Doubtful a nonprofessional can tackle a grand garden scheme? The proof is in artist Glenn Hillman's garden. When Glenn moved into the Georgian-meets-Colonial Revival house, he kept the "bones" he inherited: a flagstone terrace (which he cut back), a lawn surrounded by mature perennial beds, and a fish pond. But where a swimming pool stood he imagined a traditional 18th-century herb garden, which would lead through a double row of pear trees to a drying shed. He drew up a rough working plan to scale. Contractors filled in the pool, put up fencing, and did paving work. But the planting and maintenance are all Glenn's.
The plant palette is dominated by greens and yellows, interspersed with soft pinks and lavenders. These colors are repeated to lead the eye forward in the same way the central axis through the garden does. The herb garden mixes gold, gray-green, chartreuse, and silvery-blue-leaved varieties that retain their interest, whether blooming or not.