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Play with light and shadow - garden with pergola

Modern design with rustic materials

The clients of this garden design wanted as much space as possible on this hillside property. The garden serves the client as a retreat, a place for rest and relaxation. The spatial division of the garden takes up this need, so that different garden spaces were created on finely differentiated levels. The long pergola, which rises from the side of the garden by means of striking posts made of porous tufa stone, like a wide pergola, will in time be covered by a green roof of Wisteria. As a soft stone, the tufa will change over time, but this will give it its own unique character and charm. 

The rustic materialization contrasts wonderfully with the modern design and furnishings: to match the tufa stone, shell limestone was chosen for the tiling and the coping slabs of walls and posts, which is also coarse-pored and thus blends harmoniously into the overall picture. An exciting contrast is created between the tufa and the lighter and finer travertine, as both materials were used within one component.

Light play in the niche

On one side, the pergola is enclosed by a half-height tufa wall; on the other, you can step out onto the lawn at any time between the supports. Straight ahead, the pergola leads to a small spot on a slightly elevated ledge, which becomes a secluded retreat due to the cul-de-sac.

The play of light and shadow is strongly brought out by the white-flowered planting of this niche, also by the fact that the sunlight shines through the pergola and the loose small trees, casting an exciting pattern on the floor. Cleverly hidden in this corner is also the cushion chest for the furniture. On the left side of the pergola is a small water feature set into the wall, which can be experienced from both the alcove and the lounge.

Natural planting

A step from the pergola into the lower area of the garden leads to the lawn and lounge. At the back of the lounge, the half-height wall from the pergola is picked up again and frames the planting. Small pedestals for planters with evergreen ferns also add elegant accents. The airy trees behind the lounge cast pleasant, light shade on the furniture without completely blocking out the afternoon light. A path leads along the edge of the lawn to the house, accompanied by a natural and varied planting of perennials and woody plants.

Award Callwey Publishing House

This garden design was chosen as one of the 50 most beautiful gardens of 2018 by the German publisher Callwey. Read the full report here.



  • Acer griseum (cinnamon maple)
  • Cladrastris lutea (American yellowwood)
  • Cornus kousa 'China Girl' (flower dogwood)
  • Magnolia denundata (Yulan Magnolia)


  • Abeliophyllum distichum (snow forsythia)
  • Amelanchier lamarckii (Copper Rock Pear)
  • Berberis buxifolia 'Nana' (Green Cushion Berberis)
  • Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris (climbing hydrangea)
  • Magnolia kobus (Magnolia)
  • Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra' (Magnolia)

Climbing plants

  • Wisteria sinensis (Blue vine, Chinese Wisteria)


  • Acanthus mollis (True hogweed)
  • Anemone blanda 'White Star' (Anemone)
  • Anemone nemorosa (Anemone)
  • Aurinia saxatilis 'Citrina' (rock stonewort)
  • Bergenia 'Bressingham White' (Bergenia)
  • Campanula poscharskyana 'E.H. Frost' (Hanging Cushion Bellflower)
  • Chiastophyllum oppositifolium (Gold droplet)
  • Corydalis lutea (Yellow Corydalis)
  • Cyclamen hederifolium 'Pearl Carpet' 'Album' (Ivy-leaved Cyclamen)
  • Dicentra formosa 'Ivory Hearts' (Dwarf Heart Flower)
  • Epimedium youngianum (x) 'Niveum' (Fairy flower)
  • Galium odoratum (Woodruff)
  • Helleborus orientalis 'White Lady' (Oriental hellebore)
  • Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears' (Funkie)
  • Iberis saxatilis (rock ribbon flower)
  • Lilium martagon (Turk's-bundle)
  • Meconopsis cambrica (Forest false poppy)
  • Phlox paniculata 'Younique White' (flame flower)
  • Platycodon grandiflorus 'Albus' (Balloon flower)
  • Salvia officinalis 'Albiflora' (True Sage)
  • Saxifraga cortusifolia (Garden Autumn Saxifrage)
  • Thymus praecox (serphyllus) 'Albiflorus' (thyme)
  • Trillium luteum (Forest lilies)
  • Vinca minor 'Alba' (Small periwinkle)


  • Asplenium trichomanes (Brown stalked fern)
  • Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum' (Rainbow fern)
  • Dryopteris erythrosora (red veil fern)
  • Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich fern)
  • Polypodium vulgare (Common Spotted Fern)


  • Pergola posts, masonry walls: Tuff stone
  • Pergola deck structure: wood
  • Cover slab walls, posts: travertine
  • Floor tiles, steps: Travertine
  • Vessels: Studio square
  • Fountain: Steel
  • Garden path paving: porphyry

Execution / Horticulture

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