Create a pretty, peaceful spot where you can lose yourself on sunny days.

By Viveka Neveln
Updated December 11, 2020
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A garden bench under sheltering boughs is an invitation to wile away a warm afternoon. Surround that bench with flowers and fragrance and the invitation becomes irresistible, both for you and for birds, butterflies and other pollinators. This nook garden offers secluded respite in a beautiful setting and works equally well in a front yard or back. The redbud tree provides needed cover for the astilbes, impatiens, and other shade-loving plants under its branches, while the lavender, foxgloves, and penstemon occupy the sunnier spaces in this design. Daffodils, hyacinths, and snowdrops are optional but highly recommended for some added color early in the season.

nook garden with garden bench illustration
Credit: Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

Plants for Creating the Nook Garden Plan

  • 1 Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) Zones 5-9
  • 1 Pink summersweet (Clethra alnifolia ‘Rosea’) Zones 3-9
  • 3 Hicks yew (Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’) Zones 4-8
  • 3 Astilbe (Astilbe chinensis ‘Veronica Klose’) Zones 3-9
  • 2 Fairy candles (Cimicifuga racemosa ‘Atropurpurea’) Zones 3-9
  • 3 Foamflower (Tiarella ‘Winterglow’) Zones 3-9
  • 3 Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea ‘Apricot Strain’) Zones 4-8
  • 1 Beard tongue (Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red’) Zones 4-8
  • 2 Munstead lavender (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead Strain’) Zones 6-9
  • 2 Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) All zones
  • 3 Oriental lily (Lilium ‘Stargazer’) Zones 4-9

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting.

Get the Free Nook Garden Plan

The garden plan for this design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

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