When I first met John Mitchell in Upper Marlboro he was only going to plant a few shrubs and Zoisia, but after we started talking and both got so enthusiastic the plan grew into a complete garden make over! He’s very interested in birds, butterflies and other wild life and wanted to have as many of them as possible visit his garden all year around. Most of the plants were selected because they in some way attract animals, but resist dear, at some point of the year. Where the back yard ends there’s woodland so we decided to add layers of shrubs and perennials, the large bed is horse shoe shaped and runs along the rear and side property lines. We incorporated Callicarpa, Aesculus, Mahonia, Viburnum trilobum, Ilex verticillata among the shrubs, Joe Pye Weed, Bee Balm, Coneflower, Nepeta, Black Eyed Susan and Pennisetum among the perennials. Some, such as the Weeping Willow and Maple were on a separate wish list. The planting around the house is a bit more organized, but not formal. However, we still only used plants that attract animals such as Aesculus, Magnolia, Nandina, roses, Nepeta etc. John now has Hummingbirds, butterflies, all kinds of birds playing in his bird bath and a rabbit (that sleeps in the Nepeta) visiting his garden.