Magazine article Sunset

Perfectly Arranged

Magazine article Sunset

Perfectly Arranged

Article excerpt

How to make every detail in the garden count

"GARDENING IS the slowest of the performing arts," writes garden historian Mac Griswold. She knows that a garden is created one rock and one plant at a time, and the real goal is a grand show that develops later. Katherine Heitzman understands this too-and knows that attention to detail is what makes the eventual show a hit.

Although Katherine is meticulous about planting, weeding, and clipping, she's fanatical about hardscape details (patios, paths, and accents). "I want the unseeable-the parts hidden by plants and perspective-to be as nice as the seeable," she says.

When she couldn't find steppingstones in the right color, she made her own out of tinted concrete. To get perfect containers and columns, she and her husband, Jerry, made those too.

Now that the garden in Orting, Washington, has grown in, the Heitzmans only have to step outside to see a show that gets better each day.

Four great ideas from this garden

1. Put plants up high, where you can see them. Atop matching pillars, Mexican feather grass spills out of hand-thrown pots like a fountain.

2. Make your own pillars. To create the 42-inch-tall supports (top right), the Heitzmans covered plywood boxes with roofing paper, flashing, and stucco. …

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