I’m always excited when I see an email from Istvan Dudas in the GPOD inbox. If you’ve missed previous posts from him, start here and enjoy. Istvan works as a gardener at a private garden in the United Kingdom, and these new images show a wild, romantic, magical space.
This planting in an orchard appears very wild and natural, but creating a look like this requires careful management. To prevent woody weeds from taking over, the tall grass needs to be cut once the bulb foliage has matured. In addition, the color palette of dark purple, blue, and white is carefully curated. Sometimes a naturalistic garden can require as much work as a more formal garden.
Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis, Zones 4–8) is native to Europe but, unfortunately, is invasive in much of North America.
I think part of why Istvan’s plantings are so effective is that each bed is planted very densely. There is no empty space, which means that each bed is full and lush and looks more like how plants grow in nature.
Repeating the same plant throughout a planting is a great way to tie it together and give it a sense of cohesion and unity. Here, tall spires of perennial salvia (Salvia nemorosa, Zones 4–8) form the thread tying this display together.
Tightly packing many plants into a bed works especially well if their colors are chosen carefully. This view is all purple and red with a little pink, giving way to some yellow in the distance. Limiting your plantings to just a few colors is an easy way make a display look more sophisticated.
Surrounding this brilliant pink coneflower (Echinacea, Zones 4–8) with darker purple makes its color look even brighter.
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
To submit, send 5-10 photos to GPOD@finegardening.com along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.
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