Garden Splendor in Sun and Shade

So another suburban DC garden we visited on the second day of the Fling was that of garden designer Debbie Friedman. I found this garden interesting in part because, like mine, hers is sunny in front and with a good deal of shade in the back.


The front garden minimizes the amount of lawn with low-growing bunchgrasses – sorry, didn’t get the species.


I like this simple wooden bench. It seems people rarely sit in their front yards, but why shouldn’t they? You can take a break from gardening, watch the traffic, or greet passing neighbors.


In the foreground, a see-through screen of Tall Verbena (Verbena bonariensis). And in back, instead of the usual foundation planting, a border full of pollinator-friendly plants.


I think that’s Large Coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima). Now that I have R. laciniata, R. maxima might be the next one I have to acquire.


Nice window  box.


Heading to the back garden, we notice this unusual paving made with crosscut logs. The same material is used throughout the shady part of the back garden.


This shady area is newly planted with ferns, grasses, and wildflowers. A hollowed log suits very well as an art piece for a woodland garden. Has the wood been treated, I wonder, or will it be allowed to decay?


More logs.


I like this hammock! Actually, I’ve never met a hammock I didn’t like, except for the ones I keep falling out of.


Bamboo marks the border of the back garden. I wonder it is difficult to contain.


Close to the house, the back garden turns quite sunny. Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) and other colorful flowers grow in a bed between lawn and patio.


Clematis growing on a trellis by the deck.


A comfortable  bench where you can hear the sound of water.


A closer look at the fountain.

Many more gardens from the DC Fling still to come! That’s all for now, though.

32 Comments on “Garden Splendor in Sun and Shade

  1. The architecture there is compelling as well. (I know that is not what this post is about.) The home looks like older homes. The proportions seem to be accurate for that architecture (not that I would know from my Western perspective.)

      • That is actually a good thing. Modern copies of old architecture are usually easy to identify by their improper proportions. (The house seems too well preserved and to square to be too old, but I don’t know.)

  2. Interesting, Jason; I felt the quality of the planting and more particularly how the paving was laid was really sloppy – I would have expected much higher standards from a garden designer.

    • I didn’t have that reaction, though I’m a rather sloppy gardener myself, though I prefer to call it “informal”. What specifically about the paving didn’t you like – the irregularity?

  3. I love R maxima and when I see it in sunny gardens standing straight and tall I can’t help but laugh at how mine does a down-ward facing dog pose in the late afternoon sun. I have several photos of this front area including that very fine bench. The back garden looked newer and I wondered if it was a result of cutting back and digging out the bamboo.

    • That sounds very likely about removing the bamboo, though if so I wonder why she didn’t remove all of it. Thank you for pointing out that my flopping perennials are actually practicing yoga!

  4. I love it! I love the water feature in the backyard. I also liked the sliced wood path-something I might like to use someday!

    • Looking at the photos, I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure that if there had been a path, I would have put it into the photo – I like paths in photos.

  5. There were many lovely elements in that garden. R. Maxima is fabulous. Mine tends to lean toward the sun because it is at the edge of sun and shade. I definitely recommend it. The foliage is a gorgeous green/blue that adds a great addition of color..

  6. Those logs were so interesting – art and nature in one. Yes, I always sort of cringe when I see bamboo and wonder if, after a few years, anyone has ever said “I’m glad I planted that” 😉

  7. There are some really interesting, original features in this garden. I loved all the logs, and the cross cut log path. Your hammock comment had me laughing!xxx

  8. Fantastic garden! Particularly like the water feature. Was this bespoke or is it available from a manufacturer? I live in the UK, but would love to buy one/have one designed & built. Thanks for sharing your garden.

  9. This garden has a relaxed feel. Like the cross-cut logs as a paving.

  10. That grass along the front looks like fountain grass. I had some along a walkway and had to take it out cause it spread like crazy. I too wonder about the logs being treated. I have old logs in my garden and bugs and water do a real number on them, but that was the point of leaving them there.

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