Unique Planting Plans
If working on a design for a client, it is vital that you talk through your planting ideas before committing to a final design, not only to help them visualize the finished garden, but also to agree on a plan that they can easily maintain.
A Divided Garden
Unless you divide it up in some way, a rectilinear garden holds no surprises. To avoid the "what you see is what you get" effect, designer Fran Coulter created a visual break between a decked terrace along the side and back of the house and the rest of the garden.
Rosa ‘New Dawn'
Clematis ‘Pink Fantasy'
Lonicera nitida ‘Baggesen's Gold'
Weigela Naomi Campbell(syn. ‘Bokrashine')
Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea'
Design in Focus
When a garden is overlooked by neighbors, especially from an upstairs window, a climber-clad pergola provides privacy for seating or dining areas. However, in this design — the area shown is approximately 11 x 8 feet — the pergola is used as a colorful boundary between a decked terrace to the side and back of the house, and the garden beyond. The wood is painted a matt red to match the Scandinavian-style property. In Sweden, the paint is traditionally made with iron and copper ores, and these tones are picked up in the planting: the purple grapevine, wine-red Weigela, and the complementary pink rose and clematis.
The Cutting Garden
The client's brief was to create a traditional cutting garden. The triangular site, set within a country-style garden and measuring roughly 15 x 15 x 28 feet, is open and sunny. The owner also wanted the planting to create more privacy along the boundary, and the flat site needed some vertical accents to add interest.
Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula'
Euphorbia x martini (turns pink)
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Flamingo'
Design in Focus
A broad range of plants that bloom from spring to late summer ensures a season-long supply of flowers for cutting, and the rich mix adds to the overall feeling of abundance. Because foliage is available from shrubs elsewhere in the garden, the planting is mainly herbaceous with an interplanting of spring and summer bulbs, such as alliums, lilies, and dahlias. Dotted throughout the garden, spaces have been left empty for seasonal color from annuals and wallflowers.
A pleached hornbeam hedge (Carpinus betulus) gives privacy along the boundary wall (beyond this plan): the top branches block prying eyes, while bare lower stems allow a view of a decorative stone wall.
Height was needed to break up the flat terrain, and the weeping pear (Pyrus), with its clear stem and airy canopy, offers color and structure, without blocking the view. It also responds well to pruning.