Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dreaming of Design

Caryopteris 'Sunshine Blue and Sambucus 'Black Lace' look fabulous together but they would not be happy in the same bed. Caryopteris likes it dry, Sambucus likes it rich and moist.

Day 48
The Daily DuBrule

Long day today. Worked in my home office, worked in the shop, and then, taught a beginner's design class tonight. My head is spinning with design principles and ideas after sorting through, selecting, showing, and discussing tons of slides. It's good to keep talking about the basics, it reminds me of why I do what I do and why I love it so much. Looking at a yard and being able to pick apart the pieces of the puzzle- why doesn't it hold together? Why doesn't it look "right"? It always comes down to basic principles of scale, proportion, texture... the stuff that all good designs are made of.  One thing I didn't really get a chance to dive into in any depth tonight was foliage. Man, does THAT pull it all together. If you don't put a premium on good foliage structure, if all you care about is the flowers, it just doesn't have staying power. Beginning gardeners could really care less about leaves. It isn't until they have experienced the "meltdown" of the garden in summer that they appreciate the beauty of plants that have excellent foliage structure. The other piece of this design puzzle is to put opposites together. Just like a good marriage, mixing it up makes every plant's individual strengths shine.
Such a simple combination: Brunnera and Penstemon digitalis 'Husker's Red'

'Jade Cascade' hosta steals the show. Variegated, light textured plants behind this bold beauty really show it off.

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