Category: Before-and-After

Designing a Barren Berm Barren Berm to Pollinator Paradise

Designing a Barren Berm

It’s been no easy feat designing this barren berm and transforming it into a pollinator paradise.   But, five years later, I’m happy to say it’s been a huge success.   Believe it or not, the depressing photo (above) is now one of my favorite areas of the garden (below.) When designing gardens for others, I always […]

Transforming a side yard from Blah to Beautiful Transforming a side yard

Transforming a side yard from Blah to Beautiful

I originally wrote this post eight years ago, but am re-writing it in honor of my friend who created this magical side yard, and who unexpectedly passed away two weeks ago. I often highlight this garden in various presentations, and it’s always a HUGE hit with the audience.   In fact, this garden receives bigger reactions […]

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Lawn-Free Garden lawn free garden

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Lawn-Free Garden

Over the past several years, I’ve written a lot about creating a lawn-free garden.  I’ve talked about everything from the nitty -gritty details of removing a lawn, to loads of before-and-after lawn-free transformations, to must-have books and resources that will guide you through every step of the process. With so many new subscribers this past […]

Proportion and Scale in the Garden Proportion and Scale in the Garden

Proportion and Scale in the Garden

You know that feeling when you walk into a garden, and you instantly feel relaxed and calm, like everything is okay with the world?  Well, that WASN’T the case when I moved into my new home a few years ago.   In fact, it was the opposite. But as I’ve lived with the space, I’ve realized that […]

Creating Winter Interest in the Garden – Part 1 creating winter interest garden

Creating Winter Interest in the Garden – Part 1

Creating winter interest in the garden is so important, and is one of the things I consider first when designing a new garden. Especially since most of my designs are located in our temperate zone 9 climate, (which means our gardens are on display every single day of the year.)  There’s no hiding our winter […]

Drab to Fab – My Front Entry Garden Makeover entry garden makeover

Drab to Fab – My Front Entry Garden Makeover

When designing the front entrance of a client’s new garden, I know I’ve succeeded in creating something special when: 1.  I spy someone walking down the street and they begin to slow their pace, 2.  They then lean in to take a closer look, and… 3. They whip out their cell phone to snap a […]

Transforming a Sloping Front Garden sloping front garden

Transforming a Sloping Front Garden

Sloping gardens are tricky to transform for various reasons – poor drainage and water run-off, soil erosion, and difficulty in maneuvering around, just to name a few.   I recently visited this garden to see how it’s fared one year later, and WOW – it’s amazing!    I usually tell my clients to wait until the second or […]

Designing my Pollinator Garden heat loving deer resistant perennials

Designing my Pollinator Garden

You may remember my Rain Garden’s before-and-after (if not, click here.)  In that post, I mentioned my goal was not only to transform this section of my garden into a Rain Garden but to also have it serve double-duty as a Pollinator Garden.  Since the rain in my area pretty much comes to a complete […]

Gardening Under Oaks: Learning to Love Dry-Shade Plants gardening under oaks

Gardening Under Oaks: Learning to Love Dry-Shade Plants

Gardening under oak trees is tricky, to say the least. Sensitive to summer irrigation, fertilizers, and root disturbance means creating a garden near an oak tree requires a delicate touch.  That’s why the careful selection and placement of dry-shade-loving plants is critical for the tree’s overall health.  (Does anyone recognize this tree?  It was the iconic, old […]

A Side Yard Makeover – plus a HUGE giveaway! side yard makeover

A Side Yard Makeover – plus a HUGE giveaway!

Side yard makeovers are some of the most popular posts on my blog, and for good reason. (you can see why here and here)!  First, though, for those who aren’t quite sure what a side yard is – they’re the long and narrow sections of your garden that flank one or both sides of your […]

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