We are delighted to see the Fairmount Garden pictured in Sunset's Northwest Garden Checklist this month! In honor of the occasion, we are sharing three of our favorite things about this lovely space.
The People - This side garden straddles two properties and was once a thick laurel hedge. While many neighbors seek privacy and separation, these two families wanted to improve the warmth and openness of the space as well as access between the properties. We regraded the slope and added a basalt stairway and layered plantings. The stairs encourage frequent trips between the properties and remind us that not all good neighbors require good fences.
The Slope - A steep hillside embraces the driveway entrance to our clients' home. Where the driveway might dominate the scene in flatter terrain, the slope allows the garden to take center stage. For inspiration and ideas for your sloping space, see our recent post on Sunset's Blog.
The Textures - While the two previous favorites are thanks to happy circumstance, we have to take a little credit for selecting varied, interesting foliage textures. Soft-needled, droopy Tsuga c. 'Pendula;' waxy, broad leafed Helleborus hybridus; floppy, grassy Carex m. 'Aureovariegata;' spiky Iris ensata; and fuzzy Rhododendron pachysanthum are just a few of the plants that play well in and out of bloom. While there is almost always something flowering in this shady to partly sunny space, the contrasting leaves and forms provide interest year-round.
This image shows just one part of this lovely, shady space. Visit the Fairmount Garden portfolio page for more photos and information.