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Melissa Gerstle’s Glamorous Back Gardens for Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas

The Dallas Designer's Concept Incorporates a Woodland Garden, Ferns and Grasses

photography Stephen Karlisch

Overview of the Back Landscape and Pool Deck

This magical “magari” garden concept evokes  glamour without feeling stuffy or untouchable. Like its namesake, indicating a strong wish or desire, the grounds showcase all that is possible and dream-worthy in garden design through a study of shapes and negative spaces,  and where the interplay of softness and hard edges create intriguing contrast.

Inspired by the Italian gardens of Villa Caprarola, each piece and plant was selected to create dramatic tension and visual interest. Modern urns filled with sculptural agaves, Italian Cypress trees, finely manicured topiary, and an espaliered magnolia tree along a feature wall are examples of the flora and greenery reflecting the villa’s decadent past. Sumptuous textures and contrasting accents throughout — including custom cocktail tables and lounge chairs outfitted in black and white — provide a nod to the golden era of Hollywood. An outdoor patio and pool deck with intimate daybeds offer ample settings for effortless mingling and conversing both in shade and sun. A woodland garden, footsteps beyond the elevated elegance of the pool area, softens the landscape with mature trees, hydrangeas, and a soft carpet of ferns and grasses, with a secluded firepit encircled by Adirondack chairs for respite. The final touch — a stunning, hanging sofa, suspended above the garden floor and partially hidden from the aqua-hued pool view — provides the perfect setting to read a book or watch the stars. — Melissa Gerstle Design

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