Initially, Andrew created these front beds in the shade of a Japanese maple. The maple eventually died, however, as did the next tree he tried in its place. Two new, native trees were recently added—a white oak and a 'Wildfire' black gum. "I might get disappointed when something I have babied along croaks, but with gardening, the best lessons are learned hands-on, through succeeding and failing," Andrew says. And with a wish list as long as his, an empty spot in the garden just means a chance to experiment with something new.
Shown: Dense evergreen foliage makes a quiet backdrop, perfect for showing off the flamboyant leaves of ruffled 'Portodora' elephant's ears and 'Musifolia' canna.