Wednesday Vignette – I eat my words

I sometimes get to eat my words. I’m okay with that. I’m opinionated, and opinionating is what opinionated people do. When it comes to how things look or are put together, my initial reaction is gut level – not intellectual or analytical. Once I take time to pick apart and analyze what caused my reaction (whether good or bad) I find that it is often more of an immediate situational response than anything else. Although I – like everyone else – have favorites, I find that my thrill or aversion is usually not targeting the individual components – it is a reaction to how the whole was put together.

One of my spring pet peeves are hanging baskets. In general, I’m not big on annuals although over time, I have come to really appreciate several of them. Used correctly (to my opinionated mind, that is), most annuals are tolerable, and can even be quite enchanting, but I find that most off-the-shelf hanging baskets are so…. meh! Since I know that most all plants can be combined into stunningly beautiful creations, I wonder why they so rarely are – especially in these darn baskets. It’s kind of like cooking a bad meal – a waste of good ingredients. I have no idea what the people that put together your average hanging baskets are paid, but for the most part, it’s rather obvious that it’s “just a job”, not a creative pursuit. I know I’m probably overly picky, and that to the average joe (or joette) who just wants some “color” by their front door, they are perfectly fine. Anyway, I digress. The reason behind this rant is the combination that is this weeks Vignette. Stunning in its simplicity, it filled me with desire. Best of all, the ingredients are available at just about any grocery store with a garden section. Nothing rare or exclusive – they are as pedestrian as they come. Except used absolutely beautifully!

Just look at that! Two

Just look at that! Lysimachia ‘Aurea’ and Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’. Two “spillers” – one chartreuse, the other silver, one perennial, one annual. The shape, habit and size is similar, only the colors are different. Both are spilling over the edge of a planting, and I JUST LOVE IT!

Doesn't it just look scrumptious with those two side by side?

That vertical string-of-pearl texture is phenomenal! Doesn’t it just look scrumptious with those two side by side? (You get the idea, even if the focus is on the Cryptomeria knaptonensis that is stealing the attention in the foreground.)

Can't get enough of how the silvery Dichondra contrasts with the Lysimachia. Do try this at home!

Can’t get enough of how the silvery Dichondra contrasts with the Lysimachia. Go ahead – DO try this at home!

In this particular instance, I realize that my often verbalized categorical dislike of “annuals” is one of those rash situational responses that needs instant tweaking. I whole-heartedly LOVE the looks of the Dichondra intermingling with the Lysimachia. See, I said it! I’m opinionated, but I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. I love and appreciate that the world is multifaceted enough in its possibilities to knock me down and humble me from time to time. And, what kind of person would I be if I couldn’t continue to reassess, to grow and to change? I imagine it will be a cold day in hell before I’ll get excited about the average hanging basket, but single out a few well chosen components, present them like this, and I’ll consider my opinionated ass kicked. And, for the record – I will challenge anyone to convince me that this lovely combo does not constitute “color”.

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!
This entry was posted in Wednesday Vignette and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – I eat my words

  1. Mark and Gaz says:

    Some tasteful ones out there, like this one.

  2. I agree with you, they are beautiful together. So glad I read your post today!

  3. Alison says:

    I love colorful annuals, because the term annual is (for many plants) untrue. Most annuals are just tropical perennials that won’t survive our winters, and as such, I feel they give my tropicalesque front garden a more authentic look. In fact, Dichondra is one of those. It makes a beautiful pairing with the creeping jenny.

    I’ve participated again this week, my post is here:

    • annamadeit says:

      You are right, Alison, – on their own many offer a whole different feel, and can truly lift any composition. I thought I’d never say this, but those little million bells can be quite amazing in the right setting!

  4. Linda Coombs says:

    I’m a second generation hanging basket “hater” my mother’s word. I mean the traditional , too much color crammed together: And all that watering !
    I like your vignette though !

    • annamadeit says:

      I don’t mind all the colors, as long as they look good together, but so often they just don’t. To me, anyway. And you’re right – all that watering and constant fertilizer would be a big deterrent for me as well.

  5. Jenni says:

    Oh you’ve struck a cord with me! Also a hanging basket and in general annual hater. Such waste! But, there is beauty everywhere, as you’ve found. And while you’ll find no baskets of annuals bombing my home with color, you will find annuals tucked into my flower and veggies beds. They delight the pollinators and I’m happy to have them. I love this gold and silver color combo you’ve pointed out and I think the texture is fascinating as well. Here’s my vignette link

    • annamadeit says:

      Fell in love with these wonderful, ferny mini-marigolds this summer. They smell absolutely fantastic. See, I get to eat my words over and over again. Part of the learning curve I guess. I’m with you on the baskets – they don’t appear near my home either. 🙂

  6. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Mostly I don’t like annual hanging baskets but this is a beautiful pairing! There are some annuals that I love like Salpiglossis, Tagetes ‘Lemon Gem’ for the fragrance of it’s delicate leaves when brushed, Papaver somniferum, Schizanthus, nasturtium, coleus…O.K. I guess I’m a fan of annuals although I have few in my garden. Here’s my vignette:

    • annamadeit says:

      Peter – I’m the same way. I just don’t usually like them all thrown in together. But yes, being “annual” does not mean being barred from my repertoire – I think they can be a great support cast. Just discovered Salpiglossis last summer, and I love them! 🙂

  7. rickii says:

    You are so entertaining when you climb aboard your soap box. Means actually had some fairly tempting hanging baskets this year, using unusual color combinations and plant material. I remember having one given to us as a hostess gift once. It was absolutely impossible to maintain. Constant dead-heading and watering failed to keep it looking fresh. I usually plant up a few colorful annuals in pots to perk up the deck. They do keep up the good work all season long and there are quite a few interesting choices out there.
    I’m still mining the ANLD tour for vignettes:

    • annamadeit says:

      Haha – thanks for putting up with me! There are gorgeous baskets out there, but I wonder where they come from. Dani from Ferguson’s Fragrant Nursery used to make wonderful ones using ferns, grasses and – yes, annuals – and I found myself lusting for more than one of them. Unfortunately, she closed up shop this spring. Her work is sorely missed… My favorite annual to date was my Abyssinian banana which perished last November. Might have to try that one again some time…

  8. Chris Maciel says:

    Yes, I too love Dicondra, and lysimachia…use them all the time. Right now I’m using the dicondra in a pot with variegated Hosta and blue Lobelia, another never fails plant for planters!

  9. Kris P says:

    It’s a lovely combination that has the languid feel of summer days. My vignette this week shows the golden side of LA:

  10. Evan says:

    I definitely agree with you about the usual hanging baskets, and annuals in general. And I’ve had my views shifted numerous times. The big change for me this year was accepting certain “weedy” volunteer plants, taking advantage of them instead of fighting against them. Wonderful combination. Simply gorgeous and gorgeously simple. Here’s my contribution:

    • annamadeit says:

      Here’s to continued enrichment by shifting views! And to embrace that which presents itself as opportunity – the path of least resistance! 🙂

  11. I share your general disdain for annual baskets, but I love annuals in the vegetable garden. Nice vignette! Here’s my vignette:

    • annamadeit says:

      Do you use them to repel damaging insects? Or do you plant the edible ones? Perhaps both? I think I’m going to do a follow-up post to this one, because I don’t think I gave “annuals” a fair assessment in thinking of them as poorly put together basket fillers. I actually DO have a few more annuals than I let on. But no baskets…

      • I grow edible annuals and annuals that attract beneficial insects in my vegetable gardens. Baskets are simply too much work for me. Anything that I have to water twice a day in the summer better taste delicious!

  12. Sure, green is a color, just like Wonder Bread is “bread”. But wouldn’t you rather have a nice slice or pumpernickel or a real baguette. See, you’re not the only opinionated gardener. Here’s my contribution for the week:

    • annamadeit says:

      Silly – that’s not green – that’s chartreuse and silver! Jason, I love that you are opinionated too. It makes you so much more interesting! 😉

  13. ambien0 says:

    I love silver and chartreuse and I have a hard time imagining folks buying those off-the-shelf hanging baskets too, especially the ones in plastic pots. From below, you get to view the lovely plastic pot! Here is my contribution (my first!). I hope I get this right!

  14. Pingback: Mix It Up | Forest Garden

  15. Your words are tasty, Anna. Here is one in defense of the occasional color bomb:

  16. annamadeit says:

    Thanks for joining the paintball party, WG! Let the color fly! 🙂

Leave a Reply to Linda Coombs Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s