There's nothing more satisfying than watching a garden grow in and mature over the course of several years. I also fully sympathize, however, with the desire to plant a garden that pops up in a few months for instant enjoyment. People often visit my husband's nursery looking to "fluff" their gardens in preparation for backyard weddings, or just in anticipation of a long season of outdoor eating, playing, and relaxing. If you're starting with a blank slate (that's code for "slab of dirt"), raised beds of annuals can be just the ticket, especially if they're plants you intend to harvest for food and flower bouquets. Click through to learn about the lovely garden pictured above, which took less than three months to create...
Textile designer Michael Devine, whose yard makeover was featured in Country Living, was inspired by the formal gardens at the Rodin Museum on a trip to Paris, but his small, skinny backyard (25 feet by 120 feet) wouldn't quite accommodate a sprawling sculpture garden. So he envisioned a kind of jewel-box effect, with raised beds built to cultivate veggies for cooking all season long, along with abundant flowers to harvest for bouquets. Willow fencing trims the beds attractively, concealing their bones.
Devine and his partner, Thomas Burak, an interior designer, customized a prefab shed from Lowe's with a thatched roof and French doors. They draped the walls with linen of Devine's own design, hung a flea market chandelier, and built a little terrace out the back.
Visit Country Living to see the garden in detail and learn about which plants Devine chose for their hardiness and abundant bloom.
(Images: Lucas Allen/Country Living)