Landscape Renovation in Bridgewater, CT

I lot of people can put plants in the ground and a lot of people call themselves landscape designers but that doesn’t mean they are good at what they do.  I had an opportunity to redesign this landscape in Bridgewater, CT.  At the time, the house was only seven years old and when I arrived on site, the landscape was already way past its prime.  Why?  Improper plant placement and improper plant selection.  A lack of a garden maintenance program also had a little to do with this garden’s jungle like appearance.  Consumers, and in this case professionals, need to realize that gardens are not static.  Landscapes are constantly growing, moving forwards towards a better place or they are moving backwards towards failure.  When choosing plants for a design or picking plants at a nursery you always have to be asking yourself three questions.

  1. What is this plant going to look like in 2, 5, 10, or even 20 years down the road?
  2. Where is it going to fit into the landscape?
  3. Do I have the proper environment to grow this plant?

One of my favorite trees is European Copper Beech.  That doesn’t mean I plant Copper Beech trees everywhere I go.  In fact, after twenty plus years in the landscape design and installation business, I have yet to plant one.  Why?  At maturity many Beeches reach 100′ tall and wide.  Not many properties can accommodate a tree of that stature.  The depth of the garden in the picture below was predetermined by an existing stone wall.  At 15′ deep why would anyone plant a weeping cherry?  A rather fast growing tree, it can have a mature height and width of 40′.  Whatever garden maintenance schedule you are on, this garden was doomed from the start.

Besides that, the landscape had no layering.  Everything was a mid sized shrub or tree.  There weren’t any ground hugging shrubs, perennials or groundcovers.  The garden was very one dimensional.

Unfortunately, most of this landscape was removed and sent through a chipper. We were able to salvage some of the smaller plants and reposition them into more logical groupings.  For the rest of this landscape, we brought in more appropriate plants for the garden with a lot more perennials for seasonal color.

What do you think?  To me, it is a more logical, and pretty solution.

To see more mixed perennial gardens, please visit our website at

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Richard Schipul

For the last 30 years, I have owned the landscape company Designing Eden LLC based in New Milford, CT. We offer landscape designs, landscape installations and garden maintenance services in Fairfield and Litchfield County Connecticut. I am currently the only Nationally Certified Landscape Designer in Litchfield County and sit on the board of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and Mad Gardeners.


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