Monday, September 13, 2010

Form and Texture

Back in 1976 when first I began to landscape around our house, I was crazy for trees and shrubs that bloomed -- forsythia, weigelia, mock orange. If it didn't flower, I wasn't interested. Fortunately, these were all plants that were easily obtained as starts from friends and neighbors. And they prospered and Spring and early Summer were a riot of bloom.


But unfortunately, all these beautiful shrubs turned into a bunch of brown sticks, come Fall and Winter.


Then I began reading gardening magazines and books. There was all this talk about about form and texture in the garden and talk of 'evergreen tapestries.'


I began to pay attention to junipers and chaemocypress and Dwarf Alberta spruces. Up close, that boring green foliage had different forms --

star-like. . or lacy . . .




And evergreens  aren't just green -- they're yellow and silver and they come in different shapes!
 
When you plant them all together, they do, indeed, make a tapestry! Wow! 
And they look good all year long -- a revelation!

I still like flowers, though.


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13 comments:

Joan said...

This is so interesting Vicki , the appreciation of greens and form. When our early European ancestors arrived in NZ they really missed the colourful flowers and blossoms of England. They brought so many species with them and the mild climate meant everything grew wonderfully. Many too well. I can remember my mother and aunts saying it's a pity the native flora was so dull. How we have changed. We love our native trees and plants now and our gardens are full of them. Like you appreciating green and form. Your garden is wonderful.

Martin H. said...

Looks as though you've struck a nice balance, Vicki. The photographs of your garden are always a delight.

Marilyn said...

This is interesting as I posted about trees today too but it wasn't about our wonderful evergreen natives. The evergreens do add texture and form and with all the flowering trees you have as well it must make a perfect mix.

Merisi said...

Fantastic!
Gorgeous shot of the Zinnias.

I just washed 5 bushels of plums from my mother in laws garden. My husband brought them back from the country. I wished I had your canning skills! I am trying to make jam. Last year I made some from the same plums - they are the tastiest ever - and kept the jars in the fridge, afraid they would spoil before their time.

Brian Miller said...

i like flowers as well...but i am intrigues by the shapes of and even shaping the green. used to keep some bonsai trees...

June said...

Isn't it amazing how many shades of non-flower colors there are?
A few years ago we put in landscaping around the house and while some of it flowers, it's the different colors of the LEAVES that really strike me.

Reader Wil said...

Even though my garden is small and I am not much of a gardener I am so glad with most plants in my garden. I have a Japanese cherry tree and a crabtree. I also like my hydrangeas. But the various green plants are also very beautiful. I think you made a wonderful paradise of your garden.

Bouncin' Barb said...

Thank goodness for Mother Nature and her box of Crayola Crayons. Where would we be if she was colorblind? Too horrific to think about. I am in awe of the colors in nature every day. When we moved from the cold northeast I was in awe of the colors still around in SC in Dec. and Jan.

Star said...

I love shrubs too Vicki. When I first moved in here, I planted the shrubs in such a way that a different one was blooming every month. That way, there was always a focal point of colour in the garden to draw the eye. It worked fairly well although some of the shrubs grew quicker and bigger than others.
I love the winter jasmine that starts the year in February. Hibiscus always makes me sad because that flowers in August so I know the summer is ending but there is always the holly and its gorgeous red berries.
Your garden looks beautiful with all the different hues. It does you proud!
Blessings, Star

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

I like your evergreen mix. It must highlight your winter outlook into your yard.

Friko said...

the best thing is to have both.
A good gardener will make sure that there is something of interest in the garden all the year round.

jennyfreckles said...

Ooh and ohh and aah - it looks gorgeous. That first of the evergreens is really pretty. I'm a blossom lover too but a background of green does help.

Vicki Lane said...

Whew! I've been making and canning salsa -- all gloved up to deal with the fiery jalapeno peppers -- and am just checking back to respond to comments.

I'm surprised to hear that people considered NZ flora dull -- I'd imagined it as something like Hawaii. On reflection, I guess the climate is not like Hawaii -- my ignorance is vast...

I've never made plum jam, Merisi -- I'm tempted to give it a try but it would have to be with store bought fruit. Our only plum tree bears tiny fruit which generally gets some sort of rot before it ripens, alas!

I love bonsai, Brian, but am not capable of the twice daily watering/misting required at some times of the year.

As Friko says - the goal is to have something of interest all round the year. And as some famous gardener said 'Anyone can do Spring...