Redwood City, California: Plant lover's paradise

These borders comprise a stunning display of unusual plants

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Redwood City, California: Plant lover's paradise

Flowers of bright orange, purple, and yellow play off striking bronze, gray, and green foliage. Bordering the bed is a chamomile lawn that's mowed once or twice a year.

Ryan Beck

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Finally, Pamela Ryan was going to have her own garden. After years of waiting, she had a vision of the beds and borders she wanted. In fact, she had sketched a number of different possibilities when she met designer Bernard Trainor.

Recognizing Ryan's love for unusual plants and her desire for a casual design, Trainor created exuberant borders filled with stunning displays of plants in various textures and colors.

Around an easy-care chamomile lawn, blowsy grasses (bronze-colored Carex testacea and Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus') contrast with bold foliage of angelica and Verbascum bombyciferum 'Arctic Summer'. Intermixed are orange-, purple-, and red-flowering perennials, including Agastache aurantiaca 'Apricot Sunrise', Euphorbia griffithii 'Fireglow', Geum 'Borisii', Penstemon barrettial 'Burgundy', and Verbena bonariensis.

In keeping with the casual theme, Trainor bordered other beds with gravel and edged them with woven eucalyptus branches. Jurors were bowled over by the plant combinations.

DESIGNER: Bernard Trainor, Bernard Trainor Design Associates, Royal Oaks, CA (650/569-3163 or 831/786-9100)

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