Gardens in Miami
The gardens and the interiors of a historic house in Miami were made to blend seamlessly. Nature entered the house and the man made environment of the house became part of the gardens. The owner, a successful businessman and inveterate bachelor, loved to entertain in and out of the house and the pool parties became dinner parties and vice-versa. In tune with the typical lush and excess of the tropics, the plantings were chosen to create a progression between outdoors and indoors and they were even part of a a trompe l’oeil ruin that became the background for the haute cuisine served by the private chef in the dinning room.
Gardens and Landscaping
for Chef RJ Cooper
A culinary garden for a James Beard Award winner chef is not your typical project. Chef RJ Cooper wanted to plant not only the herbs to be used in his kitchen at Rogue 24, but also the herbs used in his bar, Spirits, which is the smaller bar in town with only four seats. Exotic edible flowers, aromatic herbs, and a chef table coexist under rain catchers that double as sun protection. A green wall covers most of the eastern wall of Rogue 24, helping to cool the interior of the restaurant and eliminating the reverberation of the sun over planting and tasting area. The vegetables are planted in whimsical pots, collected by the chef and in custom designed piramidal planters, and also along the green wall.
Our work goes from a handkerchief of a culinary patch behind a kitchen door, to a lush and wild collection of native plants surrounding your favorite piece of sculpture. A backyard can come back to live as a dreamlike environment with water features, a crystal chandelier hanging from your favorite tree, or as a place for rest and reflection. We will design gardens, no matter how big or how small. We will design your roof deck, and we will give you pointers in gardening the organic way, and in growing your own food. Gardening is a way of life for us, providing us with fresh flowers daily and also with cooking herbs and heirloom tomatoes. Yes, an urban orchard can grow on your roof deck, and a your favorite reading place in the shade can transport you to realm of natural aromas and color. Be green, be colorful. No matter how big, or how small, you deserve a garden. We will design a space for holding both a collection of flowers and medicinal plants, with influences from different cultures, or from dreams and innovation. We will teach you want to plant in a culinary garden, what medicinal plants to use, all in a well designed environment.
Our own rooftop edible garden was featured in the Edible Garden Tour organized by Eat Local First in Washington DC -on a very hot day of July 2012. Our garden was visited by around 200 guests in the space of four fast-running hours. They enjoyed small bites made with our own garden bounty and our own bread, and braved the heat with the help of generous servings of sangria, while getting cooled by our irrigation system misters.
As a matter of personal philosophy, we believe that the four seasons are enjoyable in their own nature. We believe that the outdoors are as important as the indoors, and they blend seamlessly in our designs as a pool comes into the house and a dine in kitchen suddenly burst to the outside. Whether we are designing a home or a restaurant, we always have a close and particular relationship with the outdoors and with the natural environment or the cityscape. We find appeal of the countryside as alluring of that of a city alley, and we love to see the city from a roof deck. We enjoy secret gardens, culinary backyards, sculpture gardens, and romantic terraced entertaining spaces with fountains and weeping willows. We believe in the classic blend of earth, wind, fire, and water.
Scale is one of the main challenges that the designer faces while working in an urban garden. Also, fences, gates, water features, paving, and of course, the plantings.
Our departing point is nature, scale, sun exposure, and of course, the architecture of the existing house, so our designs flow from the inside to the outside, and that also bring the outside in. Our gardens include culinary herbs, edible flowers, figs, tomatoes, and other plants that are ornamental or medicinal.
We teach our clients how to tend to an edible organic garden, and how to use their own produce in their kitchens or outdoor ovens or grills. Our inspiration comes from different sources, the gardens of the cooks, the gardens of the monks, and also, the Victory gardens of the Second World War. Healthy is green, and green is healthy!