HGTV 2013 Dream House Has Lots of Plants!

It’s a bit premature to make a final judgment, but it looks as though HGTV’s 2013 Dream House  — located on Kiawah Island, South Carolina — might actually be worth cheering for!

Over on their website HGTV has posted a series of time-lapse photos which show the house and landscape under construction.  Here’s what I see that looks promising:

1. The house is not a gigantic sprawling behemoth, like the 2012 house and some others before it.  I don’t know that I would go so far as to use the word “modest”, but it’s in the realm of normal.  The whole lower floor is for parking, with living space above, so it has a fairly small footprint.

2. It seems to blend nicely into its coastal surroundings.  Looks like the builders left some existing stands of pines on the site instead of scraping the whole area clean.  I can’t tell exactly what plants they have selected here in the photograph, but they definitely look grassy, scrubby, beachy.  A deep, generous planting bed.  Hooray!  I hope they’ve used some natives! 

3. The home is being built in Indigo Park, a LEED Platinum community, so it will feature integrated geothermal systems, a built-in hook-up for an electric car, etc.  (Hear that?  The whole community is LEED Platinum.  Even the people!  I don’t think they’re allowed to burp or fart!)  But I like that HGTV is promoting a gorgeous, but less wasteful home.  And this home is not even their “Green Home” (now “Smart Home“) which is slated to be built in South Beach, Florida next year.

Of course, I am still annoyed by HGTV’s paltry gardening offerings, but confess I am smitten by the 2013 Dream House.  I may even enter to win!

18 thoughts on “HGTV 2013 Dream House Has Lots of Plants!

  1. There is hope – that looks to be a nice landscape, unlike that schlock they did in Utah. Seems this fits the context well, as you said. Looks mostly like local natives, too.

  2. I’ve worked on that house’s landscape so unfortunately can’t enter to win, but it is a good one! The landscape does feature a lot of SC natives, and they’ve preserved a lot of existing vegetation as well, especially in the rear along the marsh. Gorgeous views over the marsh, with Cedars and Yaupons in the foreground. Good luck!

  3. Wow, what an improvement on the 2012 house! I had to check it out for comparison. The description of its landscape as “Landscape elements were chosen to accentuate architectural features and meld with the surrounding meadow grasses. The low-maintenance plan incorporates hardy, drought-tolerant species.” was puzzling as I couldn’t actually see any garden at all.
    This SC 2013 version looks wonderful. Although it’s 3 storeys high it still sits down in its landscape & the textures are luscious. Is the green lawn to the right of the pic part of its garden? And maybe they could collect the burps and farts to run gas-heating for the plunge pool out back?

    • On the Utah house they had a couple firs and some Mugo pines, if I recall. And some Karl Foerster. But they didn’t really create a “garden” and they didn’t really just “let the natural landscape in”….somehow they wound up with the worst of both worlds. Anyway, looks like vast improvement here.

  4. Thanks for the heads up, I am going to enter as much as possible. I worked at Kiawah years ago, and it is indeed a beautiful place. I am glad that Jen says they have left much of the natural landscape intact, it would be hard to compete with it.

  5. The house does seem wonderful. The rendering is awesome: exuberant, varied, colorful. The photograph shows a tired more cliched sort of planting though. Hey, if you owned the house, that’d be easy to fix!

  6. Love it, Mary. I don’t know how you find such diverse, interesting things to write about. I suppose I’ve had the same question presented. The main character in the book I mentioned rebuilds a rundown, historic farmhouse into a mission style beauty. The heroine, of course, does all the landscape design. The Master Gardeners who have read it gave it a thumbs up. So fun.
    R.T. Wolfe
    Black Creek Burning (F & W Publishing, 2012)

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