Gardening is a hobby that can be enjoyed as a solitary pursuit or as a collaborative activity. Large gardens often need more than one set of hands, but some people with small plots just enjoy working together to enhance the landscape they share. The dynamics likely are different in every gardening team: What is the division of labor? How are their individual talents and skills employed? How do they negotiate different objectives?

The three duos featured here, partners in life as well as in the garden, have answered those questions in unique ways that make for successful gardens and successful partnerships. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that one member of each pair is a woodworker whose handcrafted structures provide impact in the garden while blending seamlessly with the plantings. Gardens may be noted for their impermanence, but in each of these gardens — two in Bloomington’s Elm Heights neighborhood and one in rural Spencer — their one-of-a-kind structures provide a sense of continuity.

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