When a husband and wife have very different ideas about how they envision a garden… how do you tie it all together while still giving them everything they want?

I recently had the opportunity to work on a landscape design for a wonderful couple who’d just purchased their first home in Seattle’s Bryant neighborhood.

The front yard was full of overgrown boxwood, juniper and rhododendrons typical for a home built in this time period.

Bryant Mid-century modern  - Before

Bryant Mid-century modern – Before

Upon meeting them for the first time I leaned that while they shared some ideas for what they wanted, they also had some different and very specific visions for their front yard.  They had agreed to separate the west facing front yard into a north section and south section.  To the north, the husband wanted a low maintenance, shady woodland with a minimal color and plant palette.  His sensibilities leaned towards the modern with a desire for clean lines and rectilinear shapes. To the south, she wanted flowing curvy shapes with a more diverse plant palette including flowers for cutting.  An “English perennial garden” with a good foundation so it wouldn’t be a bare patch of dirt in winter.  Both were interested in a color palette including varying shades of purple, green and white.

The question… how to tie the two sides together in a cohesive way while still giving them everything they wanted? A fun challenge!

Bryant Mid-Century - Plan View

Bryant Mid-Century – Plan View

Here are the final results.  To the north I used whitespire Japanese birch for the “woodland”.  The forest floor will be planted with a bed of dwarf Japanese mondo grass with tassel fern sword fern and hellebore for spots if interest.  Landscape rock will be brought in to accentuate the woodland feel.

Front North - Plant Palette

Front North – Plant Palette

To the south, a much sunnier site, the western edge of the property will include a star magnolia (a tree they both love), a little lime hydrangea, purple moor grass, Purple Sensation allium, Kent’s Beauty oregano, sedum ‘Angelina’ and Obsidian heuchera in the foreground.  The south edge of the property will include a President Lincoln lilac and Ramopo rhododendron.

Front South - Plant Palette

Front South – Plant Palette

The path winding from the sidewalk to the front door will be made of varying sizes of concrete pavers.  The Evergold sedge dotting both sides of the path will help to tie the two sides together.

I’m so excited to see this landscape design come together for them!