Garden Photo of the Day

Formality and Whimsy

A stylish garden plays with different moods

Today’s Garden Photos of the Day come from Ruth Oliver Jolliffe in Mattapoisett, Mass.

This garden is all about clean, straight lines to create a beautiful, elegant space but then pushing against that rigidity with points of color, whimsy, and informality.

The corner of the checkerboard patio, made with a beautiful combination of different stones, and showing the border beyond in full spring color.

Another view of the checkerboard. What a cool paving idea! Using the contrasting pattern of stones creates a lot of interest, and the strict formalism of the square checkerboard is broken up by the small square bed of looser plants set into it. The border beyond is now protected by a fence to keep the rabbits out.

A view down the steps from the deck, with color brought in from the brightly painted walls and a note on informality from the plants that grow between the steps.

Sunset as seen from the deck. What an incredible view!

The view up to the house, looking over a long, rectangular pond set into the lawn. An enormous, brightly painted chair brings whimsy and color to the scene.

Another view of the giant, purple-and-yellow chair.



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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/04/2018

    Love that patio!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/04/2018

    Lots of very entertaining creativity on display here, Ruth. The colorful supersized chair is certainly an attention grabber and a guarantee to put a smile on anyone's face. And, it's interesting how the similar in shape one in the picture showing the staircase gives a whole different impression done in an off white color.

  3. sheila_schultz 05/04/2018

    What a unique design with a nod to formality with the emphasis on straight lines then surprisingly softened by curious splashes of color and plantings in unexpected places! I'm enchanted and feel like Alice in Wonderland! I'd love to see the art in your fascinating house, Ruth. I'm wowed... it's all pretty darn cool.

  4. cheryl_c 05/04/2018

    Ruth, I too, love your combination of the very formal with the whimsical! Thanks for sharing your fabulous photos.

  5. user-7008214 05/09/2018

    Love everything. Thank you for the wonderful pictures and description of your garden. So nice to see descriptions and not just a bunch of pictures.

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