September 26, 2015
Some home owners just have that eye for creating landscapes from repurposed materials. A great example is my friend Reggie who collects old farm relics and has fashioned a garden with rusty pockets of color. Reggie has arranged his collection underneath a stand of pines that creates a soft and dappled shade. The combination of plants in this old wooden tool chest is a magnificent mix of textures. I really like coarse textured leaves of the red and green Red Flash caladium and the wild and crazy Mojito elephant ear with its medium green leaves with dark purple flecks. And look at the beautiful flowers of Sunpatiens Compact Blush Pink, which have a sparkling iridescence. Rounding out this combination planting are Versa Lime Green coleus and fine textured straight and narrow Blue Arrow juncus. Reggie has a couple of really interesting abandoned plow implements. One he has adorned with a planter containing radiant red flowering bronze leafed begonia with the Blue Arrow juncus. The other plow I think is the most fun in the shade garden. The planter contains the green and purple oyster plant, and the blue-green foliage of Firewitch dianthus, plus delicately balanced old shoe and ancient fuel can. But I wonder what happened to the other shoe? This used washtub is a great example of unusual plant combinations. A colorful mix of flowering vinca is complemented with green and white moonstruck hosta and variegated spider plant, with the little ‘spiders” hanging over the edge reaching for the ground. Reggie shows us it’s a great idea to be creative with repurposed materials, and craft colorful pockets in your landscape. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.