Category: Design

Super Star Shrubs Come in All Sizes

Shrubs have traditionally been cast in supporting roles with the occasional star billing for seasonal blooms or color. However, hybridizers are continuously introducing varieties with attributes that push these workhorses to center stage.

Size is one characteristic that has seen an increase in possibilities. Whether you need a shrub to create an enclosure or brighten the corner of a patio garden, there’s something for you.

From tall to small my friends at Proven Winners® have some fabulous shrubs to choose from. Here are 10 worth considering for setting a dramatic scene in your garden.

‘American Pillar’ Thuja (Arborvitae)
20 – 30 feet tall
3 – 4 feet wide
Evergreen
Full sun to partial shade
Hardy in zones 3a – 7b
This tall, columnar arborvitae is known for its dense branching and rapid growth. It’s an excellent choice for screening and creating enclosures. Learn more about ‘American Pillar’ arborvitae onProvenWinners.com.

Berry Nice® Ilex verticillata (Winterberry)
6 – 8 feet tall
6 – 8 feet wide
Deciduous
Full sun to partial shade
Hardy in zones 3a – 9b
I. verticillata is a deciduous holly with brilliant red berries in winter. It is very dramatic when planted in groupings. Learn more about Berry Nice® Ilex verticillata onProvenWinners.com.

Bloomerang® Purple Syringa (Lilac)
4 – 5 feet tall
4 – 5 feet wide
Deciduous
Full sun
Hardy in zones 3a – 7b
Unlike other lilacs Bloomerang® flowers in spring, then again midsummer and continues through the fall. A compact, mounding shrub that’s suitable for mixed borders, it has the same delightful fragrance you expect from lilacs. Learn more about Bloomerang® Purple lilac on ProvenWinners.com.

Incrediball® Hydrangea arborescens (Smooth Hydrangea)
4 – 5 feet tall
4 – 5 feet wide
Deciduous
Full sun to partial shade
Hardy in zones 3a – 9b
This North American native shrub produces impressive flowers (up to 12 inches across). I love it so much that I selected it for my Platinum Collection. Learn more about Incrediball® Hydrangea arborescens on ProvenWinnners.com.

Snow Storm™ Spiraea x media (Spiraea)
3 – 4 feet tall
3 – 4 feet wide
Deciduous
Full sun
Hardy in zones 4a – 8b
Snow Storm™ produces hefty white blooms in spring. Foliage turns a striking orange-red in fall. This is a good choice for mass plantings or as a seasonal focal point in a mixed border. Learn more about Snow Storm™ spiraea on ProvenWinners.com.

Little Henry® Itea virginica (Sweetspire)
2 – 3 feet tall
2 – 3 feet wide
Deciduous
Sun to part shade
Hardy in zones 5a – 9b
Little Henry® is the compact version of one of my favorite North American native shrubs. It will grow in sun or light shade and tolerates moist soil. Little Henry® produces showy white blooms in early summer and the foliage is fantastic in fall. It’s part of my Platinum Collection. Learn more about Little Henry® Itea on ProvenWinners.com.

Lo & Behold® Blue Chip Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)
24 – 30 inches tall
24-30 inches wide
Deciduous
Full sun
Hardy in zones 5a – 9b
Now everyone can grow a butterfly bush in their garden. This little shrub produces fragrant blooms from mid-summer through fall. It stays under 3 feet tall. It’s a great bedfellow for perennials and annuals or grow it in a container.  Lo & Behold® Blue Chip Buddleia is part of my Platinum Collection. You can learn more about it on ProvenWinners.com.

Show Off™ Sugar Baby Forsythia
18 – 30 inches tall
18 – 30 inches wide
Deciduous
Full sun
Hardy in zones 4a – 8b
Show Off™ Sugar Baby produces the same amount of bloom as larger Forsythia varieties but on a compact plant. Mass plant in larger gardens or use as a spring focal point in small spaces. I love it in a container, surrounded by daffodils and grape hyacinths. Learn more about Show Off™ Sugar Baby Forsythia on ProvenWinners.com.

Sunjoy® Mini Saffron Berberis thungergii  (Barberry)
18 – 24 inches tall
24 – 30 inches wide
Deciduous
Full sun
Hardy in zones 4a – 8b
Sunjoy® Mini Saffron sets itself apart with its compact form and dazzling foliage. The sunny yellow leaves tinged with orange turn a sunset orange-red in fall. Learn more about Sunjoy® Mini Saffron barberry on ProvenWinners.com.

My Monet® Weigela
12 – 18 inches tall
12 – 18 inches wide
Deciduous
Full sun to partial shade
Hardy in zones 4a – 6b
My Monet® boasts variegated foliage and pink flowers but in a petite form. Mix it with perennials and annuals in a flower bed or group several together for impact. It also grows well in containers. Learn more about My Monet® Wiegela on ProvenWinners.com.

Color-Blocking Containers

A big trend in fashion last year was color-blocking; combining blocks of colors in one article of clothing or outfit. It was a big hit that seems to have carried over to 2012. So I got to thinking, why not color-block containers? The same principles that apply to fashion can be used in the garden. Just plant one color flowers and foliage per container. If you really want to take the idea to heart select a bright container to contrast with your plantings. Or choose a neutral hue for the pot to really make the flowers pop.

All About Blue

Blue is my favorite color for the garden. For harmonious pairings choose other cool colors like green, turquoise and purple. Fuchsia is even a good match. Jazz up blue with contrasting hues like orange and yellow.

In this Container:

  • Proven Winners® Graceful Grasses® Blue Mohawk (Juncus inflexus)
  • Proven Winners® Sweet Caroline Light Green Sweet Potato Vine
  • Proven Winners® Colorblaze™ Alligator Tears Coleus
  • Proven Winners® Decadence ‘Blueberry Sundae’ Baptisia
  • Proven Winners® Laguna™ Sky Blue Lobelia
  • Proven Winners® Graceful Grasses® Fiber Optic Grass (Scirpus cernus)
  • Proven Winners® Color Spires® Steel Blue Agastasche

Passionate about Purple

Purple is the number one color choice for gardeners. It looks great with orange or chartreuse. Keep it cool with green, fuchsia or varying shades of purple.

In this Container:

  • Proven Winners® Artist® Purple Ageratum
  • Proven Winners® Graceful Grasses® Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’)
  • Proven Winners® Superbells® Plum Calibrachoa
  • Proven Winners® Supertunia® Lavender Skies
  • Proven Winners® Senorita Rosalita® Cleome

Blushing Pink

Pink is a chameleon that can be both warm and cool. Color-block it with yellow, blue or orange. It also looks great with bright green and chartreuse.

In these Containers:

  • Proven Winners® Flying Colors® Trailing Antique Rose Diascia
  • Proven Winners® Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunia
  • Proven Winners® Karalee® Petite Pink Butterfly Flower (Gaura lindheimeri)
  • Proven Winners® Superbena® Pink Parfait Verbena
  • Proven Winners® Molimba® Pink Argyranthemum

Window Treatment Ideas with Tobi Fairley

Hello Allen’s readers! It’s great to be back with you today. I hope spring is treating you well and that you’re soaking up some sun!

Being a Southern girl, I’m especially fond of the warmer temps and longer days we have this time of year. I also love natural light and the beauty that it can bring to any room!

Tall panels like these make the room “guest-ready” and opening them allows plenty of light to shine throughout the space. Since living rooms are such a multipurpose space, it can be nice to maintain some formality while still making your window treatments work for everyday use.

Most people typically think of using roman shades in kitchens or baths. However, they make a fantastic option for bedrooms, too. Having one near a bed can provide extra light for reading, too. For this room, I matched the panel to the duvet and shams to create a polished look.

If you like to entertain, you know that lighting can make or break any event. Blending blinds with panels gives you more control over how much light you let into the room. Here I paired matching cornices and panels with plantation shutters to give the room a more formal or “dressed” look.

If you live in an area that’s lucky enough to get warm temps for more than a few months out of the year, you might also consider changing out your draperies for a fun summer pattern made from a lightweight material. As a color lover, my motto is “go bold or go home.”

These bright, punchy fabrics from my Tobi Fairley Home line are a testament to that and I think they can bring a bit of happy to any room. See the full line at TobiFairleyHome.com.

Speaking of windows, I’m also excited to be a guest speaker at this year’s Vision Conference in Chicago, April 23 – 26. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite trends for windows and more about my business and design philosophy. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there.

Happy Decorating!
xo,

-Tobi

 

Road Trip to the English Countryside

I discovered my inner Anglophile shortly after college while studying garden design and history at the University of Manchester. England felt like a home away from home for me and I don’t think there was a more ideal place in the world for me to hone my landscape design skills.

I recently returned to England on a tour of houses and gardens. While I started in Cheshire for a stay with my friends at Arley Hall, the majority of my visits were made in Norfolk and Suffolk. There was so much to take in and discover. I certainly came home with more than enough material to share with you on my blog. Over the next few months I’ll post a series of installments about my trip. This first one gives the 30,000 foot view.

Arley Hall, Cheshire. A favorite haunt of mine as a student in England. Lady Elizabeth Ashbrook wrote the forward to my 1st book, Garden Home.

Roses and lavender are a classic. Arley Hall gardens.

Arley Hall walled garden. Catmint, 'Halcyon' hosta  and 'Rosemary Rose' roses.

The herb garden at Arley Hall. Lady Ashbrook designed this years ago.

Themed gardens! This one is for golden plants. Very striking! Next to this garden room was one done in silver foliage.

'Fire and Water' fountain at Houghton Hall. David Cholmondeley has done great things with the garden in the past 10 years.

The Mediterranean garden at Houghton Hall. Note the 'bullnose' boxwood border around the raised pool. Brilliant! Love the potted agaves too.

Catmint 'Six Hills Giant' framing the view to the glass house at Houghton Hall.

My friend Xa Tollemache and Carla Carlisle at Lady Carlisle's home Wyken Hall. They are standing behind the Cornstalk Gates. Love it!

Silver parterre at Wyken.

Guinea fowl on the lawn at Wyken. Carla loves poultry!

Wyken Hall. Love the color!

Gifford's Hall. So attractive. David Hicks did the interior design back in the '70s & it still looks great! So hip!

Helmingham Hall was built in 1510. It's completely moated & the drawbridge comes up every night.

Helmingham is so majestic! I love the punctuation & rhythm of the boxwoods along the moat.

One of Xa's beautiful designs at Helmingham.

Columbine Hall and its moat.

The kitchen at Columbine. So charming!

Columbine's dinning room. I was so taken by the generous fireplace.

 

 

 

Books on My Design Desk

Xa and I chat before planting a tree together.A gift from garden designer Xa Tollemache during her recent visit to the farm prompted me to rummage through my library looking for my favorite books on garden design. Lady Tollemache gave me Andrew Wilson’s book The Garden of Giubbilei. Xa takes her inspiration from many sources including her own garden at Helmingham Hall, but certainly the work of Luciano Giubbilei has influenced her award-winning designs and exhibitions at the Chelsea Flower Show. Thumbing through the book inspired me to go back to some of my old standbys.

Colour in Your Garden

Colour in Your Garden
Penelope Hobhouse
Frances Lincoln (March 6, 2003)
ISBN: 9780711220584

This is the definitive book on color, or colour. I also love Penny Hobhouse’s book Gardening Through the Ages. A must for history buffs.

The Garden in Winter

The Garden in Winter
Rosemary Verey
Frances Lincoln (July 10, 2006)
ISBN: 0711220204

There is a line in this book that I just love. “If our gardens are to be more than graves commemorating summer’s beauty, we must start by using our eyes.”

Designing with Plants

Designing with Plants
Piet Oudolf and Noël Kingsbury
Timber Press; Reprint edition (September 1, 2008)
ISBN: 0881929530

I had the opportunity to visit with Piet at his garden in Holland. He is a master of texture, form and the use of native plants.

My Knod of Garden

My Kind of Garden
David Hicks
Antique Collectors Club Dist (November 15, 2009)
ISBN: 9781870673594

This garden design book reveals how the late Mr. Hicks’ sense of style extended far beyond his famous interiors. Lovely photographs and insightful commentary.

Tomorrow's Garden

Tomorrow’s Garden
Stephen Orr
Rodale Books (February 15, 2011)
ISBN: 1605294683

I’m currently reading my friend Stephen Orr’s book Tomorrow’s Garden. It takes on the topic of designing a garden with sustainability in mind.