The team solved drainage in three ways. First, the masons left small gaps between the dry-stacked stones to allow the rock walls to be porous to water. Second, on the hidden side of each wall is a crushed-rock system. Third, pathways between the stone steps feature crushed basalt gravel, which absorbs water rather than contributing to runoff.
Hilarie used a variety of native plants in the shade garden, including Jack in the pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) and pink turtlehead (Chelone lyonii), both shown here, as well as foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia), baneberry (Actaea sp.), Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense), creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera) and a variety of native trees.
“My shade garden is ‘wilder’ than other areas of the property and is meant to convey a tapestry of shade-loving plants that blend a cultivated look with more of a naturalistic style,” Hilarie says. This flagstone path leads through a shady glade, past broad-leaved hosta, ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) and dogwood (Cornus sp.).
The garden house sits partially concealed by deciduous trees, amid a sea of primarily native ferns including hay-scented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula), ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), Himalyan maidenhair fern (Adiantum venustum), northern maidenhair fern (A. pedatum) and lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina).
An enclosure is a traditional solution for hiding bulky plastic garbage and recycling bins. This design in Boston by Michael D’Angelo Landscape Architecture gives the typical approach a modern twist with evenly spaced horizontal boards for both the bin enclosure and the fencing. The enclosure’s sloped roofline also would make it easy to lift the lid of a bin to add trash, recycling or green waste without needing to pull out the bin completely.
a single, well-positioned bar on the exterior niche of this petite shed makes it suddenly easy to balance a wheelbarrow upright and out of the way. Not only does this save space, it’s a good reminder not to leave your wheelbarrow sitting out where it can collect rainwater (and breed mosquitoes).
This garden shed from Outpost London may be small, but it works hard. Pegs fitted onto the back of the door hold frequently used tools, upper shelves provide storage for watering cans and soil amendments, and a larger space below can fit a bicycle. An adjoining potting bench provides room to spread out gardening projects on the worktop and store extra pots and soil on shelves below.
f your home or garden aesthetic leans toward contemporary, consider using metal rather than wood to create a more modern bin unit. The designers at 415 Remodeling installed a steel enclosure in the side yard of this San Francisco home and added a living roof of mixed succulents and planters filled with evergreens and ornamental grasses to help soften the metal structure.
Small, round decks, like this one in a London garden by Kate Eyre Garden Design, can be well-suited for creating intimate seating nooks. For irregular site layouts, you may want to consider a deck design that includes semicircular, square or angular pop-out sections that extend from the main deck to capitalize on a bit more square footage.
ura Heat river birch (Betula nigra ‘BNMTF’), ornamental onion (Allium ‘Millenium’) and Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica) grow in the steps’ built-in planter. Throughout the project, plantings provide color and visual interest, shade and screening. They also reinforce the calm, contemporary style the homeowners wanted in the design.
Like the spa, the TV lounge was designed for use beyond the warm months. Acrylic panels top the pergola and protect the seating area from rain and wet weather. Ceiling-mounted heaters allow the homeowners to use the space later into the year. The TV and the pergola are mounted on the garage, with garage access from the seating area.
In the terraced beds, blue fescue (Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’) pops against golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) in the lower planter and complements the gray concrete retaining walls. The tendrils of golden creeping Jenny trail over the front of the planter for dramatic effect. In the upper planter, an ‘Autumn Brilliance’ serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’) anchors the space and adds height. It provides year-round interest, with white spring flowers, green summer foliage, fall color and winter berries loved by birds. A native meadow — one of two in the front yard — surrounds the serviceberry, featuring a mix of low-growing grasses, gray sages and dwarf shrubs. “I wanted to bring a little more of wild nature into their garden,” Farmer says.
Dry stream beds use a combination of raised berms and sunken areas lined with rocks and gravel to create the illusion of a stream running through a garden while adding dynamic level changes within the yard. In this garden by Sage Ecological Landscapes in San Luis Obispo, California, the designers suggest water with a dry stream bed that can be traversed by a small bridge.
venly spaced horizontal wood slats have become an increasingly popular fence design, but they still make a design statement. In this Seattle yard designed by SCJ Studio Landscape Architecture, a cedar fence encircles a front yard seating area, providing privacy but also glimpses of the garden. This style works well with most contemporary buildings and with traditional homes that have horizontal siding, such as shiplap or tongue and groove.
The shimmering colors of backlit prairie grasses and flowering perennials meld together in this artful meadow garden by Adam Woodruff. While the plants were chosen for many seasons of interest, the garden is particularly stunning in late summer and fall, when slanting light illuminates mauve puffs of purple lovegrass, light gold ‘Shenandoah’ switchgrass and the raspberry-colored petals of ‘Ruby Star’ coneflower.
Pink, Lavender and Yellow in Massachusetts A creamy palette of pastel blooms appears to float above the foliage in this perennial garden border by Amy Martin Landscape Design. Long-blooming Japanese anemone, which flowers consistently from August to October in white or pink, offers great color alternatives for fall. Flowers sit atop tall, slender stems that rise above other companion plants — including the clumps of ‘Autumn Joy’ stonecrop used here — and look beautiful when silhouetted against a backdrop of foliage. Plant list: Japanese anemone (Anemone hupehensis var. japonica, zones 4 to 8) ‘Autumn Joy’ stonecrop (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, zones 3 to 10) Tickseed (Coreopsis sp.) Ornamental grasses Water requirement: Moderate Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Seasonal torrential rains mean drainage is an important feature for this mostly paved backyard. Horn installed a custom trench drain that runs the length of the bluestone patio next to the water feature. She left a joint open between the pavers and installed a slotted PVC pipe with a screen over it. Individual stone pieces were cut to fit into the slot. All water drains toward this trench, into the PVC pipe and out through underground pipes. “It’s a lot more attractive, and it’s less expensive” compared to installing a metal trench drain, the architect says.