yard with outdoor rooms, woodland garden with bluestone patio with nearby all gold japanese forest grass, japanese hollies, yoshino japanese cedar
Photo: Rob Cardillo

Extra Attention for Unusual Plants

Familiar plants win hearts for good reasons: Daffodils signal the start of spring, shade-loving hostas thrive where many perennials won't, and ornamental grasses bring texture and movement to stark winter scenes. Such plants are loved because they're beautiful, reliable, and mostly carefree. But take a stroll through the garden of Andrew Bunting, and you'll likely come away inspired to try something new.

As curator of The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, a 300-acre campus outside of Philadelphia that doubles as a public garden, Andrew is charged with showcasing thousands of unusual plants. And as you might expect, a career spent tending to rare collections has influenced his choices at home, too. "My garden is like a little subset of the arboretum," says the horticulturist and garden designer. "If I grow a plant there that I like, I may plant one in my home garden, too."

Shown: In his woodland garden, a small bluestone patio is softened by chartreuse mounds of 'All Gold' Japanese forest grass and shaded by several uncommon trees and shrubs, including four Japanese hollies and a 'Yoshino' Japanese cedar that towers above them.
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