Condo gardens on the fly

Had fun coming up with plant palettes for a couple of projects today. Since I so often seem to be thinking in vignettes, picking plants is one of my favorite things to do –  especially when it’s for other people. As most of you know, I have no room whatsoever left in my learning-lab garden, so opportunities like this is where I get to play all the more – and, on someone else’s tab, to boot!!! Sure, the choosing process can sometimes be agonizing too,  because there are so many great plants to choose from, but this time around, the clients wanted it done fast. There was no time to order plants in, and I had to make do with what was already available.. Largely because of the talents of our buyer, this did not create much of a hurdle at all.

Both clients have downtown condos with two terraces. The first condo faces southwest, and the client loves red, so it will be a study in hot colors and heat tolerant fare. The terraces of the second condo face northeast and northwest. On the east side, the plantings will have softer, more gentle tones, while westward will mix in more intense chroma. To this client, color is less important than foliar texture, but she requested whites, greens and grays on the east side, and oranges and corals on the other. I will be planting next week, if all goes well.

This is the northeast terrace of the first condo. The planter is a bit overgrown, and needs some editing. Some of the things that were planted have outgrown their space, and will need to come out.

This is the northeast terrace of the first condo. The planter is a bit overgrown, and needs some editing. Some of the things that were planted have outgrown their space, and will need to come out.

IMG_0627

This motley collection is for the second condo. Personal faves include the fuzzy leaves of the Silver sage and the soft new growth of the Callistemon viridiflora. And I think the white leaves of Stachys ‘Bello grigio’ will practically glow in the moonlight, as will the Daphne ‘Briggs Moonlight’.

The whiter side of things...

The whiter side of things… the small white flowers next to the Silver sage is this wonderful little ground cover rose. The flowers are only about the size of a quarter. Adorable…

Fuchsia 'Gartenmeister' is a personal favorite of the client, and luckily we had some. The Moyer's Red Nandina will look good against the white brick wall.

Fuchsia ‘Gartenmeister’ is a personal favorite of the client, and luckily we had some. The Moyer’s Red Nandina will look good against the white brick wall.

For the second condo, it's more of a clean slate. Some existing planters, but we're adding more, and by now there should be some furniture added to this space.

For the second condo, it’s more of a clean slate. There are some existing planters that we’re switching out the contents of, and adding some more pots. By now there should be some furniture added to this space.

This has a completely different feel to it - lots of color and architectural form.

This has a completely different feel to it – lots of color and architectural form.

A few spikes, and some billowy grasses too. I'm adding a couple of Bright Edge yuccas too, but those didnt make it into the photo. That rose is another ground cover rose called 'Peach drift'. It will bloom throughout the season, and has a wonderful perfume.

A few spikes, and some billowy grasses too. I’m adding a couple of Bright Edge yuccas as well, but those didnt make it into the photo. That rose is another ground cover rose called ‘Peach drift’. It will bloom throughout the season, and has a wonderful perfume. The Zauschnerias and the Cape Fuchsias will crank up the heat a bit.

They are rather small now, but the Lagerstroemia 'PDX red' will be anchoring the composition on the lower level terrace. The two compact Arizona cypresses will do the same on the upper level.

They are rather small now, but the Lagerstroemia ‘PDX red’ will  soon be anchoring the composition on the lower level terrace. The two compact Arizona cypresses will do the same on the upper level.

I’m looking forward to seeing how it all turns out. But tomorrow, I’ll be playing in my own backyard. I’m looking forward to that even more. 🙂

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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14 Responses to Condo gardens on the fly

  1. mattb325 says:

    Nice plant selections – these projects look like a lot of fun – balconies are a great treat to make over

  2. Alison says:

    Love that first collection with all the silver and white plants. Wonderful!

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Alison! I’ve had a thing for silvery plants for a while, so when she asked me about a white garden, I was all over it. Luckily we had some of my foliage favorites in-house.

  3. Pauline says:

    Your choice of plants for each client is beautiful, such wonderful textures, love the silver salvia, the leaves just ask to be stroked! Enjoy working in your own garden, have a good weekend.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Pauline – you have a great weekend too! The Silver salvia I planted last year didn’t come back, but I’m planting another one today. Not ready to give up on that one yet… 🙂

  4. rickii says:

    I think it’s fun to work within another’s parameters. It sort of frees us of our own biases, if briefly. You have piqued our interest, so please do show your finished plantings. Looks like they will be winners.

  5. Kris P says:

    That looks like fun (even if it’s labeled “work”). I’ve been looking for a good pairing for my Yucca ‘Bright Star’ and you’ve given me a great option with that peach rose – now I just have to find it.

    • annamadeit says:

      It’s funny – I’m not really all that fond of roses – at least not the leggy tea varieties with all their problems. But the two ground cover roses we had are both delightful. For the record – the little white one is ‘Snow Carpet’. I don’t think I mentioned that, but it is well worth highlighting! It’s adorable!

  6. hb says:

    Excellent selection of plants. The ‘Bello Grigio’ shines like a 100 watt lightbulb here.

  7. You’re living my dream. I love the idea of being a garden designer, but when friends ask me for plant suggestions I can’t choose among all the possibilities and provide so many options that people are sorry they asked.

    • annamadeit says:

      Aww, I know – I sometimes have that problem too. There truly ARE so many possibilities, and it’s hard not to get excited, trying to find the perfect one. As a result, I think I sometimes overwhelm people. It helps to remember that – most of the time – they don’t care half as much as you do, as long as it “looks good”. 🙂

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