The reality of Garden Show construction. A broom--one of the most prized tools to have during move-in--leans against a stunning metal glider. Necessities such as paper towels, coke, and bananas litter the floor next to the patio. A flat of primroses sits ready to be planted.
Move-in is messy. Usually there is not enough room for the plants, the stone, the containers, the furniture, the tools. A mundane problem for our February Show is where to put the coats and bags of everyone working on the garden. The garden space needs to be kept as clear as possible, so most of what will eventually be in the garden ends up in the spaces between the gardens, and everyone is using that space. The trucks that bring in everything that goes into the gardens sit there to be unpacked. Vehicles that do the heavy work, that set down stones weighing a few tons or carry pallets of stone or bring sawdust and steer-co to the gardens, drive through this space also. A lot of move-in time is spent moving things (plants or containers or furniture) from one place to another.
I like using containers as architectural features as well as places for plants. So we laid down one of the containers on the patio. A drawback to this is that the container's inside is black and not really appealing. The pot needed to be planted.
We started with a sweet little CHAEMAECYPARIS 'barry's silver,' which has almost white foliage when young, and added a black-leafed HEUCHERA for contrast. They are on the rim of the container, with their roots inside and their foliage spilling out, onto the patio floor. Corey, a horticulture student helping with the garden installation, packed them down with sawdust and then carefully laid a fern, a CYRTOMIUM caryotideum, on top of them. The fern's common name is fish-tail holly fern, and it does not have the typical "ferny" foliage but instead the fronds are wide and do (somewhat) resemble a fish tail. The color is a pale green.
Once the three plants were packed in and made secure with sawdust my daughter Phoebe patted some moss onto the planting medium. Even though the plants are not piled up the top of the rim, they obscure the blackness inside the container. The color and shape of each of the three plants is unusual and appealing. Together the three are dynamic. And, it's all due to folaige!