This is one of my favorite of all the spaces I've designed over the years: the cobble and gravel parterre behind our office. Though originally intended as an herb garden – thus the intricate 16th century pattern of the triangular beds – we’ve recently decided to use this area as a place to showcase the best in new annual varieties. Here you see it planted with over 2000 tulips in early spring; by early summer, hundreds of seed grown annuals take their place. Spaces like these are a lot of work, and not the stuff of low maintenance landscapes, but for those homeowners who have the time and inclination, annual gardens like this one are real showstoppers. Note too, the use of color here; although each one of the beds is planted slightly differently, the complementary color scheme links the diverse beds into a cohesive whole.