Two separate people have shown me pictures of this garden recently and asked me what plants are in it or "Can you design my yard to look like this?" In fact, this yard has lots of my favourite plants in it and it also is super low-maintenance so it is definitely worth sharing with y'all. You'll notice that almost all of the colour and texture comes from trees, shrubs and ornamental grasses, not flowers. If low maintenance is what you want, this is the way to go.
Here are some pictures I took of it recently where the second picture indicates plant names (as best I can remember from my head and the photos.) The pictures are from left to right as you look at the front of the house. Note that you can click on any of the pictures for a larger view.
And shortly after I posted this, I got a note from the designer of this garden. Here's what she had to say:
One of my former landscape design students came across your blog - ‘A low maintenance front yard garden in Calgary’. She recognized the yard from photos I’d shown in class, so sent me the link. As the designer of this garden, I am of course flattered that my design has generated some interest, but I thought it might be helpful if you had more precise info on the plant material.
In your first photo, the weeping crab cultivar is ‘Royal Beauty’, the Heuchera is ‘Raspberry Ice’, the Juniper is Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow’ and the dogwood in the back right hand corner is Prairie Fire Golden Dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Aurea’). In the second photo(and third), the Spiraea is not Goldflame but rather ‘Goldmound’, which I prefer due to its more uniform globe shape and superior chartreuse colour (without the ‘bronzy’ overtones of Goldflame, which to me kinda clash with the pink flowers). In the third photo, the variegated dogwood is Cornus alba ‘Bailhalo’(Ivory Halo dogwood), the upright pine is Pinus uncinata (Mountain Pine), the low spreading pine is a cultivar of the Scot’s pine - Pinus sylvestris ‘Hillside Creeper’. The Campanula is Campanula carpatica var. turbinata ‘Karl Foerster’(yes the same cv. name as the feather reed grass also in the photo). The shrubs labelled ninebark are also Prairie Fire Golden Dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Aurea’) – you can see that the colour is much more intense in this spot because they get considerably more sun here.
The front yard garden was designed September 2004 and installed May of 2005 – it has filled out nicely, more than just filled out actually, it could use a bit if a ‘haircut’. I see from the photo that one of the creeping pines has developed an upright leader which needs to be pruned off and the Schubert chokecherry - well I just won’t go there. It wasn’t in the original design – we had first installed a Sorbus decora (showy mountain ash) but couldn’t find a very large specimen. As you know they grow at a painfully slow rate, so the homeowner decided he couldn’t wait for it to grow and planted instead, the largest caliper tree he could find. Unfortunately, a Schubert chokecherry was just not a good substitute since its growth habit can be so shrubby and unkempt. The mountain ash would have been so much nicer and more in keeping with the overall theme - however, all in all I’m fairly happy with how the design has turned out
Anyways, feel free to share this info with your clients. I‘d like to ask if I might use one or two of these photos in upcoming lectures – the most recent photos I have of this garden are from a couple of years ago, and I doubt I will have time to get back down that way in time for these workshops. I would of course give you credit for any photo I use. Please respond at your convenience.