Mirror Garden is a residential landscape that leverages the reflective properties of still water to enhance, underscore, and duplicate views throughout this Palm Springs residential garden. The architectural concept at Mirror Garden aimed to establish "view portals" within the building's interior to strategically frame vistas of the San Jacinto mountains while concurrently screening unsightly neighboring houses and built elements that could otherwise detract from the views. The result of these precisely calibrated "view portals" is a sense of privacy and relief, a sensation often elusive in an urban setting.
Aligned with the architectural concept, the landscape design employs water to enhance views of both designed and natural elements by "mirroring" them in the reflective surface of the water. Analogous to the use of mirrors in confined interior spaces, reflections in the water impart a sense of generosity and spaciousness to the enclosed Old Las Palmas landscape, despite neighboring residences on three sides of the property. As one traverses the garden, reflections shift depending on the vantage point, transitioning from highlighting feature walls and architectural cantilevers to showcasing mountains and vegetation. The dynamic interplay of water and light ensures that each experience of the garden is unique.
Private stone-paved patios, fire features, and an outdoor kitchen promote the concept of indoor/outdoor living, an increasingly prominent design objective for homeowners.
Intimate viewing gardens are visible through several of the architectural view portals, capitalizing on the presence of shade and allowing a less common planting typology in the desert to thrive where sun-tolerant species typically dominate. Low-water and low-maintenance planting shape the rest of the site's palette, recognizing that successful landscape design in the desert works with the sun and heat rather than against it.