This Glam Atlanta Garden Channels the Seventies

Lifestyle expert Danielle Rollins has transformed her fabulous Atlanta garden into a time-tripping respite from daily life.

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Photo By: Angela West

Potager Tending

Interior designer and lifestyle expert Danielle Rollins lives in a gracious Georgian home in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta with an inspiring backyard garden devoted to a navy and white color scheme, a beautifully designed edible garden and a space that continues her interest in design outdoors. Rollins' highly aesthetic potager is conveniently located right outside her kitchen door for quick and easy access to her edibles. She grows a variety of heirloom vegetables and fruit and herbs, but is as focused on design here as in every other aspect of her Atlanta garden. "In a busy world, there is something therapeutic about digging in the dirt," says Rollins. And it's a democratic pursuit too. "People can't decorate on their own, but people can garden. It's so accessible." Rollins will have a second design book published by Rizzoli New York next year.

A Backyard Built for Relaxing

Refined, manicured and with the distinct imprint of a tastemaker and designer's keen eye, Danielle Rollins' Atlanta backyard is a celebration of symmetry and a harmonious, purposeful color palette. Better still says Rollins, "nothing is ultra, ultra expensive" in her outdoorscape. "I wanted to have the sense of an English country house," she says of the look and feel of her gracious home.

Stylish Vessel

"I always joke that I'm going to force people to have a lifestyle whether they want one or not" says designer Danielle Rollins, of her beautiful approach to life seen in her own Atlanta home's outdoor design scheme. Part of making her garden work: blooms all year round in a consistent color palette and a focused navy and white color scheme that plays out throughout the garden, from the outdoor fabrics to the architectural features to the containers like this whimsical strawberry pot in her edible garden.

Berry Pot

Rollins has continued her navy and white theme with an oversized strawberry pot that also provides the perfect focal point in her edible garden. Raised beds are critical for growing edibles says Rollins who uses a special soil mix far better than the region's Georgia clay. Pea gravel gives a crisp look in the potager.

Asian Influence

The wrought iron pagoda in Rollins' vegetable garden was sourced at Atlanta's Scott's Antiques Market and powder coated for a fresh finish. Painted white brick garden beds provide visual continuity with the brick of the main house. Tucked out of sight is a garden bench on wheels that Rollins can roll whereever she needs it. Obelisks support beans in the edible garden but also give a decorative feel.

Grand Garden

Rollin's uniform garden colors of green and white are beautifully set off by the tailored lines of her home. Rollins put her own design stamp on the home when she bought it by painting its red brick a crisp white which contrasts with the dark navy, almost black shutters she added. Brick edging and a line of boxwoods provide precision and delineated edging for her garden beds. When planning a garden says Rollins, "you have to think long term...gardening is the ultimate lesson in patience."

365 Blooms

Rollins' garden blooms almost all year long with a rotating flower display from peonies, lenten roses, 'Limelight' and 'Annabelle' hydrangea, gardenia (for the luscious smell), butterfly bush and daisies, all in shades of silver, white and chartreuse. Most of these flowers are also durable, and plants like these daisies are often cheap; all practical considerations when choosing plants for your garden.

Symmetry Smarts

More than anything, Danielle Rollins' Atlanta garden is a poem of symmetry and order, the hallmarks of a formal garden. Garden beds are organized behind boxwood hedges and in the distance a grove of hornbeams beautifully frame a sculpture of a stag that pays tribute to her Buckhead neighborhood.

Crisp Border

White lattice provides a crisp, clean border in this stunning Atlanta garden. Danielle Rollins has surrounded her pool with beds filled with a uniform color palette of light green, white and silver plants and flowers. Beds of hydrangea and daisies keep things fresh and cheerful.

Faux Basket

This charming, rustic container is actually concrete made to look like a basket in Danielle Rollins edible garden. You can find these containers and other housewares on her online interior design site.

Monochrome Palette

White and navy architectural details provide a clean backdrop for the similarly refined color palette in Danielle Rollins' garden where a grove of white and green shrubs and flowers provide a sense of enclosure in the pool area. The entire backyard is bordered on two sides by Rollins' handsome Georgian home, giving it a secret garden, private feel that adds to its appeal. "I don't really like flowers that much" says Rollins of her muted color palette and understated garden design, which she created herself.

Room With a View

Brilliantly arranged to accommodate multiple generations of Danielle Rollins' family, this wing extending off the back of the home is just for Rollins and allows her to fling open the French doors of her bedroom and go for a swim first thing in the morning. "I swim almost every morning," says Rollins, with the pool just "42 steps from my bed." The wing also affords her privacy; her parents' occupy space in the main house and her children and god-daughter live on the second floor of her home.

Front and Center

The front patio of Rollins' bedroom wing features tailored console skirts in the theme of white and dark navy. The accompanying mirrors with a lattice frame complement the lattice motif in the rest of the garden. Rollins points out that the color she has chosen for her home's shutters is purposeful. "You can't tell if it's black or navy. It's a little softer than black," but the color offers stunning contrast to the home's painted white brick.

Pattern Play

Mixing patterns brings interest to your outdoor space, especially when the color scheme remains consistent, no matter what the pattern. With a strict color scheme, says interior designer Danielle Rollins, you are more able to move items around for parties or just change things up. Rollins prefers to use sturdy fabrics from Sunbrella on all outside furniture. Outdoor mirrors enlarge this covered patio space and a ceiling fan keeps things comfortable in the steamy South.

Pool Duty

"Structured with whimsy" is how hostess, designer and tastemaker Danielle Rollins describes her Atlanta garden in the posh Buckhead neighborhood which she has designed to provide interesting views no matter what the angle. "I like the vistas" says Rollins. "One room goes to the next and invites you over." Clematis, roses, jasmine and honeysuckle in shades of white, silver and chartreuse keep a uniform look in the garden. Her pool boasts fun water jets for interest and lights to make it suitable for swimming any time of day or night.

Take Shelter

Rollins' pool house is a great hangout for fairer skinned visitors who want to hang out there but still be in on the poolside action. "If you're pale, you can still be a part of it," she says. The retro lattice motif as well as the navy and white color scheme integrate the pool house with the rest of the garden. There's a bathroom, a storage closet and a wet bar though Rollins prefers to bring coolers outside for parties rather than bother with the maintenance hassle of an outdoor fridge.

Well-Planned Pool House

One door leads to a storage area for cushions (Rollins planned the spacing of the shelves to perfectly coordinate with her cushion sizes) and other outdoor items and the other to a convenient powder room for changing into a swimsuit and to keep swimmers from tracking water into the main house. On the other side of the space is a built-in bar that Rollins uses as a self-service bar for parties, bringing coolers outside for drinks.

Sight Lines

"Every view faces a garden," says Danielle Rollins of the way she has constructed her Atlanta backyard garden. Rollins' swimming pool is a centerpiece of her garden, where she swims most mornings, stages parties (or impromptu swimming after-parties, for which she keeps a collection of suits on hand) and even uses it for team-building with her staff. "It's been our official bonding space," she says. Her only regret is not installing more lights in her heated pool for nighttime swims.

A Study in Navy and White

Atlanta designer Danielle Rollins' garden is an instructive study in navy and white, a pared-back color palette that gives her space its retro, tailored feel. That color scheme is carried through in Chinoiserie containers, crisp white trellises and accents like throw pillows and whimsical painted trash cans which create design continuity.

Keeping it Simple

Clean, elegant lines keep Danielle Rollins' outdoor spaces both beautiful and functional. Rollins prefers to use tablecloths in her outside spaces in suitable outdoor fabrics for a polished look. Simple plants in vessels that can be used both inside and out are a great solution to overwintering. "I rarely buy cut flowers" says Rollins who instead uses flowers from her garden or moves plants in terra-cotta and Chinoiserie pots indoors for color.

Homey Turf

Rollins prefers turf around her pool because of the softness it creates. "I tend not to look at it as fake grass" says Rollins of the artificial turf she says is more economical in the long run. Rollins has three dogs and purchased a special variety of turf that works well with pets.

Private Nook

Next to Rollins' kitchen garden is a shady space where a previous owner planted bamboo for privacy and a tall stone wall gives the feeling for visitors of being in a hidden oasis. Begonias, Japanese maple and geraniums kept in simple terra-cotta pots mean Rollins can move them around for parties, or bring them inside when the weather gets cold. Red flowers attract hummingbirds, which Rollins loves, but she keeps those more colorful flowers separate from the rest of the garden for continuity's sake. Rollins uses hinoki cypress growing here for cuttings inside at holiday time.

Al Fresco Dining

Dining outside for many months of the year is one of the pleasures of life in Atlanta. Rollins softens outdoor spaces with ferns, palms and other plants displayed in containers whose colors coordinate with her outdoor design scheme.

Espalier Art

This pretty metal artwork featuring an espalier fruit tree on the loggia abutting the main house echoes the real-life espalier beyond. Ceramic plates provide visual balance, fill out the wall and reiterate the edible theme on this patio where meals are often enjoyed.

The Art of Growing

Jasmine grows on an espalier form on a patio just outside the main house.

Wet and Wild

Rollins' garden is a wonderful balance of control in her boxwood-anchored raised beds, and crisp white lattice mixed with daisies, hydrangea and butterfly bush to lend a wild, whimsical air to the space.

Flower Grove

Form means a lot when it comes to garden design. These daisies and hydrangea with their lollipop appearance on tall stalks give a sense of playfulness to Danielle Rollins' garden.

Design in Mind

"I think design is pretentious if it's not done with a sense of purpose" says Rollins who has kept her outdoor design scheme tailored and pared back. She likes to use laminated chair cushions outside. "I try not to look at outdoor furniture as static," says Rollins, "I try to look at pieces as moveable so you can use things in a variety of places."

Set a Scene

When appropriate and for parties, Rollins likes to use tablecloths on plain outdoor-ready tables "because it feels more inviting." Using classic, simple terra-cotta pots throughout her garden allows her to keep a coordinated look and the pots can easily be used indoors as well.

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