Inspired by The Craftsman Magazine and the Arts & Crafts movement in America, this architecture served the widespread demand by the middle class for affordable, attractive suburban homes. Joining Western and Japanese themes, architects like Green & Green produced wooden homes with low-pitched roofs unique to California.
Craftsman homes have a low mass, therefore, the goal of the garden is to connect the home to the outdoors. The stylish porches with front-gabled roofs often wrapped around the structure, allowing an elevated terrace for viewing the garden. Dry-stacked cobblestone, capped with cast concrete or brick, supporting tapered wood columns, is the most recognizable feature of these homes.
Craftsman Classic Garden Elements: An emphasis on natural elements, such as rock and water, the Craftsman bungalow look has promoted a Japanese garden influence (see Oriental Garden). The patio and walkways may be either formally shaped or free form, depending on the theme of the garden. Brick, stone, cobblestone, native stacked rock, textured concrete, scored concrete, and tiled pavers work well in this garden. A natural shaped pool and/or koi pond with waterfall becomes an inspirational focal point. Garden ornaments accent wood trellises and arbors covered with colorful vines. Patio furniture should reflect the architecture of the home with stylized wood, forged iron, and subdued colors. A Japanese influence is an important consideration, but always your choice.
Craftsman Classic Garden Plants: A naturalized, woodsy environment is the design goal. Often, the Craftsman home comes with mature trees, a true benefit if the tree has been properly pruned and cared for. Interesting, textural foliage, especially plants with lime-green, burgundy, or gold leaves blend well with earthy tan, green and brown colors of the home’s exterior. Low-growing structural pines and Japanese Maples compliment the low roof lines.
Notice the combination of evergreen and deciduous species. Shrubs should be layered, that is, low growing groundcovers along hardscape areas give way to medium sized foundation shrubs who give way to background trees. A variety of low-growing, flowering shrubs include Heavenly Bamboo, Cotoneasters, Iceberg Roses, and groupings of low-growing Sea Pink, Dianthus, and Mondo Grass. A few California natives add a nice touch to your Craftsman Classic Garden.