My lovely neighbor across the street from me lives in a beautiful 1920s Spanish bungalow complete with a walled courtyard and bubbling fountain. The centerpiece of the courtyard was an exquisite Jacaranda mimosifolia tree. I say ‘was’ because all that is left of this tree as of Saturday is a small pile of wood.
If you’ve lived in Los Angeles for more than a year or visited during May or June, you’ve seen the purple clouds of flowers all over the city that are the Jacaranda tree. They are planted along avenues from Beverly Hills to Van Nuys. They are gracefully shaped trees whose flowers are the most perfect purple. They symbolize springtime in Los Angeles. They are messy when they shed their flowers, and a lot of people hate them (including apparently my neighbor).
I’ll admit it, I spend so much time making beautiful gardens for my clients that I often neglect my own garden. You know, the cobbler’s children have no shoes… The little bit of lawn I have left get mowed when my maintenance gardener decides to show up, I trim my iceberg roses back, so my kids can get out of my car, and I’ll put in some plants here or there when I have left overs or I want to experiment.
That’s the front.
Forget about the back.
My husband and I have been discussing putting in a deck for 2 years now, and I don’t want to invest too much in planting back there, so I put in a few tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers for fresh salads in the summer. The deck will happen. The six chickens also live in back in there own fenced off chicken yard under the giant ash tree.
A couple of weeks ago I received a call from a nursery I use often that they would like to feature my yard in a commercial they are filming. Um, sure! (I believe in the say YES! and then freak out way of doing things).…
Green is a color. In fact, when you look at just about any garden, I bet you can pick out several shades of green. As I am sure you know, gardens can practically explode with colors other than green, but for some reason there is the misconception that a shade or part shade garden means green and only green. I love designing and planting shade gardens. There is a quiet energy about them, and finding ways to add color to them through plants and other garden elements makes them all the more attractive.
Here are some easy ways to bring color to a shade garden:
Plants can bring color to a shade or part shade garden through their leaves, flowers, or bark. Japanese maple trees (Acer palmatumvarieties) do really well in filtered light. Many varieties have red, orange, and even variegated leaves. For example, the Sango-Kaku or coral bark Japanese maple puts on a show with leaves that transition from yellow to orange to red AND has bark that is a vibrant red, which looks great especially in the winter.
Other favorite plants with colorful leaves that I regularly use in shady spaces include Heuchera and Solenostemon. Heuchera is…
Tagged with: Abutilon
, ceramic containers
, colorful leaves
, crushed colored glass
, garden design
, Japanese maple
, shade garden
I had the great opportunity to work with the very talented designer Caitlin McCarthy of Caitlin & Caitlin on a patio garden in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Silver Lake is a very hilly neighborhood, so many of the homes are terraced into the hillsides. If you spend any time outdoors, your daily exercise is built in simply by hiking up and down stairs. This job entailed designing and installing container gardens on upper and lower patios as well as planting a privacy hedge and refreshing the plants in the front yard. Working on this project got me thinking about how important color is when creating a garden lifestyle for my clients. In addition to the plants chosen, outdoor furniture, area rugs, planters, and accessories all provide opportunity to add color into an outdoor living space.
The house and patios are painted a lovely shade of dark grey. Grey is one of my favorite neutrals with which to work. On the upper dining patio, Caitlin had placed a strong, concrete colored table over a sky blue area rug. The chairs are forest green with white cushions. For the planters, I chose contemporary white self watering planters…
Tagged with: container garden
, garden lifestyle
, outdoor entertaining
, outdoor living
, patio garden
, self watering planters
, small space garden
, succulent garden
, vertical gardens
, wall gardens