Garden Layout

Drift roses define the path borders in this garden layout.

Garden layout is one of the most rewarding things I do.   For example, today I delivered 250 trees, shrubs and perennials to a new home.   There will be no lawn in the good size backyard, so lots of material is required to fill the space.

Braden plants the calamagrostis.

250 different plants would be too busy.   Many, if not most plants were in multiples of 3-8, with some as many as 18.  Let me tell you my method for garden layout.   

I start with the conifers, the 12 month, structural plants that will define the garden.  This is a view property.  We preserved the view by using very columnar plants for vertical accent.  The view is preserved further by placing trees on the perimeter in places where the view is nil, or already occluded by other plantings.

Shrubs are next.   This garden used a number of Cotoneaster lucidus along the back perimeter.   Tall ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas are in front of kitchen windows, making the view beautiful instead of neighbor’s fence.  Deciduous trees were few, but I selected them to enhance fall color. 

A big container serves as the focal point for the garden.

Fall color is also enhanced by a number of burning bushes and Fothergilla ‘Blue Shadow’.   The latter is lesser known, but no less lovely.  It also has a pretty bottle brush bloom in spring.

Long blooming plants are favorites in my garden layout process.  I love Drift Roses for their continuous bloom.   I love that Centranthus and Salvia both rebloom if cut back when bloom is complete.  Delospermas keep blooming sometimes as late as Thanksgiving. Ornamental grasses provide lovely winter interest.  Texture is also considered.

This big conifer (Bush’s Lace) grows by the weeping Alaskan cedar next door with no loss of view.

The best thing about garden layout is not the satisfaction of making a garden worthy of the garden tour.  The best thing is meeting and working with the wonderful people who bring you aboard to beautify their world.

 Coreopsis, Centranthus, etc planted in groups for more impact.

Steppable ‘Pink Chintz’ thyme  covers the path to the hose.