James Frederick Housel

Raised beds skirt a parking strip in this garden

Steven R. Lorton,  – November 11, 2004

In this Seattle garden, ground covers, shrubs, and perennial flowers and grasses compose an elaborate living tapestry in a parking strip and along a stairway leading up a slope to the front entry.

Designed by Glenn Withey and Charles Price, the landscape combines plants with contrasting foliage forms, colors, and textures, as well as plants that add seasonal flowers. In this view from the curb along the parking strip, the left foreground is dominated by a clump of eulalia grass (Miscanthus sinensis), with its weeping leaves and feathery clusters of tan flowers. At lower right, Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Crimson Pygmy’) flaunts bronzy blood-red leaves on arching stems. Across the way, splashes of color come from the rosy flower spikes of an evergreen ground cover– Polygonum affine ‘Darjeeling Red’–and the coral-pink blossoms of cape fuchsia (Phygelius capensis), a perennial.

The beds are groomed regularly to remove faded foliage and spent flowers. The owners do a major cleanup in fall and again in early spring, after which they apply a generous layer of compost to all beds.

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