Driveways and cinder block walls aren't usually the stuff of spectacular gardens, but sometimes these unsightly elements lend themselves perfectly to growing something beautiful. Barbara and Rob Wolin's perennial border is a glowing example.
Leaving the Trees
When this Dallas couple finished designing their house around the large, old oaks that shaded their property, they found that the front of the house would need to face the driveway. Unfortunately, the neighbors had already put up a tall cinder block privacy wall along the property line, directly in view of their house. They called on friend and horticulturist Bill Seaman to see if their plan could be saved.
"I love a good puzzle," says Bill, "and I'm convinced that the more constraints there are on a project, the more my imagination is pushed, and therefore the better the result becomes." So Bill began to work and found that there were plenty of constraints to inspire the design. "We had some pretty strong feelings about letting the existing landscape drive the plan," Barbara says. "We didn't want to take down any trees, and we wanted the house to work with the landscape. So I guess the design was an evolution of sorts."