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

Born and raised in Sweden, my aesthetics and outlook on life are strongly shaped by a culture rich in history and tradition. I care a great deal about environmental responsibility, and my aesthetic reflects the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia. I was trained as an architect at the University of Cincinnati and as a color specialist at the Scandinavian Colour Institute in Stockholm. I'm obsessed with plants and gardens, and aim to take my skill set a step further by designing gardens as well as interiors. As someone so aptly said: " Architecture is the skin that separates the exterior from the interior". So true - you can't successfully focus on one without incorporating the other. I'm also an avid cook, and I love to ski. In addition, I put time and efforts into trying to rectify things that I feel are wrong in my immediate community. As you will see, The Creative Flux will touch on all these things, and more. For sure, it's all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blog!
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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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