Lollipop-Inspired Backyard

A tired backyard evolves into a garden with a "wow" factor. With a combination of clever lighting, scented plants and towering trees, host Matt James completely transforms the space.

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Privet topiaries in terra-cotta pots add a formal effect while softening the edges of the new flagstone patio. They also offer the interesting shapes Peter wanted. Topiary like this need a trim every couple of months.

Matt has also added plantings of fragrant herbs for Nicole. He divides scented plants into three categories. There are free scents, such as jasmine and gardenia, that are powerful enough to permeate through the whole space. Up-close-and-personals, such as mint and rosemary, transfer scents as you wander past, and touchy-feely plants, including ginger, are ones you need to get your hands on for the full effect.

Plant list

  • Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa)
  • wisteria
  • Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha)
  • lavender (Lavandula sp.)
  • tricolor sage (Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor')
  • Japanese pittosporum (Pittosporum tobira)
  • bush anemone (Carpentaria californica)
  • Corokia cotoneaster 'Little Prince'
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