Garden Designers Roundtable – Finer Points of Details in the Garden September 25, 2012
As the sign of the Virgo, my detail-oriented nature is ruled by the mind. Virgos are always analyzing everything, with a penchant for working with very precise and detailed designs on a more focused scale than many signs. I notice everything- when it comes to the garden. In that way, I’m the classic definition of a Virgo, the love of fine points, minutiae, particulars, specifics and technicalities.
I think that’s one reason why I love photographing the garden so much. To me it’s really all about the details. It allows another type of focus that you don’t get when you’re purely experiencing the garden with touch, smell, taste and sounds.
Today, I’ve rounded up a group of fabulous recent pictures that help you understand how I see the details at this late summer/early autumn season. ENJOY!
Be sure to visit the other Lords and Ladies of the Garden Designers Roundtable for September to see how they interpret the details.
Grand November Day In The Garden November 10, 2011
THIS is one day in the garden that I am thrilled to be able to document today. The quality of the light made the fall colors quite extraordinary.
Today is one of those stunning fall days that we all have to make note of when we have unending rain, snow or dreary gray skies that will be here very soon. Or technically already should be here.
I’m home sick today with some kind of crud that has had me down for 5 days now. But, NOTHING was going to stop me from going out in my jammies to get pics of the garden today. NOTHING!
As I sit here at my desk writing this, the sun is hitting my back, it’s a little hot. Maybe that’s a fever talking.
I wanted you to be able to see what I saw this morning. It was glorious, I hope you think so too!
Your Daily RED November 8, 2011
A little RED in your environment, whether from fall color, summer blooms or berries, is an energizing thing. Take it all in!
How do you get your daily RED?
Gold Mining November 4, 2011
Choosing Winter Foliage That Says WOW! October 31, 2011
How do you choose your foliage palette for your garden? Does it vary from season to season or do you keep it a tight color scheme of just a couple of colors year round?
When I’m shopping and designing for a client in the Fall and Winter, it takes on a completely different feeling than in the abundant and effervescent summer when you can nearly throw a dart out in the nursery and hit combinations of plants that will play well together.
This time of the year I have to think much more about the textural effects and the vivid or subtle nature of foliage colors together. This raises my passion for this process to a whole new level. The challenge and yet sometimes the utter simplicity of this task when all is said and done are among my highest highs.
Recently, I had the fun opportunity to put together a couple of custom containers for a client to sell at a charity auction. I was short on time and even more short on plants at the ready. I made a special shopping trip to get a bunch of colorful options to go with the particular color of pots I had in mind.
The client’s only request was that they look very fall’ish. I was very pleased with the result, but even more so with the ease with which they went together. I based it on what I call my “Garanimals of Fall/Winter Plant List”. You can read more about this here.
Now I’m onto another Fall and Winter design using foliage as the focus. I picked up a whole bunch of plants the other day and as I unloaded them from my car, I was tickled at what a great start I had from just the plants sitting in the driveway in boxes!
Tomorrow I go to get another load to go with them, since I have to get enough large-scale plants for three large containers. I’ll be looking for Nandina, Leucothoe, Choisya and maybe an Aucuba if I can find a good one. I have some great colors and textures to riff on. The flowers from the Hellebore will be fantastic in late winter. I love how they’re happily spitting out a few blooms now too!
Of course you know I’ll get some good shots of the pots when I’m done so you can see how they turn out. :-) I would love to hear how you see foliage in the garden working for you and how you choose them for various areas and focal points.
Smashing Autumn Foliage Combination October 6, 2010
Winterhazel, Buttery Garden Goodness October 30, 2009
Resisting a good plant rescue is very hard for me. When I cam across a severed chunk of buttery Corylopsis Pauciflora a few years ago, it was about to go into the trash pile. Too good to pass up, I thought. And my gamble has rewarded me richly with pastry rich, butter colored, fragrant flowers in the spring and elegantly textured foliage.
Deciding whether I like it more in bloom, paired with deep pink Hellebore in April or with deep pink Chrysanthemums in fall is a tough challenge. Someone putting me up to a decision like that would very likely have to provide some sort of decision make pastry to sway me one way or the other.
Corylopsis is a spectacularly elegant alternative to Forsythia. When placed where you can appreciate the bloom and foliage up close, this plant earns it’s keep and gets better with every season. Pair it with darker foliage plants to really make her shine. I have it in a bed with Sambucus ‘Black Beauty’. Today, the Sambucus foliage has warmed from deep burgundy to a coppery bronze tone. Next to the Corylopsis it’s transcendent.
The most alluring point of interest about this plant to me is not the bloom, it’s the lovely foliage. Delicate, and deeply textured leaves are each a work of art unto themselves. And when they reach fall, the colors of butter yellow turn to ocher yellows and rich rustic amber.
Star of the Fall Show Needs Backup Singers October 28, 2009
The focus on all of the glorious color of fall is righteous indeed. After a spring and summer of sumptuous floral displays and vegetable tableau’s that can rival any formal shrub border, it’s only natural to get a bit more introspective about the use of the giant color wheel of fall and delve into the details. I also think it’s important to take a good, long step back and see who else is out there helping to make that color sing.
Top performers know there is a bevy of behind the scenes action that lifts up and supports the lead. They are all of the names that are rarely on the fronts of magazines or books. They dazzle in a more understated way. I like to think of them as the back up singers of the plant world. Silver and grey are the back-up singers that I regularly look for in most plant combination’s that I design. They are reliable, show up consistently, and are rarely demanding of the limelight.
Sometimes the melody under the song is even lovelier when you listen close. You could even think of it as an up light on the stage. The bold and bawdy red lead singer out in the front of the house always looks better with a little supportive light from underneath, from the side, or in the back. Who sings back up in your garden designs?
The Last Gasp of Fall Color October 23, 2009
Rhus Typhina or Sumac is in all her glory right now. I saw this in my E-Mail today http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/potd/2009/10/rhus_typhina.php and thought about the ones in my neighborhood with such glorious color on them I had to run out and take some pictures to share.
In some areas of the country this small tree might seem ubiquitous as we sometimes feel about some of our common trees here in the green Northwest. But, you have to hand it to Mother Nature on this one- she out did herself!
After chatting with neighbors on this lovely fall evening, I found a couple of other fall color shots that stood out too. Enjoy!