Down in the Dirt Details

I love a steady supply of landscape projects as much as the next designer. Getting in the groove over a spring and summer of project after project can sometimes leave me a little lack lustre in the creativity department.  I can often focus on the big picture of plant bed, patio, walkway and have blinders when it comes to the nitty-gritty details.  I often refer to my clients, after all, they live in the house and notice many things.  For example, the back shade garden that needs a pop of color when they look out over the sink doing dishes, or a new vantage point spot to read a book other than the patio.  The details often come from the words my clients speak.  Its my job to listen and then create it.

Earlier in the year on a garden walk, I found this house was not lacking in the details.  Here are a few pictures of how the homeowner tweaked some areas to provide the most beautiful personal touches planned down to a science.

Becca LaBarre


Succulents used in planters in the new in vogue way to plant containers.  These colorful Hens and Chicks create color without flowers.  Nice addition to a hot patio that doesn’t require water.  You heard me, they are actually not supposed to be watered much at all.  After a summer like this one, a welcome trend!

Becca LaBarre

I love the contrast of the red pillow with the rest of the landscape, especially the blue hostas.  The eye is drawn to it, which is why it is such nice and simple detail.  I think it is especially cool to have darker colored fabrics on the furniture of a patio and keep the bright colors there rather than in the patio brick itself.  A patio should never take away from the house.  Color can be added back with splashes here and there.

Becca LaBarre

Though the picture above focuses mostly on the pond, which has many details of its own.  I was particularly interested in the planting detail to the right of the photo.  There is a small mophead Cypress with a multicolored groundcover, Ajuga underneath.  I don’t advocate that any landscape be a crazy mix of textures and colors or it can look messy, but an interesting contrast can also be eye-catching used in moderation.

Becca LaBarre

This makes me want to visit Cape Cod and eat some fresh seafood and I don’t even like seafood.  Check out the planter ring around the patio umbrella.  Time for a dinner party.


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