The Beale sisters can keep their Grey Gardens. I prefer the green variety! On a recent trip home to visit my parents, I fell in love with my father's garden all over again. My dad has always had such a knack for choosing the right plants for the right spot, layering textures and playing with colour. It's the artist in him. (He worked for many years as a graphic artist.) What I was most taken by was his use of various shades of green in the garden. He is not a big flower lover, prefering the patterns, shapes and dimensions of foliage plants. I got down on my hands and knees and basically crawled through his garden to capture some of these verdant microcosms on film. You can see my photos below. I hope to convey several lessons with them:
1.) Having an all-green garden requires a careful study of plant types. varrying the size, shape and texture of the plants you choose will create the most interesting landscape. Don't plant a whole bed of similarly-coloured plants without considering those factors.
2.) Variegated leaves are one of the most effective ways to achieve dimension in a monochromatic planting scheme. Look at the subtleties of leaf patterns and play with them. Mingle the potted plants on the lawn in groupings that you find appealing before planting them.
3.) Photograph the garden regularly: from afar and from up close. You will learn a lot about whether or not the plants are working together to achieve a balanced scene.
This sedum has several weeks to go before it shows any signs of blossom. In the meantime, its thick, succulent-like leaves provide shadow, shape and depth to the garden.
Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo' has deep purple leaves and wonderful flowers that attract bees. The plant grows into a tall shrub and is the perfect counterpoint to a lot of green in the garden.