We first visited Jeff West’s sunny Delaware garden in 2003, but a recent renovation prompted a second glance. Here’s how it changed.
When Jeff’s house and garden appeared on the pages of our March–April 2003 issue, its flat grass front lawn had been passed over for a layered, lush garden filled with perennials such as hydrangeas, Shasta daisies, and double hollyhocks.
Getaway Garden by the Sea
Now, the bright pea-gravel walkway gives way to bricks lined with liriope. Low-profile plantings such as drought-resistant Japanese holly, twin dwarf weeping cherry trees, and drought-hardy purple nepeta (catmint) fill the south-facing space. In the window boxes, ‘Impacta Pink’ phlox echo the rear garden’s pink shrub roses, ponytail plant, and salvia add height, and coleus brings a rich red to the mix.
Splashes of Color
“When I have a garden defined by shrubs, I look forward to what annuals and perennials I’ll add for bursts of color,” Jeff says. Floral hues in the front yard pops from pockets of nepeta and pink window box flowers that duplicate Carefree Delight roses out back.
Making An Entrance
In 2003, double hollyhocks stretched to the height of this romantic gated arbor Jeff purchased from a Washington D.C., nursery. A bench, birdbath, and pots helped personalize the garden.
Today, a Chippendale-style gate marks the entrance to the kitchen garden, where three raised beds are conveniently located beside the kitchen door. Pyramid-shaped tuteurs skirted with French lavender will support towering tomato plants.
Jeff updated a seating area with a Chippendale-style bench surrounded by Carefree Delight roses. He stuck to a color palette of mainly blues and pinks for flowers and forest green for doors and shutters to deliver a cohesive look.
In 2003, white picket fences separated the garden’s pea-gravel paths, where you could find a pool, a foundation, and flower beds of hydrangeas, purple catmint, and pink Carefree Delight English roses.
On the pathways, gray-blue crushed slate replaced the pea gravel. A low stacked-stone wall encloses the kitchen garden. Fast-growing English ivy blends the house with the foliage and requires trimming just three times a year to keep it in check.
Jeff installed a fish pond with a fountain set into a gravel courtyard in one of his updated garden ‘rooms.’ The garden’s final structural addition between the fountain and courtyard and back patio is a walk-through arch support for dwarf climbing wisteria.