Dressing The Yard


We all have a fairly good idea of the areas we excel in, and those when we need to call in an expert. If you have worked for years in real estate, you are most likely an expert in that arena.  Other areas you may be ‘naturally skilled’ at, such as baking or athletics.  When it comes to fashion, style, and dressing, naturally skilled is how I would describe myself, but how about ‘dressing the yard’, as with gardening and landscape design?  I am certainly no expert, but know what I like. Or so I thought…

As hubby and I are well underway with a major yard renovation, what a learning experience it has been.  Our general contractor, Steve Smith, was recommended by a friend and has already proven to be extremely detail oriented. Love that.  Additionally, he specializes in landscape design.  Excellent! After a discussion of what my preferences are for colors/style, we scheduled a time to visit a nursery to select the specific trees and bushes. The meeting was scheduled for a weekday morning so I was dressed to later return to work: blazer, white trousers, high heels.  Oh my.  Look at all this dirt.  This is a real farm.  I am going to be walking in this? Fortunately it was a sunny day, otherwise it would have been mud. Looking quite out of place in my professional garb I hopped onto the golf cart and off we went…

Stop #1: Dogwood trees.  Lots of them.  All looking quite the same to me. Feeling pretty darn useless and super glad to have my expert along.  With the blossom color already selected, all we needed to do was pick a tree that was of decent size and shape. Got it!

We then moved along to various areas of the farm where we chose holly bushes, pine trees, ground cover, etc.  One of my favorites was a pine tree that had very unusual branches, almost ruffle-like.  Reminded me of something out of a Dr Seuss or Tim Burton movie! Very cool.  Having my ‘expert’ along made this whole process go smoothly – he says it went smoothly because I had such good taste.   Uh – most of the time…

When we were back at my home, planning the plantings for the backyard, I asked, “Where are the hydrangea bushes going?”   “Right here, along the foundation, here is the picture of them.”  (White, as in photo above.)  “But I like the big, puffy blue hydrangeas.”   Pause. Perhaps a skipped heartbeat.  An expression bordering on horror.  “But that would just clash with the Japanese maple tree. These white hydrangeas with the flatter flowers are more sophisticated.”  :-0

It was as if I suggested wearing clogs with a black cocktail dress.  Wow. But you know what? He made sense.  The deep wine color of the Japanese maple will look better near white flowers. Just like you coordinate your clothes – paying attention to color, shape, and textures – the same goes for landscaping and garden design.  And I certainly want a ‘well-dressed’ yard!

Peter amidst the mess!
Peter amidst the mess!


candy in your inbox

Enter your name and email below to get notifications
of new blog articles sent via email.


  • We built our dream home about 8 years ago and paid major dollars to our landscape architect. He advised specific colors to go with our house colors and all other plantings. I have some regrets now that we went with white azaleas and crepe myrtles, rather than the formosa (fuschia) azaleas and the rose colored crepe myrtles. It’s s hard to buck the experts…and our yard is GORGEOUS!

  • I love big puffy, blue hydrangeas! However I know your white ones will be classy. We can’t grow ANY in our yard- not enough sunlight. However, we have a lot of Japanese maples and they must not care about sunlight because they grow wherever they’re planted. Can’t wait to see your finished project.

  • Well, he might have warned you about the muddy condition of the sales yard! Anyway, I’ll be looking forward to your pics of the final result.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top