More Romance

gravel-driveway.jpgI spent the better part of the day planting containers for a client who engaged me to design and install the landscape for her new lakeside home-last year.  Most of what I saw in ground today is a year old.  I was more than happy by what I saw.  I credit the degree to which her plantings have taken hold to the grading, the drainage work, and plant choices that matched her existing conditions.  I know am posting many too many pictures.  But perhaps the oversized collection of pictures will give you a feeling for the overall landscape.  Many of her John Davis climbing roses are now over my head.  The romance of that was considerable.

front-door.jpgBuck built the ipe benches specifically for this porch.   The concrete pots are our interpretation of an original French faux bois box.

katsura espaliers.jpgThe espaliered Katsuras in this 36′ foot long raised stone planter provide screening from the house next door, in a space barely a foot in depth.  These espaliers are well on their way to making a green wall.

lakeside-landscaping.jpgThe lakeside has a pair of perennial gardens, endowed by patches of little lime hydrangeas, and some birch.

wet-meadow-garden.jpgNear the water, several meadow areas planted with chasmanthium latifolium grass, wild daisies, and amsonia Blue Ice.

wet-meadow.jpgThe meadow garden

dock.jpgLater in the season, the meadow will feature monarda and asters.  Last fall, we planted lots of blue and white camassia-for this spring.  Some of them are still in bloom.

The more formal perennial gardens feature nepeta, stachys hummelo, and phlox.

The alliums-we could have planted many more.

nepeta-blooming.jpga view of the garden

lakeside-landscape.jpgIt is easier to see the design of the lakeside landscape from the second floor balcony.  Very formal landscape elements contrast with less structured gardens.

Even informal gardens benefit from beautifully generated curves.

The roses and clematis on the pair of pergolas-they are obviously very happy.  I am astonished at how much growth they have put on-in just one year.  This willingness to settle down and grow makes me feel like the selection and siting of plants was correct.  And that the maintenance has been good.

There is plenty of romance going on here.

roses and clematis

pergola garden

The June garden is represented by large flowered clematis, and John Davis climbing roses.

pergola-garden.jpgVenus dogwoods blooming

annual-planting.jpgcontainer planting at the front door

rosemary-on-the-roof-terrace.jpgrosemary, on the second floor terrace.

side-garden.jpgThis semi shady side garden is simple.  The privacy afforded the second floor terrace is courtesy of 14  6″ caliper Bowhall maples. All of them seem to be taking hold, just fine.  All in all, I am very happy about what I saw here today.  Planting the pots-my pleasure.



  1. Molly Keenan says

    Eye candy. Absolutely beautiful!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Molly, my thoughts exactly. I could not have been more pleased about how this garden is thriving. Deborah

  2. Nancy H. Kraft says

    It is barley an hour since you posted and worked all day, you are amazing.

    As to the Alliums, do they multiply? After the warm winter if 2012 my Globmaster Alliums did not come up, I replanted Autumn of 2012, and wonder if the originals will ever show their heads again.

    Loved the Climatis photos. My Multi-Blue is opening, it is my favorite.

    thank you for your precious time you share.

    Nancy Kraft

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Nancy, I was so pleased to see this garden today-all I wanted to do was share it. My globemaster alliums have always come up-no matter the winter. I don’t know what happened to your original bulbs. Could they have rotted in a warm winter? The clematis-are they not grand? Thanks, Deborah

  3. What a pleasure to see this landscape again. I remember loving what I saw on a very hot day last year when all the plantings seemed like they was hanging on for dear life because of the extreme heat and dry weather. Now…lushness and vigorous life. Oh joy. What a difference a year makes. Gardens sometimes persevere, then reward; play coy then get themselves all tarted up; I love gardens.

  4. The garden is beautiful — love the combination of formal and informal elements. Are the paths made of pea gravel or aggregate? They are a great backdrop to the plantings.

    • Deborah Silver says

      The drive and walkways are made from a thin layer of medium sized crushed stone, over a 6″ gravel base. The soil is very heavy clay, so these gravel areas are part of a drainage system.

  5. Thanks for sharing. It’s always fun to see other gardens.

  6. I’m so happy you took us back to this wonderful garden: my favorite that you’ve shown us (although the formal enclosed veggie garden that I believe is at a different house is up there too). Everything is looking wonderful. You’d never guess it was installed just a year ago. I cannot wait to see those roses and clematis crawling up over that amazing pergola.

  7. Mary bush says

    Stunning. Envy the owners.

  8. I’m new to your blog (have it bookmarked in Feedly!) and am really enjoying this! What a stunning place: house, gardens, and lake view. I look forward to following you!

  9. Deborah,

    I don’t think you can ever post too many pictures. I love your writings and descriptions of all your projects but your pictures are worth a thousand MORE words! Thanks for always sharing!

  10. Adore the planter on double axis with path AND the pergola garden.

    Have done a lapboard fence, with removable panels, air-conditioner height/painted house color, to hide the ac’s. Don’t know your scale from the pic. Love the roundabout as diversion from the eyesore.

    Also amazed at how much you did, with simplicity, when the focal point was already there. Says a lot about your skill and the owners truly loving gardens.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  11. This is a beautiful garden. I was actually thinking you didn’t post enough photos (wink). You blog is awesome! Are the nepeta ‘Walker’s Low”? They look very great. I’d love to know what type you planted. Thank you.

  12. Thanks for taking us back to this beautiful garden. Having “seen” it go in through this blog, it is wonderful to be able to revisit it to see how it is coming along. Truly thriving! I would love a revisit later in the season if you have time or are redoing the containers for fall.
    ( . . . and no such thing as too many of your photos; your combination of photos and text make this my favorite blog.)

    • Deborah Silver says

      Thanks for your letter Babs. I think the pictures play an important part -they say everything for which I have no words. Most gardeners have no need of commentary. They know what is going on, when they see it. Deborah

  13. Deborah!! That’s very nice, everything is growing very well and also the Cornus Venus are doing good, …great Job! Now I am back home in Italy, but can not believe that the first year of my master in Landscape Architecture at the Greenwich University is done…was a great year! Hope one day to be able to visit you! Ciao Giacomo

    • Dear Giacomo,
      A visit to Detroit Garden Works would be a good addition to to your Master program. Congratulations to you.

  14. That’s beautiful! I would love to see it lit up at night. Add some jars with candles, and this would be amazing in the dark.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Mark-I did not think of an evening highlighting the roses. You are right about the candles-sheer romance. Thanks, Deborah

  15. This is one of my favorite gardens. I love how the “X” gesture is repeated ever so subtly.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Mario, this is one of my favorite gardens too. The client-the best. Caring and committed, she was a joy to work with. Deborah

  16. This is absolutely breathtaking! And I think that you showed the right amount of pictures to truly show the beauty of this landscape.

  17. For the photo with the caption “container planting at the front door” – do you remember what you planted? It is STUNNING! Everything in this garden is to die for – just amazing landscape design.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Sally, it has lime and perfume purple nicotiana, lime licorice, and white New Guinea impatiens. Thanks, Deborah

Leave a Comment