Local landscapers unlock the gates to some of the area’s most fabulous gardens, from serene green escapes and sweet retreats to backyards bursting with colorful flora.

Jason Todd, Landscape St. Louis

An impressive multi-tier garden surrounding a stone patio created the perfect backyard retreat for a Kirkwood couple.

The residents requested a backyard to reflect their home and personality. And Landscape St. Louis delivered with a multi-use space that provides a beautiful place to entertain large parties, as well as an intimate area to unwind at the end of the day with a glass of wine.

Because the couple wanted the look of a mature garden quickly, Landscape St. Louis went to special lengths to tag larger specimen trees and shrubs from Midwest nurseries. Now, the garden is filled with plants that offer multiple seasons of interest.

And even the layout of the gardens is unique, terraced above the patio to give depth, while also elevating some of the plants for privacy. “The jewel of the garden space would be the custom fieldstone fire pit,” notes Jason Todd of Landscape St. Louis. “Our client wanted a fire pit for family and guests to gather around, to make memories and share laughter. They are thrilled with the finished project.”

Bill Minford, Sherwood’s Forest Nursery and Garden Center

A Frontenac family has their own secret garden: A year-round rainbow of flowers and shrubbery—designed, planted and maintained by Bill Minford and the rest of the landscaping team at Sherwood’s Forest Nursery and Garden Center—surrounds the home with beauty, shade and privacy. And venturing behind the house, you’ll find the heart of the over-the-top plant project, the secret garden.

Framed by a custom iron gate and a curved brick wall, the garden abounds with color from a full palette of perennials. The elaborate arrangements provide color every season, Minford notes, from gold mop and gold charm cypress shrubbery, which give a year-round yellow glow; to ace of hearts that provide pretty purple blooms in the spring; and sunny yellow coreopsis flowers for summer.

The lush garden also showcases pops of color from red and yellow knockout roses, amber carpet roses, and pink and white coralburst crabapple trees. “The owner loves the colors of summer,” Minford says, “and these create a blast of color all summer long.”

Drew Goding, The Hard Work Yard Work Company

A dramatic display of flowers and shrubs welcomes guests to a local home, courtesy of The Hard Work Yard Work Company.

To achieve color and blooms throughout the growing season, the landscape team designed, planted and continue to maintain deciduous, semi-deciduous and evergreen shrubs and trees, mixed with annual and perennial flowers. Through the year, the garden changes texture and color—from pastels to deep reds and violets. “The colors are bright, and the blooming occurs throughout the growing season,” says Drew Goding of The Hard Work Yard Work Company. “Each year, we introduce new elements to keep the look fresh.” Either side of the walk is lined with a 1-foot-wide ribbon of repeat blooming Dianthus, Goding continues. “We also planted a hydrangea tree, which produces 8-inch blooms during the summer, to the right side of the front door.” The hydrangea tree, as well as columbine flowers, are rare elements that make the garden special.

And the family loved the garden so much, they asked the landscapers to do more projects surrounding their home. “They love the rotation of color throughout the growing season,” Goding says. “There is always something bright and colorful coming into bloom throughout the spring, summer and fall.”