified as an apt choice in adding form and texture to the garden beds.
The Westringia, an Australian native is a super compact form with stunning foliage and remarkable versatility. While this plant can be grown into beautiful manicured balls to align sprawling edges, its flowers are prolific and put up quite a show for much of Spring.
Their no-fuss character made them a good bet to use for the client. Soft pink roses, that labyrinth around the wooden pergola and picket fence convey thoughtfulness, passion and sentiment, and add a contemporary punch of colour that brings the cottage to life.
The Peagravel Pool
The Peagravel Pool is yet another captivating chapter in the landscape story penned by Paul Hendershot. Paul used the shades of warm-tans, reddish-browns and terracotta most adeptly to soften the effect of a large area of stone but has also made it feel more inviting rather than cold and formidable.
The main idea behind the space, Paul tells us was that, “We wanted to create a lot of shade. We got rid of the grass and added two levels with steps and put in fruit trees such as plum, peach, apricot, apple etc.”
Getting rid of the grass helped the client to achieve a topographical plan that required less watering. The swimming pool not only mitigates the heat of summer but also creates a juxtaposition of textures by playing up the smoothness of water elements against the rough textures of stone around.
Artificial turf was planted around the pool. An entertainment area with a bocce ball court and a brick patio with a grape pergola that houses a ping pong table were built to meet the clients’ requirements.
The garden celebrates the combination of relaxed materials and plants with formal accents and designs. While boxed hedges and rolling steps provide for leisurely moments, the neatly manicured plants bring in an arrangement of the formal.
A wrought iron gate invites one in to take a seat and enjoy a glass of wine. A cluster of wooden tables are almost always ready for an impromptu gathering. The only thing one would probably miss would be a view of the glistening blue ocean.
Text By Kanupriya Pachisia
Photographs Courtesy Paul Hendershot Design, Inc