The owners of this Mission style Bungalow, built in the late 1930's, wanted a revised planting scheme for the front garden, and a complete revision of the rear garden. I found the task, at first, a little intimidating, as the garden was quite lovely as it was. It did, however, lack a sense of unity (too many "one of a kind") and there was a pond in the back, which had become a nuisance due to marauding raccoons.
The front beds along the house were replanted with shrubs and perennials featuring a combination of variegation in leaf, purple leaf color, and mounding vs. tall and spiky habit. The plant palette included Dapne odora 'Marginata', Loropetalum 'Razzleberri', Heuchera 'Pewter Veil', perennial Foxglove, Geraniums, and Japanese Anemone. The mounded beds at the curb, which had been home to the 'one of a kind collection", were simplified by selecting Dayliliy 'Stella de Oro'' and Douglas Iris for their grass-like form, and a combination of Ajuga and Campanula which would hug the ground and allow the existing boulders (earlier overwhelmed with plants) to be seen.
Wrought-iron rose arches were placed along the two open perimeters of the back garden, end to end, and planted with alternating vines: old roses and fragrant, evergreen vines such as Jasmines and Clematis armandii. The idea was that, in time, the arches would be "knit together" to form a tall fence (without the expense or refencing) that would enclose and screen from neighboring yards. The paths were laid in gravel and a central feature….an oval wagon-wheel shaped area of re-used brick…was planted in several ground covers and became home to a birdbath and collection of potted herbs. Benches and chairs were located to provide either companion or lone seating options.