I have been involved working on this garden for several renditions in the past while working under Lucy Hardiman of Perennial partners. Several years after I had left this design collaborative, the client called me to request a new garden for their front yard. They were interested in tearing out all the plants and building a woodland garden incorporating large boulders. I contracted with Dinsdale landscaping to install the boulders where I placed them according to my new layout. The client worked the soils and we chose plants based upon low maintenance. A year later, the client desired to remodel their back garden creating a terrace which would integrate with their newly remodeled home.
I was pleased to work with them again and was rather impressed by the extensive changes they had made to their home. The new remodel provided extensive views from the interior into the gardens beyond. My biggest challenge would be to maintain existing garden elements integrating into a new garden space, which would be more conducive to entertaining yet, still allow for the extensive plant collections.
The previous garden had been designed in garden rooms and had very separate identities. The primary element to be integrated was a Mediterranean garden, which showcased beautiful water column by artists, Little, and Lewis of Bainbridge Island, backed by a large blue concrete wall. The new garden would have to have LOTS of color elements.
When working with clients who enjoy collecting plants, I find it imperative to include garden walls and structures. My first task was to divide the spaces in new ways. The client desired to create several outdoor spaces where friends and family could comfortably congregate while enjoying the amazing plant palette.
Using the blue wall as a reference point, I began layering in more walls; a small 20″ tall green wall close to the house which would span nearly the entire view and provided a foreground band of color. The back of the garden sports a taller 4′ wall which runs parallel and is painted orange. This wall is my color backdrop for the garden through out the year. These walls, along with two new covered dining and seating spaces, provide wonderful matting for the plants to be showcased through the year. Even when the garden is most quiet during January-February, these walls integrate with the interior colors of the home and give the entire space a solid framework. On the garden’s main view corridor we placed a water feature framed by a low fire border. This focal point looks great year round and is quite inviting during those cool weather gatherings which frequently occur at this home.