Marilyn Schwabenton’s home on Pebble Drive has earned our Yard of the Month designation this time – her combinations and color play created a treasure hunt for our judges. Taking photos on a hot, sunny day is less than ideal, but you’ll note that the shadows and silhouettes are welcome as part of Marilyn’s shady layers.
As we ventured down this side-yard path into the shade, we noted that the temperature dropped about 10 degrees, so welcome and offering an opportunity to more closely examine the individual plants that flourish there.
Marilyn’s designs illustrate a great concept – don’t have shade? Make your own by planting trees. There are so many choices for shade trees as well as smaller ornamentals. Marilyn’s varied choices include Amelanchier arborea (Serviceberry), Redbud and Stewartia, and various Japanese Maples and a lovely potted Ginkgo. Once your trees (“walls” of the garden room) are in place, the real estate underneath can be planted with smaller shrubs and perennials.
Another phenomenon we can study in this garden is how a small space can be made to feel bigger once the plants and other elements are added. Think about how you transition from your front yard to the back along the side of the house – how could it be more interesting?
Texture is really in evidence here, everywhere we looked. As we traveled along the paths deeper into Marilyn’s designs, we encountered many different combinations that worked well together – ferns, wild ginger, heuchera, astilbe, and one of her most-repeated species – Epimedium. So versatile as it scrambles where it thrives – in dappled shade beneath and among other plants.
She uses a number of interesting conifers, too – Hinoki Falsecypress, Juniper, Hemlock and Spruce each found their niches with Marilyn’s guiding hand.
In the sunny spots, Marilyn’s talent for combining color and texture is on full display –
We hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into a garden designer’s own “secret garden”. It is a thing of beauty that continues to evolve. Thanks to Marilyn and all who entered our contest this month. We appreciate you taking the time and inviting us to tell your stories.