turning nothing into something!

I love this project. It shows how a non-descript section of property can become orderly and mannered without being stuffy or boring. It honors the character of the land and the architecture of the home. It also illustrates the benefits of implementing a garden design in phases. Starting with the major “bones” and adding layers and filling in gaps over time as budget, desire and motivation allow.

in the beginning: 10/17

The clients (dear friends of mine) wanted to establish a more defined berm along the corner and side of their quite large backyard. There were healthy tall deciduous trees, but no real property definition or privacy screen between their yard and their neighbor’s. The existing plantings consisted of two small areas of mostly mulch and shrubs that were struggling to thrive. The area was calling out for height and structure, color and texture. There was also an urgent need to divert rain water runoff that resulted following changes in grading of the neighbor’s landscape. By the following spring, we were ready to take action!

defining the planting area: 4/28/18

Working with Bill Parker from Parker Garden Design, a basic plan was established for creating a large mixed planting bed to accommodate deciduous and evergreen trees, shrubs and perennials. Bill also devised a way to use river stones on the back edge of the bed to help divert water runoff away from the clients’ house. Taking advantage of the natural downhill slope, water from heavy rains now runs off and down toward the street instead of pooling at the back door.

first shopping trip for trees & shrubs: 5/3/18

In early May, the wholesale nurseries are chock full of amazing specimens. We had no trouble finding about a dozen different evergreens, deciduous shrubs, ornamental trees and perennials at Millican Nurseries to get this project started! Plants were selected for their ability to thrive in part-shade conditions and to provide 4 season interest. (click and hover on each photo for more information)

breaking ground: 5/25/18

After a damp beginning here in southern New Hampshire, the weather Gods graced us with glorious sunshine to end the month of May. Phase 1 began by removing turf to shape the planting area, digging up and then “planting” huge boulders to help create focal points in this large bed. Next came installation of aluminum edging on the back side of the bed to contain the river rock used to divert rain water runoff. Finally, truckloads of a loam/compost blend were hauled in to mound up the planting bed and give it some height. (click and hover on each photo for more information)

phase 1 complete: 5/31/18

In just a few short days, the first round of plantings have found their new home and are topped off with a generous layer of Nutri-Mulch for added protection, nourishment and weed control. Everything really pops in the dappled sun/shade! (click and hover on each photo for more information)

Phase 2, the garden matures: 2018-2019

In the fall of 2018, we planted ‘Ruby Ribbons’ ornamental grasses and panicle hydrangeas to add depth, texture and bloom. In May 2019, European Ginger, Ligularia ‘Othello’ and ‘Morning Light’ ornamental grasses were added.

By summer of 2019, things are filling in and specimens like the oak leaf hydrangea are really filling out!

If you have a shady corner that you’d like to turn from blah to bodacious, drop me a line and we’ll chat!