Choreographing Nature with Form and Function

Landscape architects and designers are the quiet innovators and artists behind magic-making in the gardens, fields, and forests that surround beautiful horse farms and ranches.

We feel a sense of place in a carefully designed environment, be it an intimate space dense with verdant offerings, or acres of subtly swaying grasses lulling us into quiet bliss.

But behind the bucolic views lies the expert knowledge of designers honoring the land, preserving its resources, and enhancing its natural undulating rhythm.

Without us realizing it, their designs direct our gazes in twists and turns and outward toward distant vanishing points. They lead us unconsciously to explore and wander.

EQ assembled some of America’s top landscape designers and architects to share their secrets.

JON CARLOFTIS is an award-winning garden designer, garden writer, television guest, author, and lecturer. Jon is the owner of the Rockcastle River Trading Company, a popular home and garden store located on his family’s property in Livingston, Kentucky. The beautiful gardens designed by Jon that surround the Carloftis home and store have been featured in BMW Magazine, Country Home, Garden & Gun, Outdoor Rooms, and Southern Living. Jon is the author of Beautiful Gardens of Kentucky, Beyond the Windowsill, and First a Garden.

WADE GRAHAM is a landscape designer, historian, and writer based in Los Angeles. He holds a doctorate in American history and teaches urbanism and environmental policy in the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. He is the author of American Eden: From Monticello to Central Park to Our Backyards: What Our Gardens Tell Us About Who We Are.

JANICE PARKER has received many awards, including the 2012 Palladio for Landscape Architecture and multiple Innovation in Design Awards from Connecticut Cottages and Gardens. She has participated in New York City’s Million Trees Project; and has been featured in leading publications, including The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Metropolitan Home, Interior Design, and Vogue.

LAUREL ROBERTS is the daughter of horse whisperer Monty Roberts and his wife, Pat. Her interest in horticulture began while working at and managing the Roberts’ Flag Is Up Farm in the Santa Ynez Valley of California—eventually assuming management of the ground’s crews. She went on to study horticulture at California Polytechnic and has since designed horse-healthy barns, arenas, and farms around the country.

CHRISTINE TEN EYCK moved from Texas to Arizona in 1985, where she established a thriving landscape architectural practice emphasizing regional residential, hospitality, and public projects. In 2007 she returned to Texas and started the Austin studio. With a mission of connecting urban dwellers with nature and with one another, her firm creates transformative landscapes that celebrate the beauty of the Southwest. Her firm’s work has been internationally recognized for its simple, rugged beauty and utility.

MORGAN DIX WHEELOCK was educated at Harvard College and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he earned a Master of Landscape Architecture degree. He founded Morgan Wheelock Landscape Architects in 1976. With offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Palm Beach, Florida, his practice is worldwide, ranging from residential gardens to urban design, botanical gardens, and institutional campuses.

Read EQ’s feature story of Stephanie Peters’ interviews with these design experts in the Spring issue.

See slideshows of landscape designs by:

John Carloftis

Janice Parker

Christine Ten Eyck

Morgan Dix Wheelock

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