When the owner called me in to help her re-design what she called “the junk bed”, and she told me it was situated directly in front of where the cars parked, I knew she had a fun project in store. I suggested we instead call it “the welcome garden” as it will welcome you and your guests to your house. “Thats a much better name!” she said, so we began sharing images of gardens on the internet that suited her style. I settled on this design, which included a lot of deer resistant native perennials like variegated fountain grass, lady’s mantle, Joe Pye weed, echinacea and goldmound spirea. (Okay the deer did sample the Joe Pye and the echinacea, but they eventually left them alone and they flowered beautifully) Even when not in flower, these plants provide interest in their leaf shape and texture. The style is considered cottage garden, which suited the style of the old farmhouse, as cottage gardens tend to be informal, with subtle structure and a mix of plant shapes and blooms all jumbled together. This photo was taken 2 weeks after planting, in the late summer of 2011. I’m sure by now things have grown in and hopefully given the family lots of satisfaction when they pull up to the welcome sight of happy plants in bloom.