Jim Graeler

Chesterfield Valley Nursery

The landscape surrounding this year’s Show House is lush and verdant, populated with mature hostas, euyonomous and other beautiful ground cover plants beneath a high canopy of old growth trees. That was the backdrop against which landscape expert Jim Graeler worked his magic, transforming the patio and deck on the back of the home from plain Jane to just plain fabulous.

Graeler says the bi-level outdoor living space was a strong asset from the perspective of design and traffic flow. “I liked the fact that we had two different areas to work with on multiple levels and separated by steps,” he explains. “To me, it’s like two rooms in a house. You have a room on the patio and a room on the deck, and essentially an open floor plan. Through the use of different furniture and potted plants, we created a unique traffic flow with a pop of color that ties it all together.”

Thanks to the variations in available sunlight, Graeler was able to incorporate an assortment of both shade and sun-loving plants, including coleus, scaevola, geraniums and potato vine, the latter noteworthy for its chartreuse color and ability to drape over the sides of the pots. “We also used some banana trees, which gives some height and heavy texture in contrast to the smaller, more delicate foliage,” he says.

For the outdoor furnishings, Graeler brought together a collection that is complementary to the surroundings and which also picks up on metal accents on the deck railing. A dining table and chairs, plus a curved sofa and end table, render the deck and patio suitable for a range of activities, including dining, relaxing and entertaining.



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