This project is a new construction home in the Issaquah Highlands. As with many of the homes in this community the space is relatively small and shady. To create more usable space we would have had to build some form of retaining wall and we just didn’t feel that it really fit the space. We decided to go with a more plant-heavy design that would fit in with the native background. We added dark basalt boulders as accents as well as helping with elevation changes off of the existing patio. Two Arborvitae hedges were planted along the neighboring fence lines for privacy. To keep with the native design we used Vine Maples as the anchor trees, Oregon Grape for medium shrubs, and Sword Fern to fill. We also installed a number of non-native plants to add more color and interest throughout the year. These include Sarcococca, Pieris, Camelia, Astilbe, and Irish Moss for ground cover. We laid the foundations for a future water feature that is flanked by two Weeping Norway Spruce. To create some interest to the entry to the backyard we installed 2’x2′ Belgard pavers to create a path through the existing gravel. We used Irish Moss in between the pavers to give the path a more natural feel. For such a small space we think this backyard is really going shine as the plants start to mature!