Perfection takes time. When any homeowner buys a new home, my advice is always to wait at least one year before planting a new garden. During that first year, things just ‘pop up’ (some of it may be pleasing and some may not), but it always is interesting to see.

The family who lives in this Ladue home moved in five years ago. “It has taken me this long to figure out what will and won’t work,” states the lady of the house. A busy family of four, pampering their grounds does not really fit into their schedule. “I have found low-maintenance plants that are scale-appropriate, beautiful and will survive our hot summers,” she smiles.

The pool area of this English Tudor home reminds one of old Hollywood, with all the charm of classic architecture set amidst large trees and a sprawling rear lawn. The pool house door is framed by Boston ferns in black iron urns—very classic. And standing at the entrance to the structure, you are faced with a large plate-glass window on the far side of the space that frames a hearty wall of bamboo with a row of red and green coleus down low, creating a sort of large landscape painting.

Cozy seating surrounds the fire pit area. Large pots of elephant’s ear begonias anchor the fireplace, which is crowned by a full, lush fern. Black iron furniture with blue- and white-toned cushions rest on a carpet with accents of blue and bright green, contrasting against the neutral tones of limestone and stucco.

The man of the house practically is a gourmet chef, so they have made good use of a rear stair landing off of the kitchen, where various herbs are planted in pots and snipped as needed for their culinary creations.

A pair of chaise lounges faces the pool in front of a long limestone built-in bench that is accented with blue, white and green tones. The bench often doubles as seating for a long dining table when the family entertains by the pool. An antique iron chandelier is hung from a swing arm hook to add ambiance to their dinner parties.

The rear lawn flows down to a wooded area by a creek. A wooden Japanese-style arched bridge leads one to a wooded area perfect for exploration for the couple’s two young boys. Border gardens are accented by statuary; a seated Buddha is one of the homeowner’s favorites, bringing a peaceful countenance to the garden.

Entertaining is a regular event in this home so it makes sense for the family to have additional dining off of their great room. A boxwood hedge defines this space that has a skirted table, complete with the covering of a classic blue umbrella (scalloped and trimmed in white), which offers shade for the guests as they enjoy the beautiful view of the rear lawn.

This garden has it all: a pool for exercise, dining areas, seating surrounding a fire on chilly evenings, and a large lawn for the kids to play in—all enhanced by beautiful plantings. What more could you ask for?

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