Los Angeles landscape designer Teryl Ciarlo is the biggest outdoor styling secret for celebrities and garden lovers on the West Side. Her fresh, clean looks and balanced designs create the perfect setting for stylish outdoor entertaining and living. Her elegantly simple creations are recognized for their traditional undertones, accented with a “wow” factor. Teryl’s first love was style, and she found a way to wrap style into garden design. She is truly a Gardenista; style, fashion and gardens mixed into one!
A key part of Teryl’s design process is to absorb a home’s existing tone, and reflect its flow outdoors as an extension of the interior, drawing guests to the garden. Through selecting the appropriate plants, and having a keen eye for symmetry and balance, Teryl’s passion is in styling a look that speaks in the voice of her clients. “I have a deep affection for being able to provide my clients with the classic ‘California Dreaming’ reality, using the indoor and outdoor living spaces as the path. Homeowners and their guests always gravitate toward the garden or terrace if you lead the way, by making it cozy and inviting.”
Growing up in Southern California, Teryl’s grandmother introduced her to the power of romantic floral arrangements, and the way gardening gathers people together. Ideas began circulating on how to marry these two loves of her life. “I remember how wonderful it felt being outside with my grandmother; growing flowers, roses, vegetables, and picking apricots from her tree. Her property even had a little barn. I realize now how lucky I was to grow up in those surroundings.” This lifelong infatuation became the driving force behind each garden design.
As a Brentwood resident, Teryl understands the longing for privacy while enjoying the outdoors. “I tend to love gardens surrounded by traditional manicured hedges and borders, defining their own Secret Garden areas. They provide an escape from the mundane, and a chance to quiet the mind.” Teryl wants her clients to go out and experience their garden, not just view it from the kitchen window. And, not just during the spring and summer. Teryl believes a sign of excellent landscape design is to create seasonless gardens, with plants peaking year-round.
We all have a vision for the garden of our dreams… “My dream garden is formal, surrounded by trees twinkling with the light of romantic hanging lanterns,” says Teryl. “A long farmhouse table sits atop clean gray gravel, inviting guests to gather and enjoy an outdoor fireplace. We’re surrounded by rows of manicured grass, climbing roses, clean boxwood hedge and a bench for a vantage point.”
Detailing is a constant theme in her design work…thoughtful placement of patio furniture, potted plants and lighting. It is important to understand scale when planning a garden. If living in tight quarters, the outdoor space must lure you out to it, to make the house seem bigger. “You could have the smallest garden or patio,” Teryl says, “but if you have hanging lanterns, string lights and votives everywhere, it becomes magical. Lighting is everything!”
The scenery of Teryl’s own travels and personal lifestyle has largely influenced her projects. “I take photos wherever I travel for visual inspiration.” From small patio gardens to full scale multi-acre landscape projects, part of her appeal lies in her ability to select the perfect pairing of plant species and garden accents to bring harmony and calm to the busiest of environments.
Although Teryl’s designs have been featured in many articles and publications, such as Coastal Living and Traditional Home, she enjoys donating her time and exceptional skill to various underprivileged schools in the area. Whether it’s getting rid of trash on campuses, replacing dead plants, or donating soil, herbs and vegetables so that kids can grow their own food, Teryl never hesitates to give back to her community.
“It is a luxury to entertain and relax in a beautiful outdoor space that appears to have effortless style. I make the outdoor living dreams of my clients come true through my landscape design…one beautiful garden at a time.”