No lawn in the front yard was requested by the client so creeping elfin thyme, an eco conscious lawn alternative, was dispersed about emulating the flow of the dry creek bed running beside it.  Betula white birch’s were added to contrast against the white magnolia stellata which blooms in early spring.  While eurphorbia, blood grass, echinacea, montbretia and ornamental grasses were some of the perennials added for texture and colour.  Evergreen foundation plantings such as: mugo pines, lonicera, sweetly scented osmanthus and sarcococa were added to create a backbone of skeletal greenery.  The bronze leaves of the epimedum, bronze carex and the wood beams of the house couldn’t be any more stunning.  Epimedum is one of many plants that will tolerate and thrive in dry shade – a perfect plant in the perfect place.  In the dead of winter when the sun shines down, this flowering hazel creates a coppery glow filling the air with a spicy vanilla/orange scent, while flowers in colours of red, copper and orange are borne when nothing else is in bloom.

The whole feel and style of the home was reminiscent of Whistler style.  Because the house was situated above flat prairie land we decided to fuse the two styles together to create an alpine/whistler/prairie style garden.  Elements that helped us to define this style were the dry creek bed, carpet thyme, birch trees, echinacea, ornamental grasses, swedish columnar aspens with vertical accents of columnar rich green yews.  Our client, Mr. Rock, loves his bright, big/bold flowers, so we incorporated old time favorites like roses and camellias while leaving room for his annuals, bulbs and dahlias for summertime play.

After all the leading dahlia specialist since the 1920’s is just up the road at Ferncliff Gardens; full of dahlia fields, annual show gardens and other goodies to fill up ones garden!