Painting with Flowers


Designing Sustainable and Beautiful Gardens



These pages are about the part of our design work that deals with plants - please also take a look at our page "Shaping the Earth" , which describes our stone work and hardscaping design and installations.



Further information and plant photos:


Examples of our Planting Designs


Compact shrubs for Easy Gardens

Summer-flowering shrubs

Best Perennials for Sun

Best Perennials for Part Shade



Miniature Gardens

Miniature Plants

Gardening for Nature

Butterfly gardens

Children gardens plant lists

We select reliable plants that are easy to maintain and provide a richness of color and texture throughout the seasons.  
Sustainable plants choices are long lived and easy to maintain, and they complement the site and the architecture.  
Entrance areas designed with perennials (left) and a mix of small trees, shrubs and perennials (right)  
Every situation has different requirements. On the left, Lavender, Thyme, Sage and other herbs are lined up behind a sitting wall.

The entrance on the right also makes use of lavender, in this case as a 'welcoming-plant', but the layout is influenced by Asian designs rather than Mediterranean.

A Mediterranean-style garden on the left has formal elements and is rich in flowers. In the Japanese garden on the right, foliage colors and textures are more important than flowers  
Texture and foliage color are important to the design. They are used to great efficiency in these two examples of grasses and hostas.  

Groundcovers, like Bigroot Geranium in the image on the left, need to be vigorous and dense, so they can suppress weeds.


Grasses are robust plants that require very little maintenance. They are here combined with low shrubs which also serve as groundcovers.


Observing the site conditions and choosing plants accordingly is important for healthy plants and low maintenance.


In some garden situations, especially in small town gardens, I like to make use of compact and dwarf shrubs and trees, which are generally plants that need a few years to develop to their full potential, but once established, require very little maintenance.

Painting with flowers is not like painting with colors on paper! Be prepared that your painting, over the course of the season, and from year to year, takes on it's own life, changes and evolves, blooms and dies, rejuvenates and blossoms again. Designing with plants is creating a scene that is alive!  

Shade gardens, woodland gardens and meadow gardens are fulfilling important ecological functions in providing food and shelter to wildlife.


In this shade garden a rich palette of many different plants is used including Tiarella, Heuchera, Thalictrum kiusianum, low spring bulbs, small, compact shrubs and rhododenrons, ferns and native woodland groundcovers.


The meadow garden on the right has a more limited plant composition, with Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Liatris, Asters and Geranium planted in generous drifts. Pollinating insects find a rich source of nectar and pollen in this garden.


Escholzia and Nepeta

Designing with foliage is just as important as the flower combinations. Foliage textures and colors are still seen when flowers have faded, or before they have come up. Well considered foliage makes the garden!


This example contrasts soft texture (Artemisia 'Sivermound') with bold shiny leaves (Ligularia 'Britt Marie Crawford). It is at the same time a contrast of silver and purple. Such foliage combinations usually need a third partner - plain, fresh green, to somewhat neutralize the strong contrast. In this example, Blue Holly (Ilex x meservae 'Blue Girl') with deep green foliage, and various perennials such as Siberian iris and Daylilies, were used in the surroundings


For design work, installations or stone art please call the office any time at 207-439-7700.


Painting with


Artistic Masonry Directions  



Please ask for our permission if you would like to use any of our photos, graphics or text!