Having restored their 1915 bungalow on Bainbridge Island, the Sterretts turned to the gardens. They asked Shayne Chandler of Plant LLC to design and install landscaping that would tie the house into its setting—complementing the period bungalow without obscuring water views. Challenges were many: dry, sandy soil; steep slopes; overgrown blackberry thickets.
Chandler began at the back, at the driveway approach. A “first impression” garden, it features Rhododendron ‘Loderi Venus’, Daphne bholua (Japanese paper plant), and Iris confusa, all of these to provide year-round interest.
The front porch and entry are on the opposite side, facing the water. To pull attention toward the house, Chandler designed perennial borders along a walkway with metal edging. Vibrant plants include cheerful orange and red Crocosmia ‘Emily McKenzie’ and orangey-pink Cana ‘Intrigue’. Textural foliage provides bold accents: tall Eucomis pole evansii (pineapple lily), tussocks of South African Rhodocoma capensis, and low-branching succulent Aloe striatula. Multiple paths intersect around the house. Plants with strong root structures were chosen to help hold the steep bank in place.