Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Softer Side Garden

The garden on the east side of my house is finally starting to come together. Four years of growth has helped...the trees look like real trees and the bushes are filling in.

I've long admired photos in magazines of gardens that have a soft, fluffy look like the one below, and wanted to see if I could create one with plants that work in a Florida garden. 
All these textures just seem to blur the edges. It has a relaxed and romantic feel to me.

So, 4 years ago these cypress trees on the left were planted to enclose the area and give it a private feeling. Their foliage definitely has a soft and fluffy look. This spring I added 'Little Gem' magnolias( not pictured in this photo) in between them...another definitely romantic plant...don't you think?

 This side garden is planted in burgundy to pinkish red, varying shades of green, white and a touch of soft, soft silver. Oh yea, and a bit of yellow thrown in here and there because I like it and to add some sunny brightness. 

This is one of my favorite areas in this garden. The Louis Philippe rose is now a good size. Nothing adds a more romantic feel to the garden than roses.  Then there's that bit of yellow...a milkweed plant tucked beneath bird feeder from my mom's garden.

And, in summer there's quite a bit more yellow when the thryallis (behind the bird feeder) adds it golden yellow spikes.

From the corner of the house you can glimpse a view of Louis Philippe's flowers there beyond the Knock-out roses in the front yard. The thryallis separates the two.

Soft yellow 'Holy Spirit' daylilies were added last spring to this area and this year I decided to experiment with the soft gray foliage of Dusty Miller. It's been a long time since I planted one and I'm really wondering why.

Rosemary is one of my favorite plants...carefree...easy maintenance...and a wonderful relaxed and natural look. And, oh yea, I almost forgot...fabulous fragrance!

Here's the chrysanthemums I've blogged about before. Another easy going plant that gives back ten-fold. They're definitely not stingy with their blooms. 

A few clumps of flax lily add a spark of brightness among the green foliage and I like it next to silver, too.

The deep plum color of lorapetlum and the lacy foliage of the elm tree work pretty good to create that soft fluffy look. And, that lemon tree planted to the right adds that bit of yellow I was looking for.

This side garden is still very much a work in progress as I wait for it to mature and continue to play with it. But, then again, "playing with plants" is one of my favorite things to do. How about you...do you like to play with your plants?


FlowerLady said...

Oh Susan ~ I am a tad green here, your garden is wonderful, romantic, lush and peaceful. It's what I'm working on with my gardens. Ours are more tropical though as we are zone 10 south of you.

I recognized your lorapetlum and am so glad I just added one of these to my main garden. I'll have to see if I can make cuttings from this to add more around in different areas.

What is that wonderful purple spired plant in the second picture? Wow!!! Oh wait a minute I guess this is one of your inspiration pictures. I still love those purple blooms anyway.

I've got some rooted cuttings of rosemary in water, that I need to get into the ground.

Your soft garden has certainly inspired me.

Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

Darla said...

Oh Susan, your garden looks much better than the one from Home and Gardens.......

Floridagirl said...

I love the fluffy look in a garden too, you know, like you see in those Northern garden magazines. Been trying it for years on the southside. Don't think it's ever gonna happen. Why is the fluffy look so hard to come by in Florida?!! I've reworked so much of that side now, I know it'll never happen. Oh, the palms and agapanthus and crinums and cannas that are taking over the southside these days! Not exactly fluffy, lol. How in the world did that happen? Anyway, yours is looking awesome and exactly like you intended! Good job!

Susan said...

Hi Flowerlady...I'm really liking the lorapetlum bushes, too. I've never tried to root one so don't know how easy it is to do. Rosemary is one of my favorite plants...the look and the scent. Have a wonderful weekend.

Hi Darla...Thanks, girl..I'm having fun tweaking it.

Hi FloridaGirl...I think it's hard because our tropical plants have nice large leaves...more tropical than fluffy.

NanaK said...

You have really achieved the look you wanted. The trees and shrubbery fluff it all out and still you have used totally Florida plants. I love the cypress trees. I admire some that grow in a pond near me. They change color with the seasons and are just gorgeous. I bet yours are going to add so much to that side area.

crybrug said...

The colors and texture you have working together are just fantastic.

Susan said...

Hi kay...The cypress trees were a no-brainer...the ground in that area is damp about 9 months out of the year due to a high-water table, plus they were free. We dug them out of the lakefront when they were tiny babies.

Hi Crybug...Thanks, I'm really liking it, too.

Ami said...

Susan: I love how this side garden looks, wow, you really have a plan! After four years, I think your garden looks very romantic and beautiful. Love the look with the bird house, LP roses, and the pink caladium. I love the silver color that Dusty miller adds to the bed. I tried it last year, it grew very well and pretty until rainy season. The leaves got lots of black spots probably from too much and longlasting moisture, and never restored the original silver. I still love it, maybe will try it again.

daisy said...

Your garden looks fantastic! You have such a variety of plants. Love the pops of yellow you've included throughout. Enjoy your labor of love...

Rusty in Miami said...

Everything looks lush and beautiful

Nanette said...

You have truly achieved a soft look, Susan. Love the contrasting colors and textures. Wish I had your gift for layering!

David said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! You've done well and it shows. I know how much work you must have put in to those beds! Wow!
We grow so many of the same plants it's scary. We must have almost the exact same climate to contend with and enjoy. Right now it's 'contend with'...hot, humid, and no breeze. Ugh.
Happy Growing!
David/Houston :0)

Charlotte said...

I would say you did a great job of making a fluffy, lush garden. It looks simply beautiful. I was wondering what are the green and white variegated iris looking plants called? Do they do well in full sun?

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