What a difference a week can make! (see post of March 28) I offer this picture with some trepidation, being very suspicions of gardens that look good as soon as they are planted. The word "over-planted" inevitably leaps to my mind. I guess the good news is that while it does look better than it did last week there is certainly room for improvement; more good news is that the vast majority of the plants here are herbaceous perennials so they will grow significantly this year.
The owners wanted flowers, a pool, year-round interest, a small raised bed for vegetables, and some turf for their dog! Its a good thing that they have a relatively large lot! In a situation like this evergreen perennials can serve double-duty, providing both permanent structure and flowers. We used a number of these "sub-shrubs": Delosperma, Dianthus, Erica, Sedum spp., Iberis, Thymus, Lavendula, et alia. Most of these plants are happiest in hot, sunny, dry areas; since this garden faces SE, they will be very happy. Grasses with their architectural forms will provide additional structure. Most of the non-evergreen perennials are either native species or cultivars of natives, which will attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other interesting fauna. Many sun-loving perennials are meadow plants which tend to flower mid-summer or even later. We can take another look at this garden in late-July or August.