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The Armentrout Garden – Designer Ann Nickerson

When I first visited the Armentrout’s back garden I saw a giant Sequoia overshadowing a thin sloping lawn, an old sport court, and a worn out deck. It had lots of potential but looked tired and uninviting.

After a nice chat, I discovered they wanted a quiet shady, retreat with room for the grandkids to play, and the sounds of water splashing and wildlife scurrying about. The oversized backyard had challenges and possibilities.

We incorporated a new deck with an existing smaller patio, and the sport court to provide entertainment areas and access around the garden. The sloping lawn was able to be flattened with the addition of a decorative retaining wall. A harmonious blend of evergreen and deciduous shrubs in shades of green, gray, gold and burgundy drape over the wall and surround the other garden elements.

The overwhelming Sequoia was limbed up and under-planted with shade loving perennials with pink and white blooms. We sprinkled variegated gold and green shrubs throughout the back garden to give a feeling of dappled shade even on dark rainy days.

The front garden complements the formal Colonial façade of the house. We kept the hedge of dwarf boxwood lining the front walk, but also added a less formal paver walkway from the driveway to the front door. The same pavers were also used to edge the driveway. The additional width allows guests to move easily around the cars to the new walkway.

Because the front windows are only eighteen inches above the ground, we planted low growing shrubs and perennials between the pathway and the house. Red, white and gold are the bloom colors in the flower beds as well as the two large ceramic containers that flank the front door.

The results of this garden makeover are an easy-care yet attractive front garden, and a back garden that’s inviting and relaxing for friends and family of all ages.

Ann Nickerson, Ann Nickerson

Since incorporating in 1993 Ann has helped over 300 clients discover their personal refuge; ranging from four-acre country estates complete with a small lake, to patio gardens and native hideaways.  She has worked together with her clients to interpret such styles as Japanese, Mediterranean, and English Cottage Garden to our climate and to the specific needs of the client and their site.

She has used waterfalls, dry creek beds, paths, patios, structures, and accents to transform their yard into an inviting sanctuary. Ann’s greatest desire is to creat a garden that her client will enjoy in every season.

Photographer: Doreen Wynja

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