provide a cheerful burst of color against
taking a walk down memory lane with some special gardens
that we visited on garden walks this past summer.
Instead of letting these visits be only a pleasant
memory, we will put them to work as we plan for a new
season of gardening.
walks can be a treasure trove of ideas. They’re
usually sponsored by local garden clubs and civic
groups. There’s also the Garden Conservancy’s Open
Days program, the creme de la creme of walks, which
provides a peek into some of the most magnificent
gardens across the U.S. that are not typically open to
organizations have already begun their plans for the
2015 garden walks. Check the website of the Garden
Conservancy gardenconservancy.org for its Open Days
are some designs that sparked our imagination.
country border: Who says you can’t have a touch of
England in the States? This mixed sweeping border of
perennials and annuals would make any Brit proud.
Dahlias, cosmos, salvias, cardoon (a thistlelike
vegetable related to artichokes), nicotiana, phlox,
thalictrum and roses are just a few of the plants
repeated throughout the border so that your eyes are
drawn along the sweeping curve. And who wouldn’t want
to try his or her hand at the English sport of lawn
bowling on this tightly manicured turf?
garden: Victorian gardeners were smitten by flower beds
that focused on one color, such as blue, pink or, in the
case of moon gardens, all white. This planting wowed us
with its lovely pastel palette of blues, purples and
mauves. White roses join a host of annuals including
several types of salvia, ageratum, petunias, angelonia
and Mexican heather (Cuphea). The best thing about using
annuals is that you can change the color palette from
one year to the next.
dressing: Some windows just cry out for a window box,
especially those on detached garages that face the
backyard. With windows framed in black, glossy paint and
backed by lace curtains, this geranium-filled window box
provides a glamorous pop of color that lasts several
months with minimal cost. More window boxes, please.
setting: This delightful collection of plants is
elevated to showcase the wonderful sculptural effect and
textures of succulents — a group of low-maintenance,
drought-tolerant plants that include aloe, agave,
crassula and echeveria. Think sofa table, only outdoors.
on vacation: This vignette shows the wisdom, and beauty,
of giving your indoor plants some fresh air. This lineup
includes asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’),
flowering maple (Abutilon), bromeliad, echeveria and the
rose-colored flowers of a new hybrid foxglove (Digiplexis
remember, past summer’s garden walks yield ideas for
next year’s planting