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Flower-Free Gardens

Woodland landscape setting by LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects

While it’s true that petals have power, area landscape architects are also cultivating woodland and contemporary gardens that are devoid (or nearly devoid) of flowers. Instead, these high-end Boston and Cape Cod landscape professionals are using contrasting swaths of green, playing with the height and sway of natural grasses and shrubs, and making a statement with stone.   

a Blade of Grass

Contemporary landscape design by Boston landscape professionals a Blade of GrassIn this buoyant Weston backyard, landscape professionals a Blade of Grass achieved a beautiful, balanced aesthetic well suited to a striking, contemporary home. The terrain, with its applications of lush flora, is a study in scale and proportion. More manicured plantings, like boxwood and dwarf birch trees that line a simple stone path, peacefully coexist with breezy ornamental grasses that serve to both amplify and soften the beds and patio spaces. 

Ornamental grasses in a contemporary garden by a Blade of GrassThe grounds are a harmonious synthesis of texture and tone, with a spacious emerald lawn area at its core that slowly transitions to the mature trees of its woodland perimeter.

Sudbury Design Group

Contemporary pool terrace and garden by Sudbury Design Group

The contemporary landscape conceived by Sudbury Design Group for a seven-acre parcel in Andover was inspired by journeys to California and Australia. Though the terrace is also blessed with a recessed fire pit, its 60-foot lap pool, embedded within a woodland setting of ornamental grasses and bamboo, serves as a serene and stunning focal point. 

Contemporary pool terrace and garden by Sudbury Design Group

The design is equal parts restraint and abandon, with modern materials like Stainless Steel fountains blending seamlessly with the exposed ledge outcropping and natural forest.

Amy Martin Landscape Design

Scandinavian Farm House Garden by Amy Martin Landscape Design

A Scandinavian farmhouse garden by Amy Martin Landscape Design takes its cue from the clean lines of the residence’s architecture and continues the thought outdoors. By the home, the design is more linear and controlled, but as you move toward the woodland the terrain is deliberately more naturalistic and rugged. 

Scandinavian Farm House Garden by Amy Martin Landscape Design


Even the stone reflects this. On the tidy granite terrace, a stone wall doubles as bench seating, while over by the woodland Martin uses a boulder bench with a rough cut. The garden is teeming with boxwood, birch and ferns, and bulbs of the purple allium are the palette’s sole deviation. Martin even controlled the shades of green used, opting for gorgeous grass greens over tones with blue notes. “The garden has a modern aesthetic, without being harsh,” says Martin. “It’s understated, soothing and low-maintenance;” an oasis of calm for homeowners with high-powered jobs.

Kimberly Mercurio Landscape Architecture

Contemporary Stone Garden by Kimberly Mercurio Landscape Architecture

When a 20thcentury urban home in Cambridge received a new room in the back of the house, it meant a new landscape design was in order. Principal Kimberly Mercurio of Kimberly Mercurio Landscape Architecture was tasked with reusing the existing elements as well as incorporating a new minimalist design aesthetic in what would become a “Garden for Stones.”

This contemplative eden wouldn’t be a typical patio and would rely heavily on stone. Mercurio repurposed bluestone within the hardscape to create a walkway brimming with thyme at its joints, and crafted a gravel terrace with sculptural sitting stones (selected from a farmer’s field) as a gathering space. 

Contemporary Cambridge Stone Garden by Kimberly Mercurio Landscape Architecture

The landscape architect took a sustainable and low-maintenance approach, incorporating native, drought-resistant plants and ground cover that benefit pollinators and provide year-round interest. Clipped yew hedges create a verdant backdrop to both the plantings and the stone, giving order to this Zen terrain.

Main image: Woodland landscape by LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects

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