Linda Vater recently moved from her home of 30 years into a cottage home and was thrilled to arrive at a “blank canvas” landscape. She decided to focus on separate areas that would ultimately blend into a charming but waterwise and low-maintenance cottage garden. One of her favorite areas is near the house, which she dubbed “Linda’s Lemon Lane.” This area faces south, and plantings needed to have the ability to endure the relentless Oklahoma summer heat (Zone 7b.) Adjacent to this area, a newly planted Redbud tree will eventually provide some dappled shade.
When planning this walkway, Linda was inspired to focus on shades of lemon yellow and lime green. As the seasons change from unbearable heat to dreary winter, she will have cheery evergreen foliage to gaze upon. The backbone of this area consists of clusters of ‘Lemon-Lime’ Nandinas. If you are a subscriber to Linda’s YouTube Channel, then you may have heard about her fondness for Nandinas. The Lemon-Lime variety maintains a moderate-low maximum height and is extremely adaptable to different light conditions. The leaves sprout in a vivid lime green shade that contrasts against the deep green mature foliage.
Flanking the walkway are a pair of Little Bonnie™ Dwarf Spiraeas, an ideal variety for Linda’s Oklahoma climate as the blue-green foliage won’t burn out in the heat of summer. Lavender-pink blooms will accent the foliage in spring, and sporadic flushes will delight the pollinators in the summer.
Interspersed among the Nandina and Spiraea, Linda has included Baby Gem™ Boxwoods. These compact shrubs have tiny, dense green foliage that will stay picture-perfect year-round. Baby Gem Boxwood™ also makes a lovely topiary; eventually, she will shape them into boxwood balls.
Creating a themed area in your landscape could be as simple as a weekend project with a few beloved plantings, but the enjoyment it can provide will last through the seasons.
View and download this garden plan and plant list for Linda Vater’s Lemon Lane garden design!