Today we’re visiting with Nancy Clark.
I’ve been gardening since 1986 and have a 3-acre shrub-and-perennial garden situated on a 16-acre property. As a retired high school art teacher, I’m still trying to apply design principles to my garden.
Perennials, shrubs, and bulbs are all mixed together here, with a large blue-glazed container in the middle as a focal point.
This is the same part of the garden, seen from the other side a little later in the season. Annuals are now growing in the blue container, and Asiatic lilies (Lilium hybrids, Asiatic group, Zones 4–9) that were just foliage in the previous photo are now coming into bloom.
Bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis, Zones 7–10) has bold, glossy leaves and tall spires of white-and-purple flowers. Here the dark colors of the flowers show off all the better for being planted in front of a brilliantly yellow-foliaged barberry (Berberis thunbergii, Zones 4–8).
A rich planting of foliage in a variety of colors and textures provides a wonderful backdrop to this planter of showy begonias (Begonia hybrid, annual).
It is easy to see Nancy’s background as an art teacher at work in the garden in its expert combination of different textures, heights, and points of color that glow against the green background.
Standard garden design advice is to put taller plants in the back and shorter ones in the front, but this is a great example of why it can be great to mix it up. Here, taller gladiolus (Gladiolus hybrids, Zones 8–10 or as tender bulbs) in the foreground frame the shorter plants behind them without blocking the view.
This gorgeous coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides, Zone 11 or as annual) looks like it might be the variety ‘Redhead’. Nancy has allowed it to have even more impact in the garden by planting it in a tall container set up on a plinth to give it more height.
Neatly mown paths lead you on to explore.
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