In working with a couple this past spring on a design renovation of their backyard pool area and a design for their newly built guest house, they mentioned that they were bothered by some plastic covers on top of the grates in the front of their house. They asked me to do something about it.
Because their request was a ‘by the way’ one and not part of the original design in question, I felt it best not to raise the issue of re-doing the entire front area but to try to come up with a simple solution.
And although it appeared that no formal design had been implemented for this area in recent years, there was a tremendous amount of exuberant spring bulbs and annuals in the front beds that were stunning and which I felt should not be disturbed (as shown in this photo taken in late May).
The only pre-existing perennials in the beds were mature clumps of blue hostas, Creeping Jenny and ajuga. I wanted to offer some consistency by planting the area in front of each of the plastic covers with a combination of soft, colorful plant material. I chose Geranium x ‘Rozanne’ and Heuchera x villosa ‘Pinot Noir’.
So, this is what I ended up doing around the plastic covers. I bought three varieties of sprawling perennials: Geranium x ‘Dilys’, Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ (Creeping Jenny) and Lamium galeobdolon ‘Variegatum’. Any ivy that was already growing near the area in question was replanted so that it could begin to work its way over the plastic covers. This is hardly what I would call a ‘quick fix solution’ but it was the best one I could come up with at the time.
So, fellow bloggers, now it’s your turn. What other ways could have I dealt with this design dilemma? I’m sure there are several. Please feel free to chime in and offer up your thoughts and ideas. If you have any photos that you’d like to share that can shed some light on how to deal with a similar problem, send us a link.