Today’s photos come from Jac Blanco in Detroit.
We purchased this house two years ago (July 2016), and at that time the front was not visible from the street because of overgrown willow bushes and Canada thistle. There was evidence of a garden, but a lot of dividing and reorganizing was needed. We focused on symmetry when we reorganized plantings and added structure with arborvitae, spruce, and boxwood. Our focus was to echo the symmetrical architecture of our 1921 Dutch colonial.
It’s hard to imagine that just two years ago this was overgrown with weeds! The strictly symmetrical design of the garden echoes the form of the house beautifully, and the masses of loose purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–9 ) and black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 3–9) add a more relaxed contrast to the formality of the larger garden design.
Another view of the front garden from the street.
Purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, and Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia, Zones 4–9) are all tough plants that laugh at drought and bring a whole lot of color to the garden. They’re also favorites of pollinators, which means that this planting brings joy to more than just the humans who get to see it.
Looking down the front walk toward the street.
Formality and informality working together: This tight arborvitea (Thuja occidentalis, Zones 2–7) is perfectly round, and it plays beautifully with the loose, colorful black-eyed Susans surrounding it.
Inside the conservatory, which is original to the house. This space must be pure heaven during Michigan’s long, cold winters.
Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides, Zones 8–11) blooming in the conservatory. Gardenia flowers are beautiful, but of course are most beloved for their incredible scent, which fills the conservatory when they are in bloom.
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