A garden design simplified

Everything you know about growing plants and garden design is revealed. Mine is open for review this weekend, July 29 and 30, from 7 a.m to 1 p.m. each day to benefit Dumb Friends League.

KUSA - In my profession, your garden is your resume.

Everything you know about growing plants and garden design is revealed. Mine is open for review this weekend, July 29 and 30, from 7 a.m to 1 p.m. each day to benefit Dumb Friends League.

It's easy to get distracted by the pretty flowers and fail to notice the underlying design. The garden is essentially a series of borders laid out on a east/west and north/south axis. A border is a way of grouping plants--mainly perennials--with the border edge serving as the picture frame.

I think it's good not to be able to see all of the garden at once. This means there's always a surprise around each corner. You'll notice that the paths all lead to a destination or a focal point.

I employ symmetry, such as in the two main "twin" borders as well as in container groupings. On the patio, for example, each side is a mirror of the other side. Each pot and its contents is matched on the opposite side.

Even in the so-called "Mediterranean border," which is composed entirely of pots of tropical plants, there are symmetrical groupings surrounding seating areas.

A little order helps clarify things among the rambunctious plants. The gravel driveway where the Mediterranean border grows used to be wasted space. Now it's nearly 200 feet holds the biggest border made up of potted plants that anyone has ever seen.

Symmetry is even in play on the shade patio. Matching teak benches are enhanced with my signature matching container plantings.

The shade patio is a favorite spot on hot days to relax and view the "sunken garden," which was originally the foundation to a summer kitchen that was probably demolished about 1940. Summer kitchens--detached from the main house--were once common before the advent of air conditioning.

Please review my full resume this weekend. Meet my wonderful proteges, ask questions, get inspired and--most importantly -- support the work of Dumb Friends League.

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