Garden Photo of the Day

Garden Redesign in Massachusetts

Breathing new life into a formal garden

Today Julie Esteves, a garden designer in Massachusetts, is sharing a garden she restored for Susan Lemkau in Osterville, Massachusetts.

garden restoration

We were hired to restore her garden starting last fall, so it’s been a process, with many planned steps for an evolving spring, summer, and fall garden.

This was a restoration of an existing parterre garden. We removed the original vegetation out of the parterre beds, transplanting and dividing to create a multiseasonal garden with the use of annuals.

We added custom-built obelisks and planted our own nursery-grown asarina (Asarina procumbens, annual) and black-eyed Susan vines (Thunbergia alata, annual) to grow up the obelisks. We also added early-blooming lupines (Lupinus polyphllus, Zones 4–9) and delphiniums (Delphinium elatum, Zones 3–7) for a May-June garden that transitioned to summer and fall with Browallia americana (annual), giant zinnias (Zinnia elegans, annual), and many native perennials for full season color. Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides, annual) was added in the corners for the final pop of color to anchor the garden.

trimmed hedges A parterre is a European style of garden with carefully trimmed hedges in geometric patterns. In this garden, the strict formality of the hedging and design contrasts with the more informal growth of the plants within the hedges.

Annual vines growing up the obelisksAnnual vines growing up the obelisks add height to the plantings.

tall zinnias bring color and informal charm.On both sides of the front door, tall zinnias bring color and informal charm.

brickwork path The warm color of the beautiful old brickwork paths is echoed by the coleus at each corner.

A pink phlox (Phlox paniculata, Zones 4–8) is one of the native perennials growing in the garden.

three bumblebees all visiting the zinnia flowers at once.Not one, not two, but three bumblebees are all visiting the zinnia flowers at once.

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View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 10/14/2021

    I believe I can honestly say that this is everyone’s idea of the quintessentially perfect garden. Just amazing. Well done.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 10/14/2021

    Well done!

  3. User avater
    simplesue 10/14/2021

    Oh wow! I've been in Osterville, Massachusetts years ago and it's a magical place...and you've just made it even more magical with this perfect garden!
    It fits the architecture of the house perfectly!
    I think Cape Cod has some of the best garden designers ever...And your design is top of the line!

  4. btucker9675 10/14/2021

    Gorgeous garden... I'm feeling quite envious!

  5. [email protected] 10/14/2021

    Thanks for showing this beautiful garden. Can hardly see the obelisks for the vigorous growth of those vines! That's a particular goal of mine- getting that kind of coverage in a season!

  6. arkant214 10/19/2021
    Wow this garden is wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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