One’s taste in plants changes much the same way one’s taste in music or color or clothing evolves.
These days, I’m wild about architectural plants.
Ten years ago, I would never imagine planting my urns and window boxes and other containers with succulents and shrubs and foliage plants and Scotch mosses. But these days, architectural plants soothe me. I also appreciate that most do not demand much mollycoddling during Denver’s typically dry days and short growing season.
I just potted up some Scotch moss in three purple-glazed ceramic pots and placed them on a table in my secret garden. They instantly changed the mood of the entire garden. Their simplicity adds an element of calm. The bright green color contrasts with the violet of the containers. And somehow, everything looks good in threes.
I also potted up three fiber optic grasses in small containers and three boxwoods in a cedar window box, and the understated effect is similar. In past years, I’ve enjoyed trios of Dwarf Alberta Spruce in containers. Though these plantings do not have flashy flowers, they make a bold and classic statement.
My Hens and chicks work well in hanging baskets in Denver, where baskets dry out quickly. These plants have an exotic look, and growing them in baskets brings them up to eye level.
You might try these ideas for instant architectural impact in your own garden.
••• “Cultivate your corner of the world. You grow your garden; your garden grows you.” •••
Colleen Smith’s first novel, “Glass Halo”— a finalist for the 2010 Santa Fe Literary Prize — is available in hardcover or e—book.
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