Emily Brooks digs gardens. With a postgraduate degree from the Oxford College of Garden Design in England, a Master Gardener certificate from Utah State University and a three-year design course from Temple Square under her belt, this pro certainly has the credentials to create stunning landscapes for her clients.
Equally as important, she has the passion, partially sparked from familial forte. “My mother was a garden guide at Temple Square and had the most amazing gardens herself,” she says.
A stroll through any of Brooks’ gardens reveals a depth of design that resonates splendor as well as reason. “Every garden is like a dance, with the choreography dictated by the architecture of the home and the rhythm of the homeowners who live in it.” She tendered tips for creating gorgeous gardens of your own.
Emily’s top tips to bring vibrance to any home garden:
An unstructured stone path encourages leisurely travel through this charming garden.
1. Select the right plant for the right place. I see shade-loving plants located in sunny yards where they won’t thrive. While a plant may look lovely in a picture, make sure it is suited for the spot you place it.
2. Choose planting combinations that flourish through the seasons and consider the colors, forms and fragrances that change throughout the year. Grasses and anemones, for example, retain structure through the winter’s snows and frosts, providing interest even in the coldest months.
A rustic dining table provides a casual respite in the stunning gardens of a Holladay home. The pillows’ wide-striped fabric accentuates the relaxed style of this area of the landscape.
3. Embrace color. Color creates a mood in the garden, and you need to identify the feeling you want before planting. For example, whites, purples, blues and pastel pinks create a relaxing ambience. Reds and yellows are bold and exciting. And don’t overlook a monochromatic garden-it can be absolutely breathtaking. As a homeowner, always consider your home’s architecture as well as your personal preferences when deciding on garden colors.
4. Add new mulch to your garden every year. This provides a great deal of natural nitrogen for your plantings. Also, leave fallen leaves in your garden beds over winter. They perform like a blanket and nourish and darken the soil.
5. Don’t be afraid to actively shape a plant. Understand the character of plants and feel free to manipulate them into mass plantings, like colonnades of trees, or create compelling specimen that help define landscapes.
Formal pots pair with weathered furnishings to create a casually elegant spot from which to admire this lush landscape.
6. Recognize how a landscape’s lines define its style and movement. The more straight-lined and geometric the design, the more formal a landscape feels. Conversely, the more curves, the more informal.
An obelisk creates a much-needed focal point in this formal garden.
7. Use structures to create three-dimensional design and to draw you into a space. Whether it’s a trellis, pergola, obelisk or statue, structures create focal points and directional views. Plantings, like hedges and colonnades, also form dynamic garden architecture.
A Boxwood hedge adds dimension to a ground-level water feature.
8. Plan your paths. Some are about the journey, others about the destination, Use paths to add pattern. Remember, the style of the path you choose determines the strength and how much force it has to move you through space. For example, a chevron pattern points and directs you down a path while a loose stone path slows the pace.
9. Visually link your landscape to the inside of your home by framing key elements with view windows. Use the interior decor to help guide the choice of complementary outdoor design elements like furnishings, fabrics, finishes and fixtures.