Article originally published in Backyard Solutions 2012 Country Almanac #150 p. 118-119.
Winding stone & gravel borders perk up a cold climate front yard
BEFORE: Overgrown jumble of plantings needed to be reordered in a low maintenance way.
AFTER: Reshaped and replanted existing materials; added in new stone planting beds, gravel paths and a water feature.
Sprucing up a front foundation can be a challenge when you live out in the hills of central Wisconsin. Add the challenge of roaming, hungry deer. The homeowners in this beautiful country home did not have time to maintain theil landscape, leaving them with a mess of plantings and weeds corning up to their front door. After landscape designer Susan M_ Murphy Jones designed theif backyard entertainment area, they asked her to help with the front. They needed ease of maintenance and order to the planting method. To assist with those priorities and cope with the limited plant selection and deer, Jones immediately thought stone! She pulled out existing plants and reused them in masses for a cleaner look. To save money, she left the curving concrete walk in place and bordered it with beds of a mix of larger and smaller cobblestones. She added a new, crushed red·granite path that works off the concrete walk and leads around the property. To accent the front entry and complement the more natural look, she planted a large white spire birch clump.
KEY PLANTINGS: Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Gold Mop’ (Golden Thread Leaf Cypress); Berberis thunbergii ‘Crimson Pygmy’ (Crimson Pygmy Barberry); Juniperus spp. (Juniper); Calamagrostis spp. (Feather Reed Grass) ZONES: 3-4