It’s Roundtable posting day today, and this month we are celebrating the release of “Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces” written by two of our own blogger’s Rebecca Sweet and Susan Morrison. Susan and Rebecca, live in the San Francisco area, and in this their first book together, have hit on a topic that although has been around for a long time, is undergoing a renaissance, with exciting new products and techniques. Look for a review of Garden Up! very soon, right here on the Blue Heron Landscapes blog.
Gardens have long been defined by their boundaries, the most romantic for me being old worn brick walls cover with vines and flowers, a backdrop for a beautiful perennial border or a stone patio providing a cozy spot to relax or dine with close friends. There are many ways to create intimacy within your garden, and introducing a vertical element, especially one covered with plants, is a smart choice. An under story tree with a low canopy might provide a ceiling to your outdoor room, or maybe the pattern found on a trellis will ad texture to a screen as clematis climbs it’s way to the top. Here are a few ways we have been using vertical elements to the gardens we create, to soften hardscapes and creat a sense of intimacy.
When is a fence, more than a fence? In this picture you can see the picket fence as it works it’s way around the yard, but near the gate the Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris), both softens and adds depth to the plane. Planted by our client, this beautiful vine gives both privacy to the backyard and a wonderful backdrop to the Hosta and Daylilies at along the drive.
Another beautiful vine, Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), is seen here covering an ugly lattice wall. A magnet for hummingbirds, this light shade tolerant native brings the scale of the garage it’s planted against to a more comfortable presence.
The back corner of this foundation, was left exposed due to the grade change. The size of a stone wall high enough to cover the ugly concrete would simply have overpowered the backyard. The mason’s choice here to terrace the wall was smart, but it left a portion of the foundation still exposed. The custom trellis was built to fit over the wall and planted with climbing rose and clematis. Problem solved!
The location of this patio, left us little room to plant between the back wall of the garage and the bluestone. The addition of this trellis solves that problem. Planted later with annual and perennial vines, it also reduces the scale of the building and provides interest from the patio.
A wonderful little patio near the side door of this client’s house is a great spot to sit and enjoy the garden, or wait for friends until they arrive. The trellis is placed so as to bring visitors face to face with the sunny, happy, clematis growing on it. Can you think of a more gracious welcome?
Our final picture is from my own back yard. Surrounded by towering oak and hickory trees, our back deck is a lovely spot to relax, and we dine here as often as possible. After experimenting a few times, we have settled on this post with six pots winding their way to the top. It gives the deck (one step above grade) a somewhat elegant and interesting accent. Don’t you agree?
Softening hardscape, providing privacy or creating intimacy are all benefits of a well planned vertical plane, and whether your working with a grand space, or a small intimate one, I hope you’ll think to Garden Up!
Do you like our solutions? Think you might add a vertical accent to your garden? We would love to hear about it, so please leave us a comment! And after you do, please follow th links below and visit the blogs of my Garden Designers Roundtable friends (including our new authors Susan and Rebecca), and see what creative ideas they are sharing.
Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK
Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In the Garden : Los Altos, CA
Shirley Bovshow : Eden Makers : Los Angeles, CA
Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA
Tara Dillard : Vanishing Threshold : Atlanta, GA