Today we’re paying another visit to Syd Carpenter’s wonderful Philadelphia garden, where she boldly mixes all sorts of plants and garden art to wonderful effect. If you missed previous visits to this wonderful garden, start here.
These photos are from last summer and as always display her incredible ability to combine plants in creative and inspiring ways.
Many of the plants in this photo are best known as house plants, such as the silver-striped silver inch plant (Tradescantia zebrina). But many “house plants” make great annuals for shade. And if you bring them indoors before frost, they can live through the winter on the windowsill before returning to the garden next year.
Syd is an artist, and dramatic garden art, like the large sculpture hanging on the wall here, is a central part of this garden.
New breeding has created elephant ears (Colocasia) in a wide range of sizes and leaf colors, such as this smaller-growing, dark-leaved form in a container. They bring a tropical flair to any garden and thrive in hot summers.
This is, I believe, the annual Ammi major, sometimes called bishop’s flower, and is essentially a more refined version of Queen Anne’s lace (Dacus carota). The lacy white flowers aging to green are beautiful and are beloved by all sorts of pollinators.
Hardy plants and tropicals mix freely in this garden, with a huge oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia, Zones 5–10) in the back, a big mass of purple Mexican spiderwort (Tinantia pringlei, Zones 6–10), and the yellow flower heads of tender Guzmania bromeliads mixed in for a tropical flair.
Foliage is the star in this garden, with vivid purple coming from purple shamrock (Oxalis regnellii var. triangularis, Zones 7–10).
A sculpted face peaks out from behind elephant ears.
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