Subtropical Modernism: Lively Landscapes in the Florida Keys
Debra Yates and Benjamin Burle of Debra Yates Great Space, Inc. in the Florida Keys use brilliantly colorful garden walls and sculptural plants against a neutral backdrop for a lush, lively take on modernism. Here, they share six tips on how they achieve their signature look.
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Choose materials with character and texture
Many of the materials Burle and Yates choose for their landscapes have a Third World, industrial look which add warmth and character to the landscape. "I love primitive and edgy design," says Burle. "It's beautiful, but not too refined."
One such material is corrugated metal, which they overlay on wood to make curved garden walls. "It creates an undulating sense of movement in the garden," says Burle, "and gives us the ability to make smooth transitions and curves." Another material they use is rock salt concrete treated with hydrochloric acid, which has a pitted, turquoise-green surface. "The concrete changes with time, and makes things not look so new, even when they are new," says Yates.
Not only do these materials bring a timeless quality to the garden, but the textural interplay between light and shadow adds a subtle sense of intrigue to the landscape.