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Something to "Fall in Love" with this Spring

As many of you might know I have been successfully building my design following both through e-design as well as locally. 

As a result I have not always been able to keep up with blogging....something I have enjoyed in the past years, and have always wanted to get back to.

With our world totally turned upside down right now, and with so many of us having more than enough free time to get out in our gardens, what better a time for me to bringing you both my 
knowledge as well as ideas to your garden once again.

I thought what better way to start other than to introduce you to an ornamental tree I have fallen in love with over the past year.

                    Ruby Falls Weeping Redbud

                                        Typical Spring Redbud blossoms hugging the branches

                                                      Only on a graceful weeping frame

                                            Fully leafed out with its green burgundy leaves

Colorful & heart shaped

                                           Come fall the leaves change to a golden hue

                                                  Works very well with Oregon Grape Holly

                                 Japanese Forest Grass

                                                             Lemon Lime Nandina

Cercis canadensis 'Ruby Falls' Plant Patent #22,097

Sku #5842
A lovely compact redbud tree with a weeping canopy that is perfect for a smaller-sized landscape. An excellent specimen plant with clusters of lavender-red, sweet pea-like blooms in spring. Small, semi-glossy, heart-shaped leaves turn yellow in fall. Deciduous.

Photos and info Monrovia, Jackson Perkins, Plant Data

If you would like to add a more Classical feel to your garden please contact me for further information at mwhite8410@gmail.com


A Filler No Garden Should Be Without

Nepeta or better yet, Catmint makes for a wonderful filler plant



Non - Invasive

May to September 

Sun to Partial Shade

Grey Green Aromatic Leaves

Purple , Lavender, White Blooms 

Great companion plant for Lambs Ear, Hosta and Iris

Bee Friendly

Shearing flower spikes after initial bloom will help promote continual blooming

Grey green leaves work exceptionally well with all the yellows

Softens hardscapes as well as defines them.

                               Works as an informal hedge

NEPETA Culture

Nepeta, who's common name is Catmint, easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers cool, moist soils. In northern areas, site plants in full sun. In the deep South, site plants in areas with some light afternoon shade. Plants may be cut back before first flowering to promote more compact size.

Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet

Spread: 1.50 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Blue/violet
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution

If you would like to add a more Classical feel to your garden please contact me for further information at mwhite8410@gmail.com


Maria's Garden Update

Maria Killam is a blogger, designer and colour expert who lives just outside of Vancouver, BC. Five years ago, she posted about her new house and the garden that needed to be completely ripped out and redesigned.

 I live in New York, but offered to help. I designed Maria's entire garden remotely with drawings and photos. Maria wanted the look of a classic English garden that included boxwood because it's green year round. She also wanted a white-on-white color scheme. I gave her two options for the front yard.

Option 1



The one lonely post was not beautiful yet, so I recommended that Maria move the downspout and beef it up to 10" and that's what she did.



Before (when she took possession)


A professionally designed landscape many times will incorporate both curves and straight lines to add a bit of tension.......but that is for another day.
The backyard was even worse than the front yard with half of it covered in concrete. Maria's studio office is behind her home (below):

Maria wanted a vegetable garden and she had two out-buildings, one on the left side (the studio above) and a garden shed located on the right (below):

 She had a large plum tree in the middle of the yard.  As a designer, I rarely if ever never leave a lonely tree planted among the grass and definitely not surrounded by a bed..........unless of course it is a great shade tree................plum trees seem to be a common choice by a novice, to incorporate a new colour into the landscape, however, the best way to make a purple plum tree look like it belongs in the design, it needs to be repeated by other purple shrubs and flowers........another blog altogether.

Not wanting to offend the plum tree gods....I originally incorporated the tree into the design plan.
Then, in the fall when Maria was raking and raking and raking the leaves she emailed me and said "Can I just get this tree taken out of our plan?",  I breathed a sigh of relief  and I replied "Off with her head".

This is the area in between both out-buildings. I designed a lattice fence to connect them with varying sizes of boxwood  & perennials in front of the fencing.

Here's the other side of the yard with the plantings in front of the patio.


Maria loves sitting on her sectional to enjoy the white hydrangeas and flowering Japanese Snow Bell tree in front of the sitting area. This is a note from Maria: "Every day I look outside and think of you because I would never have been able to dream up something so beautiful. My readers will occasionally leave me comments saying that since I'm a designer I could have done it myself but you and I both know that isn't true. Working with you was so fabulous because you have the experience to explain the WHY. Why my far-fetched ideas were not as good as yours! And because of that, I have the garden of my dreams." Thank you so much! Maria Killam, Founder and CEO of Understanding Undertones.
If you are building a new house, or planning a new landscape, I would love to help you create the garden of your dreams, you can contact me at mwhite8410@gmail.com. Go here to view my eDesign rates. SaveSave SaveSave


New Ideas for a Tradtional

Definitely a different take on your typical colonial home,  Matthew Cunningham chose to surprise us taking a modern approach to this renovation, one the average designer might not make

Instead of the typical overly detailed overly landscape design most would have done, Cunningham went ahead and stripped down the entire design to a clean basic look. 

Allowing the mature surrounding landscape to take center stage and adding at best minimal amenities such as a simple rectangular pool and spa, as well as a paired down bar unit and sitting area.

Stone walks and patio, simply laid, reinforce the whole minimal look.

I love the way the simple gate and fencing revert back to the dark shutters.....most would have opted to keep it safe with a white or at best cream fence.

In a perfect world it is always a good idea to situate the pool area a comfortable distance from the entry. You want to be able to walk into a yard and not feel as though you are right on top of the pool. From looking at the site plan this was not possible.
Positioning the simple trellis parallel to the pool serves to strengthen the design
.....a wonderful choice , wouldn't you say?

Not sure how I would have handled the bar unit and step system but do like the convenience of the cooking it right outside the door, tucked away, as well as not in the line of site from inside. 
So often I look out of wonderfully decorated room to the backs of barbecue system.

When designing a small pool layout, try to position the steps to the side as Cunningham has done in this pool. 
Long stadium steps are classic but only if you have the room. Side position steps with a bench running along one long length will still allow for swimming laps, and seating. Keep in mind steps usually can take from 4'-5' of swimming lane if not positioned right.

Let's open up a conversation on this post and design. Would love to hear your feed back and ideas on this "new idea " on a traditional. 


Don't forget to sign up for the end of month drawing!

If you would like to add a more Classical  feel to your garden please contact me for further information at mwhite8410@gmail.com