Native Fence Line Garden

Jan 26, 2021 | Blog, Projects

Native Fence Line Garden in Ellicott City, MD

These Ellicott City clients reached out to us after the installation of a new privacy fence left them with a 94’ x 12’ blank canvas at the rear of their property.  They sought to add color and height to the space and–because they were considering beekeeping–also wanted to support pollinators.  Their existing landscaping style was lively, color-filled, and informal, with vibrant perennial plantings mingling amidst more structural shrubs and hardscaping.

Amy chose a rich palette of US-native flowering perennials and shrubs, anchored by three mid-sized flowering trees.  The selection provides a variety of pollen sources throughout the growing season.  Inspiration for some of the plant choices came not only from the client’s other garden beds, but also from a neighbor’s garden, which is visible from the property and connects to the new bed on one side.

For two of the trees, Cercis (Redbud) and Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood), cultivars were selected for their size, tolerance to site conditions, and disease resistance.  Shrubs such as Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet), Physocarpus opulifolius (Ninebark), Ilex glabra (Inkberry Holly), and Ilex verticillata (Winterberry Holly) cluster in the background, adding structure to the space.  Perennials (see plant list below) interweave more freely in front of the shrubs in a meadow-like fashion.  The evergreen foliage of the Inkberry, vivid red berries of the Winterberry, and peeling bark of the Ninebark provide winter interest when the rest of the garden is dormant.   Cool blues and lavenders and soft rose-pinks will emerge as dominant hues in spring, eventually being overtaken by more intense pinks, golds, and oranges as summer progresses.  Vibrant blue-purple asters and vivid fall foliage round out the season in this bold backyard border!


Detailed planting sketches assist the crew with plant placement.  In this case, Amy was also onsite to assist with placement and make adjustments to the plan as needed to suit the site.

Plant Selections:
Magnolia virginiana
Cornus florida ‘Appalachian Blush’
Cercis ‘Merlot’
Ilex glabra ‘Shamrock”
Calycanthus floridus
Clethra alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice’
Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Summer Wine’
Ilex verticillata ‘Red Sprite’ and ‘Jim Dandy’
Iris cristata
Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb’
Ascelpias tuberosa
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’
Iris versicolor
Monarda didyma ‘Raspberry WIne’
Echinacea purpurea
Eutrochium maculatum ‘Gateway’
Rudbeckia fulgida
Amsonia hubrichitii
Sisyrinchium angustifolium
Baptisia australis
Asclepias incarnata
Aster oblongifolius ‘Raydon’s Favorite’


Check out our other project before and after blogs here!

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram

Shop Natives by Category

Signup For Our Newsletter