A John Storrs Home, Circa 1961                                                                          The Oregonian, & Papazian, D. (2010, February 18). [Photograph]. Retrieved from      

Mid-century modern homes wove form and function together with an important link to nature: one could walk outside the master bedroom door to a private, park-like yard. Employing landscape materials such as stone, architectural concrete block, multi-color fiberglass fence panels and moss covered walkways to create the signature Northwest style. For most architects, the ability to blend seamlessly from the structural design of the building to the site often proved a challenge in the wet region of Portland, Oregon.

Landscape design of the MCM yard would begin with pathways of brick, stone or crushed gravel. The pathway provided the “floor plan” for the exterior planting of trees, shrubs and perennials.

To accent the dark, wet skies of the Northwest, landscape architects used specimens that provided not only structure but much-needed color.

Trees to anchor the overall design: Japanese Maple, Magnolia, Weeping Birch, Flowering Cherry, Willow.

Shrubs: Red or Yellow Twig Dogwood, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Chokeberry, Viburnum, Oregon Grape Holly.

Perennial Vines: Columbine, Wisteria.