This week as I was walking back and forth in the pool exercising before my operation, I hope. I had one of the lovely ladies in the pool ask me a question. Seems she has been a fan of my column since she moved back from Florida. She commented about how she longed for the flowers she enjoyed in Florida all year long.
Can you imagine that? Flowers all year long. Seriously, in a way I am jealous of flowers fresh from your garden for your table all year that they have in Florida. I like the idea, but there are challenges that come with this concept.
One of my favorite landscape designers was a lady who lived from 1843-1932. She was a trained artist, yet her sight was waning during the productive years of her 50s. Loss of sight is a challenge for designers and artists as you might think.
Protecting strawberries:A Stroll Through the Garden: Protecting your strawberry plants for winter
Jekyll leaves mark in landscape design world
Gertrude Jekyll left her mark on landscape design for the way she looked at gardens. She worked until she was 90 years old. She had 50 large designs she worked on with a hardscape designer.
The Victorian Era was constrained in its formal gardens and mere splashes of color in small locations with color received from their special collected plants.
Queen Victoria and people in her time were noted for collecting plants from all over the world. When you would look at these gardens they would have conveyed a feeling of garish vulgarity, mingled with an uncomfortable sensation as of an undisciplined, crowded jumble of color material.
Sometimes I believe some cottage gardens are great, but the business of such gardens can be a bit much. Jekyll had a different approach in that she designed her gardens in drifts of unified colors for a particular spot.
Graham Stuart Thomas wrote about his Cliveden Garden that, “these borders were designed to give maximum colour during July and August.” The themes of the designs Jekyll had were amazing, and that idea was held to in her efforts. Her concept of designing in drifts of similar color changed the way the Victorians approached their borders.
Put wood ash to work:Using wood ash in the garden
What I’m saying is there is a difference between picking flowers in your garden and coming home and seeing a landscape that would give you a warm different feeling in the afternoon during the winter.
Think about drifts of color for winter appeal
What I would like for you to think about is to think a little differently about your yard. A drift of color for winter appeal may be what we would need on these pastel days. When you go out in your gardens have you seen how all of the colors have dropped in their intensity as the darkest month of the year settles in and we wonder if spring will ever return.
Design may tell us that a drift of color should enliven our spirit and warm an area as we look at it. Picture a backdrop of some tall dark green English Yews that can be 60 feet tall by 25 feet wide.
We build our drift from here with some lighter green Junipers like Chinese Juniper Hetzii Columnaris that gets up to 15 feet tall. The bright red Winterberry Winter Red Holly that gets up to 9 feet has shed its leaves are almost like bright ornaments on a Christmas tree as you are looking directly at the yew through the holly.
I also like strings of lights on my Christmas trees. If you could use your imagination one more time and think of the yellow twigs of the various Redosier Dogwoods that have a number of different characteristics. The yellow twig of the Redosier Dogwood or Yellow Twig Dogwood with an imagination can look like lights with their brightness.
I wrote a quick blog on some of the plants and their combinations that can be found at https://astrollthroughthegardeninohiowitheric.blogspot.com
This may help guide you as to what might work for creating your own drifts of color and creating a warm bright border or garden in your yard. What I would like for you is for you to look at the colors even in the dead of the winter and see some warm colors. Bold colors are needed in overcast days.
Hope you have a chance to start to get ready for Christmas. Seems that it’s coming pretty fast. If you take a stroll out in your garden and see a challenge, drop me an email at [email protected] Blogging soon. You can find a link to my columns at my website at www.ohiohealthyfoodcooperative.org. Thank you for participating in our column.