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Creating the Woodland Garden

It’s always fun when a client requests that all the sod be removed to make way for a new garden. It’s wonderful, too when the owner of a difficult yard, perhaps one that’s too shady and wet to have a quality lawn, is excited to hear that the solution is not a lawn at all, but meandering paths and a generous shade garden.

This was the case with Julia’s recent client who was dealing with a thin lawn, bare spots, damp and shade. One look at the space and Julia saw the potential for a lush shade garden.

(Above: The old lawn is on its way out, creating a blank slate for a new, woodland garden.)

“When I toured the property, I was immediately struck with the great shade trees in the backyard. We had privacy, reliable shade and better yet, an upper deck from which to look down and enjoy the shape of the new garden beds and paths,” Julia recalls. “The bones, or structure of the garden was mostly there: most importantly in mature trees we could never replicate overnight. All that was needed was movement, a beautiful way to direct water and a cozy spot to sit and enjoy the new garden.”

The client asked if Julia could concentrate on the design of the land: paths and such. Plants would come in more slowly. “This was an easy request to make because whether you want to plant the entire space straight away or over time, what you don’t want to do is skimp on is the stone elements, garden paths and hardscapes. They are that important and are that difficult to work in after all the plants are installed,” Julia explains.

The design includes a dry creek bed with large stone bridges, beds of pine straw for future plantings as well as mulch and stone paths. The paths crisscross the yard to create movement and visual interest. In the back of the garden, a cozy sitting space was created with compressed crushed stone (for drainage) and edged with cobblestone.

“Even without a full plant display, the design is interesting to view, especially from the upper deck and looks like a woodland garden,” says Julia. “Over time we will continue to divide existing perennials to fill in bed areas, plant bulbs in the fall, and add some new perennials each year until the garden is lush and full. I’m looking forward to watching this one grow.”

If you are ready to tackle your difficult property, give us a call. We will offer beautiful solutions and handle your landscape project every step of the way. 

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