Wild Flower Garden Links Architecture to the Natural Landscape Award

Beautiful wild flowers

This sensational wild flower garden is the work of award winning landscape designers Lutsko Associates.  The designers have proven that, the boundaries that frequently exist between landscape architecture and nature, can be removed.  Here at the ultra modern Ketchum Residence there is no obvious divide as the garden and natural landscape flow into one another.  The managed area and the wilderness have become one.

House blend design with Wild Flower Garden

Wild Landscape in Ketchum Residence


This home and its glorious garden are situated in Wood River Valley, Ketchum, Idaho, USA. Although the house is next to a suburban road it also benefits from being adjacent to a beautiful, natural landscape. Whereas, many architectural projects regard any surrounding natural environment as separate from the domestic living spaces, here the beauty of the wilderness has been incorporated into the plans. At the Ketchum Residence the surrounding natural habitat has been brought right through the built regions and into the private garden. This was accomplished by encouraging native plant species and wild flowers to flourish in between the stepping stone pathway and in planting spaces next to the walls.

Wild Flower Garden – Ketchum Residence

Wild flowers

The climate in this area is relatively unforgiving and desert like, with a large amount of sunshine in summer but very cold winters.  Using native and wild species ensured the survival of this aspect of the planting scheme under extreme temperature changes.  The complex flora that this particular climate generates is particularly attractive and diverse. There is a wonderful softness to the wild flower garden and the diversity of textures and colors has a delightfully mellowing effect on the rigidly geometric architecture.

Low Maintenance Wild Flower Garden

Low Maintenance Wild Flower Garden


Lutsko Associates have further integrated the house with the local ecosystem by constructing a system of enticing pavilions and terraces.  The angularity of these creates visual unity with the main house but also adds a distinctive structure to the wild flower garden.  To encourage exploration and pleasant strolls, there is a scheme of very natural looking pathways that lead from the house, through the garden and out into the surrounding country meadows.

Wild Flower Garden Design

Ketchum residence wild flower


To ensure that unity was maintained between the house, garden and the wilder landscape, the architects were sensitive in selecting a color palette that harmonized with the area.  This applies to building materials, hard landscaping and planting. The wild flower garden and house have been designed for ease of maintenance so more time can be spent enjoying relaxation time in the garden than actually working on it!  The compatible materials chosen include local stone on the casually elegant terraces and naturally rusted steel whose mellow hues blend in with the environment.

Wild Landscape in Ketchum Residence

In short, at the Ketchum Residence, nature is actually invited into the garden, by combining a system of uncomplicated lines, sinuous curves, natural materials and native plant species. In this way the harmony between domestic architecture and the beauty of the untamed wilderness is established and complete.

Sunny flower garden in Ketchum

Wild Flower Garden entrance

 Photos by Marion Brenner Photography and Ron Lutsko, Jr.

by Lutsko Associates, Idaho, USA

Published by Iva