Antigonum Cajan submitted these photos of his small but incredibly diverse garden in Puerto Rico. He’s shared his garden with us before, and today it is nice to revisit his tropical paradise while many of us in colder climates are having our first frosts and bracing for the arrival of winter.
The purple flowers in this container come from Ruellia brittoniana (Mexican petunia, Zones 8–11). Though it’s only hardy in quite warm climates, those of us not lucky enough to be living in the Caribbean can still enjoy this beautiful plant as an annual.
A look at the garden from above shows how Antigonum manages to grow so many different plants in a very limited space. There are shade-loving plants below, shrubs above, and a variety of vines clinging to the fences. Whatever climate you garden in, you can use the same principle of layering different types of plants together to make a rich, diverse garden.
Sometimes less is more. Here a vine-covered fence makes a rich green backdrop to a beautiful potted agave.
This long view of the courtyard from above shows to what great impact Antigonum uses vines in the garden. Vining plants are often underappreciated, especially in small spaces. By sending things up fences and falls, you can create a vertical garden. Trends in garden design around the world are decidedly moving toward naturalistic plantings inspired by nature. For some designers in some parts of the world, that means creating meadows and grasslands, but if you garden somewhere warm and rainy, a vine-covered jungle is a much more natural design direction.
Looking down the garden from ground level shows a sunny paradise, with every nook filled with plants. No matter your climate, or how small your space, you can always find a way to garden!
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 [email protected] 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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