I had an instant design vision for this backyard the moment I saw it.
I envisioned a romantic gazebo in the corner, a new handcrafted wood fence, and a raised tumbled stone wall with a swath of Geranium incanum cascading over it.
A country garden retreat!
In a flash, it all came together in detail and just as quickly, the elements started to disappear as I spoke to my clients about the budget.
Board by board, stone by stone my lofty design was deconstructed and faded into the thin air whence it came from.
The only thing left was the geranium and my positive attitude.
“Great, I’ll just have to get creative with materials,” I thought.
Up to the challenge, I assured my clients that they would have the beautiful garden they always dreamed of and I would do it on their small budget.
Take a look at the results which they were delighted with:
After- English Garden by Shirley Bovshow
The concrete block wall had to stay, so I had the homeowners paint it themselves to save money on labor.
The cost of paint was a lot less than a new wood fence and the dark green color made it less obtrusive.
Instead of the shady gazebo, I opted for two Cassia leptophylla “Golden Wonder” trees to form a natural shade canopy and crown the sitting area with it’s golden yellow flowers in the summer.
After- New sitting area and raised stone planters.
I had a stacked stone wall built along the entire backyard, creating a second level for plants.
Instead of expensive natural stone, (like in my vision), we used recycled concrete for a fraction of the price without compromising on charm and good looks!
The broken concrete pieces were also used to build the small pad for the garden bench.
Before- Diagram your new path and garden beds to make sure you like the flow before digging in.
The side yard was used to house trash cans but my plan was to reclaim the space as an outdoor dining and barbecue area.
Whenever I see an unused area, my instincts always prompt me to investigate if the area can serve a function, instead of just, “stand there and look pretty.”
After- The plan comes together just as I imagined it.
The white arbor stands at the entrance of the new dining area and creates a romantic transition between the backyard and new outdoor dining room!
After- A second level in the garden adds depth and interest.
A variety of perennials soften the stone walls on the bottom and top levels.
The raised area near the dining room is planted with veggies and herbs for convenient access.
I’m a firm believer in year-round color through perennial plants that flower different times of the year.
I do use annuals in containers and focal areas, but I don’t rely on them to “carry” my gardens.
In this zone 20 garden in Los Angeles, I am fortunate to have the type of weather that supports a year-round garden.
After- Garden art is always a welcome feature in an English garden, as are cute little dogs!
The “workhorse” plants that I selected for this garden were chosen for their extended bloom time, low maintenance and low water needs.
Alas, Paradise has its shortcomings- a drought issue!
Cassia leptophylla- (yellow flowers)
Citrus trees- variety
Tibouchina urivellana “Princess tree”- (purple flowers)
Lavatera “Red Rum”
Rose Trees- (coral)
Iceberg roses (white)
English Roses-(whites, yellow, dark red)
“Golden Shower” climbing yellow rose
“Joseph’s Coat” climbing multi colored rose in apricot/pinks/yellow
Hardenbergia vine (lavender flowers) a good wisteria replacement
Polygala fruiticosa (fushia)
Bougainvillea tree (fushia)
Salvia chiapensis (red)
Daylily (yellow, cranberry, apricot)
Gaura (pink and white)
Cuphea- (pink and white)
I invite you to visit my website to view other projects I have completed.