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How to Create Balance in the Garden

Counter lush plantings with clean lines for an abundant dramatic design

Fine Gardening – Issue 178

I love plants, all kinds of plants, crammed in with a long succession of fabulous foliage and blooming combinations in strong, bold colors. I also love strong design stories with clean, bold, modern lines. But I live in a 1919 Colonial Revival home on a small city lot in Portland, Oregon, and I make and collect glass art that needs its space in the garden, too. In a small space, intensely planted beds can quickly turn into a visually tiring, muddled mess. What is an obsessed gardener to do?

After almost 25 years of experimenting, I’ve discovered that the exuberant plantings more common in a cottage-style garden can balance—rather than clash with—a contemporary hardscape. The result is a small garden packed with abundance, drama, and multi season interest.


Clean Lines Unify the Chaos

As a plant lover, I want my garden to be filled with exuberant, layered plantings.…

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