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Monday, March 05, 2018


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Barbara H.

Oh my goodness, I love this. I'm moving more and more into shrubs and grasses, looking for easier maintenance and less weeding (hopefully). I have different varieties of spirea, which like to self seed, so the young ones are going to be used to fill in as I get the garden more under control.


A masterfully designed and planted garden; an excellent reminder that an easy care garden with common plants can be stunning. This is a lesson I may learn someday but for now, I'm still reveling in having way too many plants.

Beth @ PlantPostings

Excellent post, Linda. This is, indeed, thought-provoking. I keep thinking I need to do more dividing and rearranging. I have several Hellebore patches--just one plant example--that I need to divide and move to additional locations. It is tempting to focus too much on "new" plants.

Linda Brazill

I think this may be easier for a designer to do than for us plant geeks.


I absolutely agree... but I will respectfully decline the offer to reconsider masses of different and obscure plants. Reading your post makes me realize I enjoy a pretty scene but for me it's all about the plants! -Judging by the well balanced serenity of your garden I suspect you do a much better job of balancing the two than I do!
I'm looking at Price's garden and I'm thinking two things. The plantings add so much to the scene (vs turf or bedding) and I bet they're actually lower maintenance than the weekly drudge of lawn mowing. Interesting how well low maintenance can succeed.


So pretty! I've heard designers say that you really only need like 5 types of plants, and that you should just keep repeating those plants throughout the garden. I'm way too much of a plant lover to restrict myself to just a few, though!

Linda Brazill

I'm not positive but I am guessing there may be other garden areas at this old house. So this may not be the only garden they see. And definitely lower maintenance than grass. I have managed to use large areas of one kind of plant here and there in the garden. I have a lot of obscure spring ephemerals and some unusual things in one or two locations by paths. You know how it is: the more you garden, the more quirky things catch your eye!

Linda Brazill

I do have some favorite plants that I spread around but I could never limit myself like this. Still it was a surprise to see how well it all worked.

Lisa at Greenbow

I think it would be easier to do if you aren't emotionally attached to your garden. I do like variety. However, my garden does have a lot of repeats especially when I take a notion to expand a flower bed. It seems that I start out with a few new plants then "fill in" with some of the plants in my garden that need to be thinned. I still have a difficult time putting a perfectly good clump of a plant into the compost. A friend of mine asked me once if I didn't believe in euthanasia. ha...

Erin @ The Impatient Gardener

And this is my single greatest gardening challenge: Love of plants vs. outstanding design. It seems odd that the two do not go hand in hand, but more often than not I find that I have to restrain myself, and in the areas where I am successful, my garden is better for it. You'd think these years as a journalist and editor would have taught me a lesson about this, wouldn't you?

Linda Brazill

Too funny that after 30 years as a journalist and editor, I never made that connection. I am much better cutting my words than my plants. I am trying to put most of the special ones in a limited spot where you can see them up close.


In my early acquisition & planting days, I bristled at the designer's formula for improving gardens with too many "drifts of one": Take out a third of the plants and replant with multiples of the best third of the remaining ones.

Then came a time when I was away from the garden for almost a decade, and nature carried out the design upgrade in pretty much just those proportions. (Also inserted a lot of vines and trees, some weedy and some welcome natives.)

Over decades of associating with enthusiastic gardeners, I've come to realize that I'm not in the stratum of the completely plant-smitten. They are wonderful people (and have the most interesting plants!), but are never going to go for the simplifying reduction. However, there's still one effective way to unify any garden and doesn't involve getting rid of existing plants: repetition.

Linda Brazill

You are right on both counts: real plant collectors will never stop buying the latest plant and repetition is the key to a good garden design.

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