This client hired me in the middle of a perennial garden design and installation after deciding that her landscape designer would not be able to complete it to her satisfaction. Ultimately, because she had put her garden on tour, she felt panicked. I told her I would work with what her other designer had ordered and design on the fly. We pulled it off and she was happy.
After the season was over, I had time to redesign her perennial bed. I wanted to repeat forms and colors throughout the beds to give the garden unity because unity helps move your eye through the garden. I used very few annuals, and the ones that I did use would eventually recede. I wanted to ensure there would always be something in bloom or something of interest. That is my philosophy on perennial garden beds and with landscape design in general. I included many different kinds of herbs in this bed as well. We have Thyme growing between the stepping stones, and Golden Sage, Golden Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, and Basil.
In the rose garden, since the winter was so bad, we were fortunate that only two had died. Others look bad but we are waiting to see if they grow back because there are still small amounts of green in the stumps. My client has someone to weed and prune her rose garden, so I have been teaching him how to prune the roses properly. I am making sure he knows that anything that has black spots should not to hit the ground, so the spores don’t get into the soil.
There is still more work to do in the perennial bed. As of now, ¾ of it is planted. In spaces where plants were not ready or had not arrived, I used different colored flags to serve as stand-ins. The color of the flag matches the color of the plant, so the client at least has a general feel of what the garden will look like. In the fall, we will add bulbs to the beds. I don’t like to plant bulbs until all of the perennials are in so I can plant them between the perennials. The bulb blooms will kickstart the garden’s life cycle as early as February or March, depending on the ferocity of the winter.