Meet Nina's front garden. Previous owners tried to grow grass here but between the northern exposure and the huge oak in the middle, their attempts were doomed. Nina knew better and created instead this charming woodland retreat. (Fitting, since it's located on Woodland Avenue, just a few houses down the street from me.) She filled it with understory trees, like dogwords and serviceberries, that are just now coming into bloom, plus spring bulbs, pathways and some brand-new perennials. So like any real garden, it keeps getting better. It just needs a load of leafmold mulch every spring.
Now since I've already dragged you down the street to see new Nina's garden, how about a quick look at her green roof? It's actually one you may have even seen before, since pictures of it are all over the web. This shot I found on the site of a local nonprofit. Her green roof plant supplier, Ed Snodgrass, also uses this gorgeous example in his promotional materials.