Archive for the ‘Landscape Design Projects’ Category

Almost every garden has unused or neglected spaces which can often be made into enjoyable portions of your overall garden experience. This side yard in a suburban neighborhood was virtually unused. It was also unattractive, but it didn’t take much to change that. A redefinition of the existing planting bed and adding a new one was essentially all that was required for this area to become one of the more enjoyable spaces on the property – and provide fabulous ‘sidewalk appeal’ as well.

An unused sideyard

Waste of Space

The homeowner loves to garden here, enjoys an abundance of flowers and spends every morning and late afternoon out here doing just that. Let’s look at how this was achieved.

The old plantings had outgrown their space, and usefulness. As often happens with inappropriate

foundation plants, the roots were beginning to damage the foundation so they were pulled and some of the plants were saved and used in the new beds.  Using mature plants within a new planting adds instant mass and strength.

It needed more ‘weight’ and mass in the yard to help balance with the fairly substantial structure. It could be more interesting and less static too.

Creating beds along the sidewalk brought more strength and mass to the planting areas and helped balance with the home, especially as the beds were bermed-up for more dimensionality. Shaping all the beds in curvy lines gave motion to the space, relieving it of the static quality.

Berming is a simple technique for bringing a vertical dimension to a garden. Covered in mulch and planted, berms remain stable, especially if planted quite densely and they make great planting beds. They drain well and are free from the competing roots of established trees.

As this previously neglected side yard was to become a major attraction with its richly planted beds, a path was deemed important and would contribute to the overall garden in several ways.

A path invites. It isn’t just sitting there, it’s saying, ‘follow me, I’ll take you somewhere’. So it is an encouragement to explore the garden. If laid in a curvy fashion it can also instill a pleasurable sense of motion. And then, a path is just plain practical. It’s nice to have solid stone beneath your feet while walking through your landscape. If laid, as this one was, with grass joints it is also quite attractive and since it was set in the soil, not expensive to build.


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Nice Garden

Photo by J. Glover

Designed by Helen Faulls. The photographer was John Glover. There is a beautiful balance between hardscape and softscape with planting embedded within the patio area and paving embedded in the upper lawn. A nicely unified, yet diverse garden with no element dominating another.

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