Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Garden of the Month

My choice for Garden of the Month is this garden at the home of Nicky and Tracy on Lafayette Road. I have driven by it for several years and could not help but notice the simplicity and great color in it. Having this garden blog (I will talk about blogs in general soon) has enabled me to talk about the different gardens I find around town and so I am pleased to be able to feature this garden as my first Garden of the Month and to share it with you.

There is a saying many have heard, "Less is More." Sometimes this could not be more truer than in gardens. We plant collectors tend to overload our gardens with many types of plants which can lead to a chaotic look. Nothing wrong with this look but sometimes it is nice to just simplify the garden and focus on two or three main plants which can carry the garden all by themselves. This garden is that type of garden.

Obviously this is the front of the home and is very visible from Lafayette Road, though you would have to be looking for it as the house is somewhat raised above the road. There are only three main plants in this foundation garden and none of them are what I call blooming plants, as the flowers are not showy. That does not detract from the garden in any way at all. The three main plants are: Artemisia "Powis Castle", Ligustrum, aka Variegated Privet, and an ornamental grass (type and cultivar unknown but it looks to be a Miscanthus).

The privet and grass are alternated in front of the house, with the artemisia planted in front of them. The textures are wonderful and I like the color. This picture was taken today and I think the garden still looks good even after the freezes we have had. This is a garden which will change throughout the seasons as the new grass and privet grow in the new foliage will be green and brighter, then mellow out during the growing season, finally the grass will turn brown in the fall and winter but all plants maintain a presence throughout the year. Something interesting is always going on in this garden and it is very low maintenance. The house gets a lot of sun so this type of planting would be good in a garden with a lot of sun (not my house obviously since I don't have much sun). The textures are wonderful, all plants play well together and make a statement. I could not get all of the garden in but suffice it to say the house is heavily planted with a number of different specimens and the foundation garden also extends around the home.

The homeowner (Tracy) tells me the garden was already installed when she and her husband purchased the house two years ago. She has maintained it but with a full time job, college and children she doesn't get to work in as much as she would like. I think the fact the garden still looks super is a testament to its designer and to the plants themselves. All of these plants can take care of themselves with no problem.

I want to thank Tracy and her family for allowing me to share their lovely garden. If any of you know of a special garden you would like to see profiled here just let me know.

in the garden....


  1. One of the Saints favorite phrases is... Less is More! I did throddle back a bit in the garden last spring and it was beautiful with less being more!

    Pretty garden Tracy! Keep up the good work....

  2. Does the artemesia turn a shiny silver color part of the year? Is the ornamental grass the tall thingys that look like a feather? and does the feater part turn white towards the end of the summer? Think you talked bout artemesia before and I told you Nanna loved it and i used it in cut flowere but ours is silver. And if the grass is what I think it does turn white. Nana also loved it but it would not grow down east. Too cold. You would not think that few miles would make that much of a difference but it sure does. I grows here. Used to make Nana mad. Love ya

  3. Hi mom,
    The artemsia is the silver plant growing low. It stays this color all year. I cut mine back in the spring for new growth to come out. The grass is the feathery type between the privets. I love this artemesia and am glad nana liked it too. Her living downeast would make a difference being so close to Canada. Your area is saved by the ocean winds-believe it or not. Sure didn't feel like the ocean winds moderated the temperatures when I lived there. brrrr...

  4. LOL..I love you anyway, even if you are a darn turncoat!