Green Retreat in the Midst of the City by Jacques van Leuken

Green Oasis in the City by Jacques van Leuken 02


If you don’t have a country estate, this is the next best thing: a serene space in the midst of the city by Dutch landscaper Jacques van Leuken — what he calls “a green oasis in the urban desert.” You get an immediate “oasis” feel from the waves of grass carpeting the incline between front entrance and driveway; the home itself blends in with garden colors, in its low-lying façade and wood grain and brick finishes that harmonize so well with its surroundings. Of course, not all of this is exactly as Mother Nature put it together: the sculpted topiary shrubs don’t happen without a little careful planting! The same holds true for the back yard space, with its fern-edged pond and cozy benches tucked in the midst of dappled shade.


This water feature isn’t an expansive lap pool, a glass-lined spa, or a combination of the two; it’s a spot made for water lilies and native plants. But it’s also not without its neat little “extras,” in the form of sculptured water birds poised for flight over a bubbling fountain that sends restful ripples to every edge. A pristine white stone deck runs the length of the house along the back, holding a bevy of tall shining planters next to the sliding glass doors and expanding to an alfresco entertaining area at one end. Yes, there’s nothing like a true country estate for total relaxation…but this oasis in a city yard comes close, thanks to the skilled pairing of nature and nurture by Jacques van Leuken.

















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Written by Janet Butler

Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).

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