The sucess of this dramatic combination relies on simple color repetition and textural variety.
Born in England, I grew up with a sincere love of gardening. When we moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1996, I came across an unfamiliar phrase that filled me with foreboding: “shade gardening.” At first, I was daunted at the thought of not growing my beloved roses and sweet peas. But as someone who loves a challenge, I began to scour nurseries for shade-loving plants and soon discovered many treasures I never had the opportunity to grow before.
Of course, I quickly ran out of space in my small garden, so I began to fill an ever-increasing number of containers. People often assume that the plant options for shade containers are limited and less exciting than those for sun, but I found that to be far from the truth. Throughout my journey, I discovered that shade is not an affliction that hinders personal style. By understanding how to combine color, texture, and form, I create container gardens that thrive even in the shadiest of areas. Through many years of experimentation, I came to realize that shady containers, much like their sunny counterparts, can be any style you want—be it informal or formal.
For formal containers (which can include contemporary and traditional designs), success depends upon a careful marriage of pot and plants. This sophisticated style calls for restraint in color, embellishment, and plants. The vessel itself has a strong presence and is as important as the contents. The best combinations focus on foliage and texture because blossoms are often fleeting.