To create the sense of a secret outdoor room, partners Robert Khazzam and Kevin Treanor planted a woodland garden, complete with a “forest floor” and a canopy of trees that provide deep shades of green and dappled sunlight in their private oasis.
Some of the biggest challenges of this half acre property are in maintenance. Though Khazzam selected plant material for minimal maintenance, he did not shy away from choosing plants that required staking or frequent deadheading.
In addition, the garden requires regular attention to its changing needs and habits. “Since I allow self-seeding within the garden to create surprise drifts, I have to carefully hand remove the plant material—weeds—that I do not want, and shape the 'drifts' to my liking,” he explains. To accomplish this, Khazzam has learned over the years what each perennial looks like in the seedling stage to distinguish it from an unwanted weed. “It takes a steady and sure hand to 'shape' the 'naturalized' volunteers,” he quips.
Another challenge is the aging of the garden which increases the areas of shade. “I have to keep up with the rhythm by either moving things around or removing and adding appropriate plant material.”