Gray Gardens

June 25, 2014

It’s a simplequietmodern fact that I am not a fan of annual flowering plants or the annual trek to garden centers large and small to search them out. Even when designed and installed by ” professionals “, most annual flowering plant combinations are the visual equivalent of nails on a blackboard. The selection tedious, the colors jarring and most combinations ill-conceived. I’m serious. Do you really expect me to subscribe to the idea that the orchidy blue-pink shade actually works with the mercurochrome orangey-red of the same Impatiens?  Then add to the mix some red Geraniums and a shot of any of the many gaudy varieties of  Marigold …then perhaps a little sprinkle of something in a lavender blue, like Ageratum. Congratulations. You have successfully convinced me that most people turn to Coney Island for their color inspiration. My suggestion…reel it in. Make a clean modern statement with a simply shaped pot filled with a single plant variety. If given a few minutes of thought and planning , you may not see a single bloom among them. A variety of perennial grasses can provide easy care texture and movement as well as continued interest come Fall and Winter…colorful groundcovers like Lysimachia can add a spot of texture and bright color.  If blooms are a must, a judicious selection planted en masse will make a strong yet simple statement if you choose one…just one. As for containers, any of the following would be the perfect place to start.









top to bottom:

The simple modern shape of this Ibarra planter from Crate & Barrel is available in two sizes and one great concrete-like finish.

The slick dark blades of Mondo grass would fill any of these containers with easy care drama. Photo via: Better Homes and Gardens

Bright Lysimachia gets even brighter in good sunny conditions. A pot filled simply with this one specimen with provide a modern splash a Chartreuse.

Again from Crate & Barrel, this Saabira low planter provides a simple modernist shape in coal-black Fiberstone. Picture it filled with the large velvet gray of the non-blooming Lambs Ear below.

Stachys Byzantina ” Helena Von Stein” ” Big Ears”…a large non-flowering lambs ear that never fails with its silvery softness and easy care.

Mexican Feather Grass ” Pony Tails” will keep your containers animated with even the slightest Summer breeze. Photo via:


 Leymus arenarius, Blue Dune Grass, planted in vintage modern concrete bowls comes up faithfully year after year.


2 Responses to “Gray Gardens”

  1. anatrodan Says:

    Beautiful, love the pots.

  2. Jeff Copeland Says:

    I love how the green looks with the neutral colors. Very calming.

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