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Creating Beauty In The Depths Of A Pandemic

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

In June of 2020, we were introduced to a beautiful Chicago brownstone residence. The curb appeal was sitting in the at the back of the usual non-native grass.

The parkway was covered in burnt dormant grass, which is what non-native thirsty grass does in our zone. After consulting with our client, we created the following mission for their garden.

  • A welcoming, contemporary, garden that complements the traditional style of the home and its architectural elements.

  • The garden should suggest to the passer-by to “take a seat” and enjoy the garden.

  • To bring in interesting plants that are easy-to-maintain and preferably native plants the garden should not only invite people but also invited pollinators.

SHORT STEP BY STEP if you would like to read on or if you would like to meet for a consultation CLICK HERE.

We first installed a crushed bluestone with a steel edging along the house to keep the water away from the foundation of the residence.

Crushed bluestone was also installed in the parkway next to the sidewalk so people exiting out of their cars would be able to step on gravel instead of the garden.

Since there were still a few viable plants in the initial garden we were able to transplant these to more appropriate areas of the garden. We were able to transplant a lilac, a Japanese maple, grasses, peonies, and a few herbaceous perennials.

(Pictured below: maple was a transplant, the grass was a transplant, veronica was a transplant and so is the russian sage) Success, saving plants while planting a new garden!

Below is the closeup of the diversity of plants we were able to plant. Each plant has a different blooming time which creates interest throughout the growing season.

We added plants of many different heights to add depth and interest. The large plant here is bee balm, whose flowers and leaves are edible and great in salads and baba ghanoush.

We custom-fabricated bench with an arch that supports a clematis vine that sits in front of the stunning 'Slender Silhouette' Sweetgum tree.

The bench was stained in Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT® in Dragon's Breath, which reads beautifully with the dark leaves of the weigela bushes. We love this stain so much!

Five large New York slate boulders were placed in the garden to help add natural elements of interest other than plant material and help anchor the design.

In the picture above you can see our favorite thing to do is mix a variety of ground covers to create a lush carpet. The more plants you have the less room there is for weeds and less money you have to waste on mulch! Feel free to connect with us if this sounds good to you.

We installed a soothing, minimalist, circular fountain surrounded by blue slate chips. The sound of trickling water adds a peaceful, tranquil feel to this lovely front garden.

The oakleaf hydrangea blooms next to the leaves of the anemone that will bloom in late summer/early fall.

The vines on the lattice/bench not only have provided natural interest, but also provide additional shade. We used a variety of grasses for contrasting textures and colors. Not sure about you, but we are ready for greenery, in bright chartreuse & deep green excited to see leafy plants, and pops of bright colorful flowers. March is always the month when we are eager to see the green colors of spring pop and making plans to rip out more grass!

A special thanks to the Bowmanville Bee in the spring of 2020 for writing an article about Leah the company owner. Small businesses really appreciate the support from everyone in the community, Thank You!

Please share if you can, in the world of small business, word of mouth is the most powerful!


Leah & the Floral Bar Team


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