Or so it seems with White Wisteria in full bloom!
At long last, Spring is here.
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.
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.
A wonderful composition of right angles and rectangles.
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.
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 …
and entertainment areas.
Firepits and fireplaces have also grown in popularity among homeowners, followed by grilling spaces and seating/dining areas.
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.
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.
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.
Perhaps, we are finally moving in the right direction!
It’s Mardi Gras! Carnival season! And Fat Tuesday is just around the corner. Ever wonder where those fabulous colors of Mardi Gras came from?
In 1872, the three colors of Mardi Gras were chosen by Rex, the King of Mardi Gras in honor of the visiting Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovich Romanoff, who suggested the colors. And where do you suppose he found these color combinations?
Purple Represents Justice.
Gold Represents Power.
The colors are found throughout nature.
Johnny Jump Ups Viola tricolor
German Iris Iris germanica
Crocus Crocus sativus
On the Color Wheel, purple and yellow are opposite colors making them the perfect complimentary color combination providing the best contrast. This effect makes them jump out at you. While yellow is a primary color, purple and green are both secondary colors (a blend of two primary colors).