March 8, 2011

Referencing My iPhoto Lookbook

It's time to place my final orders for plants, and I love looking back as I plant forward, as trends change in design, and new cultivars of plants are introduced, I always shift my ideas since my toolbox is changing. Rare plants and botanically interesting plants are one thing, and they are all on my list of course ( and for another post!), but design is important to me too, as are color palettes, I am constantly looking for something different, plant material that I can combine in unique ways, and this year I am making some very exciting plants for new gardens, using cactus, tropicals, hot colors and new introductions be they new species, or just new clones. There is just so much to work with, and I try to create new combinations that I don't see in other magazines or blogs. One must be original and bold, interesting and unique, but it must also look awesome.

 I am always experimenting with what I can grow in the cutting garden for interested plant material for arrangements. Last year, this was my scheme, this year, I am working with more coral, lots of textural material, and some new interesting Snapdragons that are rust colored. Of course, there was that post with the colored dye and Scabiosa........

A tag still on a Phormium variety that was added to a container planting last year. Photographing such plantings helps me plant future garden schemes, and I can look backward to see how successful such experiments were. This one worked out very well. Coral, orange, copper and bronze made for a stylish container.

I am just placing my plant orders with my favorite online plant sources, and although I always need to exercise some restraint, I also make myself follow some rules ( silly rules, such as always include an order for a new Hellebore, and to try to order things in large numbers such as 6 pots of a new perennial so that I can make each planting impressive; things like that) but also, I like to look backwards - back at my photos in iPhoto, to see what caught my attention last year while shooting images for this blog, and while traveling. Digital photography is such an easy way to document a trip, or to make a wish list, in many ways, iPhoto is like a visual lookbook, organized by date and month, perfect for a revisit on a cold, March day.

Shrubs in containers, there is always room for more!

A morning reviewing images in iPhoto, month-by-month, helps guide me as I order from my favorite sources for plants.  ABOVE: A newly planted container with plants from Gosslar Farms demonstrates how important a well shipped and large sized  Phormium  can be in this image from last April. Looking back also helps me decide what gaps and holes I have in my collection, as well as helps inspire me with ideas for new color combinations and palettes for new containers.

Sinningia tubiflora, yes...I want more! Thank you Plant Delight's Nursery for introducing many new varieties!

While I place my order for tender tropicals for container and border, I am also looking for interesting shrubs and small trees for use in containers. Most of the trees you see in this image above, are growing in large containers that I move around the garden as needed. Even here in New England, trees do very well in containers, and with so many now available that are well designed, frost-proof and light-weight at retailers like Pottery Barn, Target, and Restoration Hardware, that you can create your own spa-space or 'boutique hotel' in your own garden.

Even poultry makes the list, last year new heirloom egg laying Indian Runner ducks, this year maybe antique chicken selections.

Itoh Intersectional Peony's are always on the list, one cannot have enough.

OT ( Oriental-Trumpet) lilies are also something of which I cannot have enough of, for nothing says July like the scent of lilies.

The border along the greenhouse walk is where I always like to try something different, either tropical or Japanese, I am still trying to plan this years garden theme for here, but I am thinking of coral colored flowers, or maybe yellow calla's?

With shrubs and grasses, I try to make myself by everything in groups of 5 or 10 ( if I can afford it), since single plants never make the proper statement, and large drifts of everything looks better when you have a large space to fill.

1 comment :

  1. The other great thing about having the "lookbook" of garden images from the past season is they can really refresh you while surrounded by the dreariness of winter. Of course you have the greenhouse so it's not such a big deal for you, but for those of us who see browns all winter, those digital memories of the garden at its peak are more important.


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