Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Sky is falling …


Or so it seems with White Wisteria in full bloom!



At long last, Spring is here.

Friday, March 29, 2013

2013 Perennial Plant of the Year


Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ or Variegated Solomon’s Seal has been named the 2013 Perennial Plant of the year by the Perennial Plant Association.

This shade-loving ground cover was picked for it’s hardiness in a wide planting zone range (Zones 4 to 8) .  Growing 18 to 24-inches tall and wide, the plant spreads by underground rhizomes to form “colonies” or mass plantings.  Solomon’s Seal is an excellent choice for the shady to partly sunny woodland garden as its variegated foliage can be used to lighten up a dark or shady spot in the garden.  The plant is known better for its arching evergreen leaves that are lush and variegated than for its hanging white flowers that bloom in Spring. 


Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica) is an excellent companion plant for Variegated Solomon’s Seal!  And you all know that I am a HUGE fan of planting bulbs in with groundcovers.  I do it all the time in my practice - it gives more seasonal interest to a mass of groundcover.


You’ll want to plant Solomon’s Seal in a shady spot that is moist but well-drained.  Variegated Solomon’s Seal is an excellent low-growing ground cover that will colonize but not spread all over the garden.



Each year, Perennial Plant Award winners are chosen by the members of the Perennial Plant Association for the plant's beauty, durability, suitability to a wide range of climate types, low maintenance, multiple seasonal interest, and easy growing nature.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Weekly Garden Fix


It’s cold and rainy in South eastern North Carolina today.  So let’s pretend we are here …




I love the modern lounge chairs in the foreground and the way they contrast with the cottage style brick architecture.  The formal paths in the midground combine with the regular cadence set by the round forms of the large shrubs direct your eye to the gate by the large tree.  The flat surfaces of the deck, the chairs, the pool and lawn are very peaceful and restful.  This is where I’d like to be on a cold, rainy day like today. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Turn Gardening Upside Down with Sky Planters

Sky planters are all the rage these days. 

These hanging pots from Boskke have literally turned gardening upside down.  I like the idea of growing herbs in the kitchen where they can be easily accessed for cooking!

The planters are made from ceramic pottery or recycled plastic and can be used indoors or outdoors. 

Each pot contains a locking disk that holds the soil and plant roots in place.  They also have a unique reservoir system that conserves water (by up to 80%) and a personal timer that gradually hydrates the plants’ roots.  How about this one for a nice centerpiece?

What will they think of next?  Shop for Sky planters Here.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Garden Love


A wonderful composition of right angles and rectangles.


Arterra Landscape Architects


Why does this work for me?  Because it is harmonious and well balanced.  Can you see the similar form, line, color and texture?   When these elements are in agreement, we have unity. 

The composition is nicely balanced.  The tall copper planter and tree balance and anchor the horizontal heaviness of the concrete planter perfectly.   I love how the copper fountain serves to bring your eye down the backdrop wall to the top of the planter and continuing down the runnel that bisects and than protrudes beyond the concrete planter.  Your eye then catches the falling water down to the pool level that is beneath the ground plane.  It is all very soothing.  Notice how all of the plants have similar color and form.  They serve to soften the hard lines of the hardscape elements and bring your eye down as well.

What a wonderful spot to hang out next to on a warm summer’s day.  The sound of the water would drown out any unpleasant sounds from the surrounding area.  Just being near the water would provide a cooling and tranquil effect.  A true garden oasis.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Want a stunning groundcover? It’s a Breeze!

Lomandra longifolia, otherwise known as Breeze grass is quickly becoming my new favorite plant!

Lomandra_Lime_Wave Lomandra longifolia ‘Lime Wave’

This plant is tough and looks beautiful all year long due to its fine texture and evergreen habit.  It blooms small flowers in Spring.


This little beauty hails from down under, Australia, and is an extremely versatile plant, growing in both sandy and wet soil conditions!  Once established, it tolerates drought beautifully! 


Growing best in full sun to part shade, Breeze grass offers a great alternative to shrubs and ground covers.  It has a medium growth rate and grows 2 to 3-feet tall x 2-feet wide.   Breeze grass grows in US hardiness zones 7 through  11 and once established, requires very little care!  Sorry yankees – this plant likes it in the warmer plant zones. 

You know a plant is tough when it  can hold up in seriously hot, windy and dry conditions such as a traffic island!

Not only will it look good en masse, but I also envision it as beautiful solitary specimans, in pots, or as excellent border plants.  Deer tolerant, Breeze grass is an extremely low maintenance plant.  Who could ask for anything more? 


This is definitely a plant US Southern gardeners will be seeing a lot more of!  Enjoy! 
It’s my new favorite!  What’s yours?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Grow Your Own Lunch


Instead of choosing this …



Why not choose this …


My Hanging Baskets


How terrific is this?  You see, you don’t need a lot of space to grow edibles.  Only a little imagination.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Concave Space

Now THIS is a gardener’s garden.  And what a perfect concave space to view the garden from!   It is our nature to want to sit in a protected and enclosed space with our backs against a wall looking out - able to survey all that is before us.  It is especially appealing when this concave space is elevated.

Apart from the concave vantage point, this garden space is so harmonious and full of energy.  The plantings are vertical and stretching in nature.   I can just imagine the sounds of the foliage rustling in the breeze!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 Top Outdoor Living Design Trends


Increasingly, American homeowners want more enjoyment and livability from their outdoor spaces.  It is about time.




According to a recent survey of its members, the American Society of Landscape Architects (“ASLA”) has identified home owners’ top outdoor living design trends for 2013.  At the top of the list are outdoor rooms for entertaining and recreational activities.  No surprise here – we have seen this trend over the past decade.



Homeowners want outdoor kitchens …


Secret Gardens of Sydney

and entertainment areas.


Secret Gardens of Sydney


Firepits and fireplaces have also grown in popularity among homeowners,  followed by grilling spaces and seating/dining areas.


Lauren Leonard Interiors





Homeowners still want all kinds of water features including fountains, waterfalls, ornamental pools, splash pools, swimming pools and spas.  No surprise there, either.



And although patios, decking and fencing have been popular for many years, it appears they are still very much in demand by homeowners.


Secret Gardens of Sydney


Finally, sustainable and low-maintenance gardening is on the rise and becoming more popular every day. 




American homeowners are finally demanding reduced or no-mow lawns.


Rob Steiner Gardens


Grow your own vegetable gardens are the trend.



And the demand for drought-tolerant and native plants is at an all time high.   With the costs of water increasingly rising, homeowners want water-wise drip irrigation and permeable paving. 




Cisterns and other rain-water collection systems are now in vogue. 



Kersting Architecture


Perhaps, we are finally moving in the right direction!