Today features what we call our 'Beach' area and we designed and put this in ourselves last summer. Previously it has been a very scruffy looking vegetable garden and not only was I too terrified of snakes to really work it, but it was plain butt ugly right opposite the patio!
Thanks to our extremely large Cottonwood Tree between it and the patio, it is also the only shady area in the garden that gets a breeze, as our patio is enclosed on 3 sides. So we put this in to give us a shady seating area and we love it and use it constantly.
Most of the planting was put in last year, but it's more mature now and I have added a few touches, although they are hard to spot yet!
Just in front of the central 2 pink flowering Dianthus, I have planted a perennial Black Mondo Grass (as below) on either side. They will eventually grow to about 18" high and 12-15" across and stay this unique deep black, which I think will look great against the river rock.
In the back far corner I have planted an Elephant Ear that will grow up to 5ft tall and I think they always look spectacular in any garden. There are also 3 new Nippon Grasses planted on both sides in the empty area's and these will grow tall and have pink flumes. The bed at the very back is filled with bright red Canna Lillies that grow taller than the fence and give the whole thing a colourful backdrop. The 2 rose bushes in the centre behind the table also bloom a vibrant red all summer long.
When we bought this house we basically inherited a 2 trees and 2 shrubs and 3 rose bushes. The rest was all just grass and there was no fence, so we were just open to our nighbours and the highway. The first spring and summer we (meaning the Hubster with a little help from moi) erected that fance around the whole yard. I think it's 58 x 8ft panels and a post every 4ft - so that kept us pretty busy!
Now we are trying to build a garden of perennials and shrubs that will give character and result in a pretty easily maintained garden for years to come. Good job I love gardening!