Classic Front Yard Landscape
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Scope of services: Landscape Design
Date: September 2018
Client: Naif Al Enazi, General Manager at Mobily
Landscape design adds tremendous value to a home’s architecture and should complement the style of the house. This classic front yard landscape enhances the neoclassic façade of the luxury home design by using a traditional garden style. The design responds to local traditions and climate, utilizing plants that adapt well to the harsh summer heat.
A large expanse of hardscape, paved with natural sand-colored stone, is left uninterrupted in the front yard to allow for large gatherings which are customary, particularly during the month of Ramadan. The choice of beige for the hardscape is a response to the sandstorms that can occur several times a year in Saudi Arabia.
Planters are designed close to the house or against the property line walls, keeping the central paved area free from planted islands. Smooth curved lines for the planting areas reinforce the traditional vibe of this classic front yard landscape design, mirroring the curves of the house. The planting uses a layered approach; graceful Howea belmoreana palms frame the house and form the tallest layer of planting. Shorter Cocos weddelliana palms step down to form a mid-layer, while sculptural agaves make up the lowest layer of planting. White pebbles are used as a dressing for the planters, giving the design a clean, finished look. This combination of plants is repeated throughout most of the landscape, drawing the eye to the furthest corners of the property and creating a harmonious landscape design using repeated plant patterns.
Colorful perennials provide a splash of color in a garden that is otherwise dominated by shades of green. Plants are mass planted to give the impression of naturally occurring wild planting. Vines are planted on trellises against the side yard walls. Up lights illuminate the structural palms and vines, giving the garden a life of its own in the night! The designer has deliberately designed the entire landscape at one level to allow for flexibility in use of space.
A small covered area in the side yard provides an inviting, cozy space for the family to enjoy breakfast or an informal afternoon tea. Sculptural plants potted in colored concrete urns serve as decoration. Mass plantings of sanseveria, aloe and agave provide a soft, green screen against the white property wall.
Fountains and water walls are the preferred choice of water feature. These are strategically placed adjacent to family areas to allow the owners to be able to enjoy the delicate, calming sound of gently moving water.
The property is accessed through wrought iron gates set into the property walls. Howea palms highlight the entrances. Traditional lantern topped bollards provide area lighting, maintaining the traditional look and feel of the garden. These are repeated throughout the garden providing yet another unifying element in the landscape design.
Unlike other homes, there is no car parking in this classic front yard landscape, further allowing the entire space to remain uninterrupted by any built structures. This also allows large groups of people to be accommodated anywhere on the property.
The family area, located towards the rear of the property, is equipped with an outdoor kitchen, lounge seating and a formal dining area for al fresco dining. Surrounded by lush landscaping, it is framed on both sides by water features. The sound of falling water is both calming and relaxing. Laser-cut metal screens planted with climbing vines bring the outdoors into the covered family space, giving the impression of an oasis. In-ground lights and bollards highlight the curved pathways, providing directional lighting.
Designed as a wild, natural garden, the designer has cleverly utilized repeated patterns of paving, planting and lighting to unify the whole landscape. The traditional style of the home is reflected in the landscaping making the outdoors an extension of the home itself.