Friday, July 13, 2012

A Landscape Design Before and Afters

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I thought I'd share one of my landscape designs with you in the form of before and after photographs. The client of course gave me permission to share the photos. 

This was a front yard landscape design I did last May. The client diligently worked all summer and fall and got the beds put in as well as all of the unique plants. The only request made of me when designing this garden was to make it a showplace with interest all year long. One more major consideration is that the homeowner is a very good gardener. This meant very unique plants, and lots of them. I am a designer who designs with trees, shrubs, and perennials. All are in the this front yard design. I think you'll agree this is indeed now a showplace that would delight any gardener-and in only one year! I tell you my reward when designing (besides some income) is to see the designs installed! I hope you enjoy the new garden as much as I do. In person it is really nice and may be on display in a garden tour in a two years-I hope. Enjoy the tour.

After: left side of house.
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Before: left side of property.

After: Left side of property looking toward the house (west). I call this part of the garden the 'Fall Garden'. There are asters, sedum, grasses (more on the type below), and a ninebark in this section of the front yard. I generally try to design drought tolerant areas further away from the house and all of these plants are drought tolerant. Catmint also grows here but I consider catmint a year round plant and would use it in all gardens if I could. 
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Before: front sidewalk area looking north.

After: front sidewalk area looking north.
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Before: Left side of house looking east.
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Before: left side of house looking north.
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Before: left side of the house looking northeast. wonderful grass that I can just about guarantee no one else in your neighborhood will have-unless you happen to live in this particular neighborhood. I highly recommend this grass for a full sun average garden soil location with a bit of moisture.
After: left side of  house looking northeast.
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Before: left side of house looking west.
After: left side of house looking west.
After: front garden alongside the road looking east. The grass I used to screen the power boxes is not your normal grass that is generally used to screen the power boxes in neighborhoods. Normally miscanthus is used for screening; probably because it is so easily found in stores. The one I used is Panicum virgatum 'Northwinds'. This is a wonderful grass that I can just about guarantee no one else in your neighborhood will have-unless you happen to live in this particular neighborhood. I highly recommend this grass for a full sun average garden soil location with a bit of moisture.
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Before: Right side of the house looking away from the house.
After: right side of the house looking toward the house. In my designs I try to use native plants. Most clients want something unique and different in their landscapes when they hire me. Native plants fit the bill because not only are they not well known enough to be used in landscapes, but they are not often sold by most plant nurseries; at least in my experience. If all nurseries sell the most 'sellable' plants (read cheapest to produce or resell, and market) then other plants will not they may be more satisfactory might not be as common. Such is the case with native plants. In the above picture you can see one of my most favorite native plants. It is also a plant that I feel is underused in landscapes. It is not the Knockout roses but can you guess which plant it is? It is the fine textured plant to the left of the Knockouts and it will turn a vivid wheat color in the fall. Any guesses?
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Before: Right side of house looking south.
After: right side of house looking south. 

As a relatively new designer I tell you I love my job and I love it ever so more when I see my designs come to life. All of the credit must go to the client with this wonderful garden. Without such super nice clients I'd never be able to design a thing. Designing is but one facet of a beautiful landscape and I highly recommend getting a design for any landscape project. I only with I'd taken the time to do a design for my gardens! It would've made things a lot easier for me. 

I recently finished the backyard design for this same client and I tell you I can't wait to see that come to fruition too. A hallmark of my designs is a lot of variety, textures, and interest year round tailored for each individual client. If the front of this house is a showplace for the public then can you guess what the back yard will be? Yup, you guessed it, a wonderland for the gardener and beautiful too....

in the garden....

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I wanted to show you one last thing on this house. The above photo is from Google Earth and clearly shows the outline of the new gardens at this particular house. If you haven't used Google Earth it is a great and easy tool to use when landscaping your property....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. Great job Tina! When I see what is obviously a nice house that looks to have cost the owners a bit of money, but has a poor landscape, I cringe. But you were able to make the garden match this house. You should be proud.

  2. Tina, this is gorgeous! You have such talent! The Purple Coneflowers certainly do well in that space. I can't wait to see the backyard...please be sure and post pictures.

  3. Oh my goodness girl, you did an awesome job! It is so exciting to see the before and after pictures of how this project evolved. You have taken a nice house and made it stand out with your designs turning it into a home. I can so see a garden tour taking place here! Job well done my friend....

  4. Wonderful job! You are so talented! It was very interesting to see both before and after photos. I was especially impressed by the curved line of the lawn in the "After: left side of house looking west" photo. The flowers in the garden are really lovely. I really enjoyed this post and look forward to seeing your next landscape design works!!

  5. Is the plant next to the Knockout roses and amsonia bluestar? :)

    1. Aaron-Yes! And it is quite the eyecatcher and I think a perfect foil for the roses. The structure of amsonia can't be beat. Everyone wants to know what that one is when they visit this garden.

    2. Aaron-threadleaf amsonia also sometimes known as bluestar.

  6. Wow, Tina, that was a big improvement. I love it. You've done a super job. I know the home owners are pleased with the results. You go girl.

  7. Tina -- You truly transformed their yard. I like that the amount of yard to mow and water was substantially reduced. Hope you get more business from their neighbors.

  8. Tina these are great...I love the same thing..natives and lots of interesting plants and textures...

  9. I love it!! What a beautiful job you did!! You gave me some great ideas I could use to help out my back yard!!

  10. Look at that change! It is very nice. I'm sure the homeowner is thrilled. The variety really makes for an inviting layout. Nice to inclue the google earth view!

  11. Great job! And what a novel idea to get a shot from above! :0)

  12. I love the sweeping curves, and the way you hid the power box. Very creative, and quite beautiful. I can imagine it is quite satisfying to see your designs being installed. But I bet it will be even more satisfying as the years go by and the plants mature and fill out. Thanks, too, for the tip on Google Earth. I may have to try that with my own garden!

  13. That is beautiful. You need to know such a lot to design a garden in such a way that it will grow attractively, without over crowding, or blocking from view... Lovely.

  14. Wow! I know it's not much but that was the only word that came up to me when I saw that second photo. There are not words, or phrases I could use to describe the beauty of it. On a similar note, at the school where I work, we turned part of our car park into a decorative garden and the results are... breathtaking. I had to come up to the gardener the other day and congratulate her on the work she had done. Your "before" and "after" photos reminded me of huma beings' never-ending quest for beauty.

    Greetings from London.

  15. Tina, You did a marvelous job and created a garden the homeowner (and neighbors) can enjoy year round! Love your plant choices and of course I know the billowy, golden colored in fall plant! Wish I had more sunny spaces to make amsonia happier! gail

  16. Very nicely done!! I am impressed at how in one year the landscape is already filling in and it looks beautiful!

  17. What a fantastic job you've done, Tina! I wish I had one-tenth of your design talent; my garden would look a whole lot better if there was some cohesive design to it. It's amazing, too, just how established this garden looks in only a year's time. I liked your comment about using native plants--they are so hard to find at garden centers here, other than some of the most common ones like Echinacea and Rudbeckias. One of the smaller garden centers advertises that it has a section of native plants--two narrow shelves' worth:) I agree with your feelings about Amsonia H.--this is only the second year for my one plant, but I love its feathery texture.

    The Google Earth photo is really cool!

  18. Super job Tina! What a great transformation. I really like your Panicum choice too! Have three different varieties of Panicum and love them all!

  19. Tina, If this was under $5000 clearly you did not charge enough, wow what a difference!