This summer I am changing around one of the beds planted at our house. While we were building the house Allison wanted to have bed mixed with hydrangeas and feather reed grass, which we placed along the driveway and the black portion of the house. The hydrangeas were striking, but overall the bed was not the most exciting thing to walk past day after day. This year we have decided to change it up based on inspiration from two different gardens.
CHANTICLEER GARDEN. Back in October we visited Chanticleer Garden and I have stated before this is the most inspirational garden to me. Every direction you turn are great ideas to try at home or inspire you to look how you design a garden differently. From Chanticleer I got he idea to plant an entire annual garden that we change around every year. Outside of our containers, the majority of the plantings in our gardens are all perennials. I wanted a place to experiment and this garden location is the right size and location so it will not not conflict with any of the other garden areas.
LONGWOOD GARDENS. The colors and the planting for the garden came from touring the Silver Garden at Longwood Gardens this past March. The garden was created in 1989 by Isabelle Greene and is filled with specimen agave, aloes and other aired plants . While we toured the garden, it was the large, irregular graphic planting groupings of contrasting textures in the soothing shades of grays and whites, mixed with greens and blacks. Since the garden goes against the black portion of our house, I think the silver tones from this garden with the large irregular blocking will be the perfect contrast.
We are pulling direct plants from the Silver Garden, like Senecio Angel Wings. Others we are going to pull from our greenhouse inventory. I have a large collection of succulents that we carry over year to year as “mother plants” and wanted to get them out of the greenhouse for the summer. Since we will be treating these as annuals, we will dig most back up in the fall and winter over again to be used again next year.
X FACTOR. Since the majority of these plants are rather low, we are going to place a container in the bed. The space is not very large, and I think adding a focal point planter will provide the height and grounding element the garden needs. I was thinking of using the RH Versailles planter from last year. The container was wintered over in the greenhouse, but requires a forklift to move without getting harmed. I decided to use instead a rough Kramer Brothers Athens junior urn we had at the shop with an Agave Americana. It is a smaller scale and will be a less dominate element.
I relocated the hydrangeas recently and a couple weekends ago I planted the silver garden. Already it adds so much interest to the driveway and approach to the side door. I am going to wait a few weeks for it to fill in to show a photo, but took a few after the initial planting to showcase how long it takes to fill in.