Doing Garden Design, part 4: Results Are In

Six years have passed since my garden remodel process started.  They say that it takes at least three years for perennial plantings to begin living their best life. Most of the new plants are in their fifth year, and are now well established.

As with any architectural project, now that it has been realized, I can evaluate how the design meets my original goals, which were to have larger drifts of fewer, more thoughtfully placed, more evergreen, and more drought tolerant plants. I wanted to brighten the shady places. 

Here are some instances which correlate strongly to the goals.


“A new “flowery flower” area along the upper path in a sunny stretch is full of color from spring through fall. I added drip irrigation here, which made all the difference for the success of these plants.


In the upper left corner, an abelia ‘kaleidoscope’ provides an ever changing show of color. Beyond it, on the far side of the path, a large drift of evergreen germander with late-summer purple flowers has filled in nicely. Beyond it, the new Italian prune plum tree started yielding plums last year!


Goatsbeard brightens an area of full shade. One of the three didn’t make it, so it was replaced (in green cage). Wonderful surprise: the hellebore in the left foreground is a volunteer from a nearby clump.


A new dwarf hydrangea sparkles at a shady turn of the path. Sweet woodruff forms a carpet underfoot. Spotted lamium adds contrasting foliage.


In the formerly neglected upper right corner, three tall prickly mahonias form a backdrop for a row of heavenly bamboos.

Map showing larger new elements of redesigned upper garden.  Letters correspond to photos, above. Compare to schematic design sketch, in Part 2 of this series.

Like all gardens, this one is ever evolving. I am very happy with the changes I initiated six years ago!

All photos by Laura Kraft.

Feel free to share the content of this posting, but please provide a link back to 2H Pencil.

I invite your comments.


2 thoughts on “Doing Garden Design, part 4: Results Are In

  1. Hi Laura- wonderful description & photos of your beautiful garden! A privilege to live next door to you and see the progression, & all the thoughtfulness you put into it.

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