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GardenSMART Episode

Show #12/6712. Update Makeover Show - English Cottage Garden - In Spring

Summary of Show

Getting The Soil Right
GETTING THE SOIL RIGHT was the first and most important step. As is often the case with newer homes, the quality of the soil around the house was not a high priority. After removing the existing trees and shrubs, they were able to test the soil to see what was needed and from there build a beautiful garden soil that the many plants would thrive in.
For More Information Click here

Placing Plants
After the soil was just right, Eric and Alex laid out the design and began PLACING PLANTS. They started by establishing the locations for the foundational woody ornamental plants, then began filling in spots with tender selections. This step is so important because the larger long-term plants need space to establish a more permanent home, whereas the annuals and more finicky perennials are best used to fill in spaces and bring pops of color to the garden.
For More Information Click here

Pressure Washer
After getting everything planted and putting the finishing touches on the garden, certain previously unnoticed items have a way of coming to light. Much of this garden is surrounded by concrete walks and driveways and after 20 years of weathering it was clear they could definitely use some love. Eric brought in a professional-grade PRESSURE WASHER with a sweeper attachment and in no time everything was looking brand new.
For More Information Click here

Eric’s Favorite Plants
Some of ERIC’S FAVORITES in this design are - the Spirea Double Play Doozie, what an amazing shrub. We used that to line the main entryway to the house. It is a plant with beautiful chartreuse foliage and a deep, rich pink, almost rose-type color to its florets. It's really, really nice. Eric loves roses and thinks every great garden must have some roses, even if you just are able to splash in a few. They're the queens of the garden. Thus went with a couple of the Oso Easy roses, Hot Paprika, which is a new favorite.
For More Information Click here

Rain Barrel
There are so many wonderful reasons to incorporate a RAIN BARREL into your garden, not the least of which is being able to take advantage of the free water that comes off the roof. Also, bear in mind that rainwater does not have all the chemicals that the municipal water supply ads to kill bacteria. So you're not putting chlorine or bromine on your plants. It's a super clean, free source of water.
For More Information Click here

Selecting Containers - Showroom
What garden is complete without its fair compliment of CONTAINERS. Michael Carr is back with us today and will help pick just the right ones. Eric is pumped, let's go to Michael’s showroom to look at containers.
For More Information Click here

Containers In The Landscape
It’s MICHAEL’S FIRST TIME TO VISIT since they had their discussion at the showroom. He thinks Eric did a great job, they fit perfectly for what was needed in this space. Sometimes Michael is surprised at how it all works out. He knows what the piece looks like but then when you pot things up it brings it all home. With the plants planted in the containers we actually see how they contrast and fit into the area and it's always a very positive experience.
For More Information Click here

LINKS:

Color Choice Flowering Shrubs - Proven Winners
A Better Landscape Starts with a Better Flowering Shrub

Ball Horticultural
Ball Horticulturale

Suntory Flowers
Home - Suntory Flowers

Southern Living Plant Collection
Southern Living Plants - Plants Selected For Southern Gardens

Simpson Power Washer
Pressure Washers | Power Washers | Simpson

Good Ideas Rain Barrel
https://goodideasinc.com/collections/rain-barrels

Michael Carr Designs - Containers/Pottery
Home - Michael Carr Designs | Wholesale Pottery and Decor

Plant List

Show #12/6712. Update Makeover Show - English Cottage Garden - In Spring

Transcript of Show

It's spring and GardenSMART is heading back to one of our garden makeover projects to see how everything has turned out. This has been an exciting project; one in which GardenSMART turned a tired landscape into an amazing English cottage garden.

When Eric first started talking with the designer, Alex Smith, about this garden, they both agreed that employing a simple yet diverse design would be best. The space is pretty compact and they definitely wanted to give the garden room to breathe.

GETTING THE SOIL RIGHT was the first and most important step. As is often the case with newer homes, the quality of the soil around the house was not a high priority. After removing the existing trees and shrubs, they were able to test the soil to see what was needed and from there build a beautiful garden soil that the many plants would thrive in. This work took some effort, but it was well worth the time. Getting the soil right saves gardeners so much money in the long-term - on water that can easily be retained in the compost-rich soil, and most importantly on plants that don't survive due to harsh conditions of poor soil.

After the soil was just right, Eric and Alex laid out the design and began PLACING PLANTS. They started by establishing the locations for the foundational woody ornamental plants, then began filling in spots with tender selections. This step is so important because the larger long-term plants need space to establish a more permanent home, whereas the annuals and more finicky perennials are best used to fill in spaces and bring pops of color to the garden. They took some time to consider building year-round interest into the garden, this relied heavily on plants with dynamic foliage and great form that would bring structure regardless of what time of year it was. They then considered color schemes and how complimentary plants would elevate the design. Seeing everything come together has been a very rewarding experience.

After getting everything planted and putting the finishing touches on the garden, certain previously unnoticed items have a way of coming to light. Much of this garden is surrounded by concrete walks and driveways and after 20 years of weathering it was clear they could definitely use some love. Eric brought in a professional-grade PRESSURE WASHER with a sweeper attachment and in no time everything was looking brand new.

If you're a gardener, there's never a bad time of the year because there's always something exciting going on. But Eric loves spring because it's that time of the year where all of your hard work last year is now emerging and you get an incredible display of flowers. As we're looking at this design there are so many plants that are doing amazing. And Eric wants to touch on a few that are really, really the backbone of this garden. We started with the woody ornamentals first in this design because he wanted to lay down a foundation, then sprinkle in many other plants all around.

Some of ERIC’S FAVORITES in this design are - the Spirea Double Play Doozie, what an amazing shrub. We used that to line the main entryway to the house. It is a plant with beautiful chartreuse foliage and a deep, rich pink, almost rose-type color to its florets. It's really, really nice. Eric loves roses and thinks every great garden must have some roses, even if you just are able to splash in a few. They're the queens of the garden. Thus went with a couple of the Oso Easy roses, Hot Paprika, which is a new favorite. It is a really, really rich, deep red. What a fantastic plant. Also Purple Prince is an incredible rose. They used that to line the foundation. It has tremendous flower power. Eric thinks it is a rose that every gardener should consider.

Hydrangea Little Lime Punch is a classic, it comes from incredible genetics, thus used it to kind of establish the edge of the garden that runs along the drive. This a wonderful, compact plant with incredible blooms. It comes out with a deep rose-like pink color then extends into whites, then finishes with beautiful dried flower heads that he leaves on well into fall. Another great native plant is Itea scentlandia. They used it to kind of fill in around the existing Japanese maple. Its aromatics are incredible. In bloom, it's fantastic. Eric loves to use native plants when he can because they're already well adapted to growing in this environment. Another great woody ornamental for any garden is the Encore Azalea. They've used two groupings that really anchor the corners of the garden and will provide multiple seasons of blooms.

Along the side garden they planted Abelia Miss Lemon to add a welcome pop of bright yellow variegated foliage. She's also stunning in bloom. Weigela Wine and Roses is a long-time favorite and was just perfect as a border to the vegetable garden. Last but not least, we needed an anchor plant for the center of the garden that could really shine. Buddleia Blue Chip Jr. was the perfect choice. Its foliage is soft yet striking and is unbeatable in bloom. There are so many perennial plants to choose from and we were lucky to find some of the very best.

Some other highlights from this garden are Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit, which Eric loves it for its super compact habit and kaleidoscope blend of flower colors. Perovskia Blue Jean Baby is a wonderful addition to the Russian sage lineup, with deep, clean blue flowers that seem to bloom endlessly atop silvery foliage. We also shouldn't forget about the many ornamental grasses that add so much year round interest and texture. Carex Everillo has quickly become a favorite among discerning gardeners for its neon yellow foliage and incredible adaptability. Also, Sisyrinchium Sassy Grass is a newcomer that sports bold green on soft gold yellow variegation and truly makes a statement.

Eric loves to cook and decided this year that outside of the perennials and annuals that were going into his garden he wanted to incorporate more herbs as ornamentals, but edible ornamentals into the garden. So a lot of the open spots this spring were filled by some of his favorite plants to cook with. He's using basil splashed in between lantana and beautiful echinacea that's just now about to bloom. He has cilantro in the back, but also Chef's Choice rosemary, that kind of fell into the woody ornamental space. It's a great woody ornamental and if you love rosemary in food, it will blow your mind.

There are so many wonderful reasons to incorporate a RAIN BARREL into your garden, not the least of which is being able to take advantage of the free water that comes off the roof. Also, bear in mind that rainwater does not have all the chemicals that the municipal water supply ads to kill bacteria. So you're not putting chlorine or bromine on your plants. It's a super clean, free source of water. Many rain barrels look a little industrial and often don't fit into the garden as well as they could, that's why Eric really loves this rain barrel from Good Ideas. It looks like a basket, it's very attractive and blends nicely into the overall design. So throughout the summer when water is more scarce, he's able to fill up this large rain barrel and water his plants and not have to draw off of the limited water supply.

What garden is complete without its fair compliment of CONTAINERS. Michael Carr is back with us today and will help pick just the right ones. Eric is pumped, let's go to Michael’s showroom to look at containers. We have almost everything installed, the grading is done, put in the retaining wall, we have the slate aggregate down and just finished building the pergola. We've moved the outdoor kitchen in and now we're ready for those little finishing touches that really make the site pop. Not that it's boring right now, but it needs some energy, it needs some color.

Eric wants to grow two wisteria vines on the pergola post to get a little bit of extra shade and have those nice blooms through spring and summer. Then he has two more spaces where some accent containers are needed to provide a pop of color. Plus where the garden kind of makes a turn he wants to do something loud and bold. Eric shows Michael what the site looks like right now. Here's the pergola, these are the two posts that support the upper deck, he would like to put something nice there. At the curve of the garden there's a wonderful landing space for something big. So what are Michael's thoughts?

Michael is thinking vertical on the pockets, one thing is to keep it kind of close to the pole so they're not going up, reaching around. The other area is obviously going to be a focal point. Where you've created that circular place let's find something that really makes a statement so when one turns that corner or wherever you're coming from, people look at it and just go, "wow." So Michael is thinking something big and really bold. The way that you use color in your design makes it impressive. If you want something subtle, you've got all the earth tones, if you want something loud, you've got it. It's really important to know that you started out with a kind of a color scheme, but now that you're almost at the finish, you can be very specific regarding what you're looking for. Importantly, a lot of times you don't know until after you get that project close to finished. Then it’s ideal to add all the finishing touches.

Of course the part of the garden that's going to be a vegetable garden is right by the outdoor kitchen and it's not going to have a lot of interest like blooming plants and variegated foliage. Eric’s not saying that it's not a fun part of the garden, but it's where something really bright, really loud, a pop of color, a nice focal point right in the middle of what's going to be a sea of green could really, really be nice.

Michael thinks Eric is going to be happy with the selections available here. With the wisteria we need something tall. It's going right up against a white pergola, so maybe something that's a little subtle, let’s add some really high color accents into this design. Eric wonders what Michael is thinking? He shows Eric one of his most popular collections. These are not necessarily for color but for an idea about style. It's very simple, four styles in a collection. It's a low bowl, a couple of egg planters where you can have either a rim or without a rim. Michael shows Eric the vertical piece he had mentioned for the wisteria. Not necessarily this particular color but this style, because he has this tall pot that is available in 16 different colors and maybe 12 different styles, all the same piece. So it's a matter of what color and what style. And Michael has an idea for Eric's other piece. This piece is big and he has it in like five different colors. Michael doesn't have room to put all containers available out in the showroom, but to make a statement, this is four feet tall, a huge diameter and it goes vertical. Eric thinks this will be perfect. You don't realize how big these are until you get right up on them. This is a beast, it's going to be perfect. What Eric is thinking of is a gold foliage conifer and then some nice spillers. The contrast of the electric chartreuse foliage against this blue will be dramatic. Everything in the design in that part of the garden is more just waves of green and then just a lot of natural hardscape and earth tones. This container is going to brighten that whole corner up. And as the conifer grows tall the container will accent everything that's going on.

The last pieces that Eric needs to get in place are the two pots for the wisteria. He totally agrees with Michael that it needs to be something tall, maybe something that's a little more muted, because we're going to have some loud colors with the other containers in the design. Michael shows Eric a great looking white container and Eric thanks it’s perfect. Michael explains this is a vertical piece in his techno collection. These pieces would look really good. Eric will have these two on either side of the pergola post. Then what kind of completes the triangle in this design is that big, bold blue container and the white is going to be so nice in contrast with the bold cobalt. The vines are going to be really happy. The great thing about tall containers is that they have a lot of depth for the root system to grow into. The container's got to be big enough and deep enough to where it can support the vine without being planted in the ground and it's got enough room for a root system to actually grow a substantial vine that will cover the pergola. Eric thinks this is perfect. Michael can't wait to see how these containers work out.

Eric is always so impressed with what containers do to a space. He's never surprised. We know that it's going to change things and it adds those little fine point details that really make a design sing, they're kind of like the candles on the cake, if you will. Eric loves the fact that with this project they took the time to think about - what are we trying to do and which containers do we think are going to work well there? Eric thinks the containers totally worked out. Michael agrees. It’s MICHAEL’S FIRST TIME TO VISIT since they had their discussion at the showroom. He thinks Eric did a great job, they fit perfectly for what was needed in this space. Sometimes Michael is surprised at how it all works out. He knows what the piece looks like but then when you pot things up it brings it all home. With the plants planted in the containers we actually see how they contrast and fit into the area and it's always a very positive experience.

There are many different ways to use containers with this design. One of them is a beautiful water feature. Eric thinks that water features in containers are a great idea and especially in this is a very, very small garden. This site is teeny, it's a little postage stamp kind of garden. So putting in an in-ground water feature is not really practical. But incorporating something in a container, something that bubbles or a small fountain in this case right up on the front porch where folks can sit, relax, enjoy a book all while having the sound of moving water is wonderful. And as an added plus, birds will come and take a bath in it. As well it's a great way of adding the artistic element because it's a beautifully made container with water. So from a sensory standpoint, it's got everything. Michael agrees, he loves the sound, it takes him back to the woods as child, walking through and experiencing nature. One can experience nature right here on the front porch. And they look great.

Near the fountain there's an area that Eric wanted to screen. So he really needed something large that could go into a pretty big container thus chose alocasia, the giant elephant ear. Enormous tubers came in that were really kind of cool. And just in one season they achieved five or six feet in that container. Of course you've got to use a pretty big container if trying to screen with a pot, but it's a way to get plants basically incorporated into hardscape. These containers are sitting on a stone patio which allowed Eric to achieve this really lush kind of tropical feel and get a little bit of privacy from the neighbors. Michael agrees, he loves elephant ears and uses them in containers in his garden as well. It does start with a big bulb but once it starts growing, it's amazing.

Back to the vegetable garden Eric was looking for a statement piece for the vegetable garden that curls around the outdoor kitchen. It’s in a very visible space but there can also be a bit of monotony to a vegetable garden. It's very linear, he wanted something a little more formal thus wanted a big, bold pop of color. He didn't need three, five, or seven containers, just needed one. But it had to be pretty big to set off the corner of the area. The architectural features of the garden inform what we do with the container thus wanted the container at the turning point to really give people a focal point. And that's why this bold blue container with this nice pattern worked particularly well. Michael agrees, when he made the turn his eye went straight to this big, huge blue pot, it absolutely became the focal point of this whole area. So it worked, they made a good choice. When people are trying to decide what kind of pieces or how many pieces it’s important to remember one piece like this can create an amazing focal point in the middle of a garden. It’s okay to get one pot, just make it the right size. For containers at the beginning of a path or surrounding a doorway, one may need to look at two. But this container was perfect for this location.

Eric utilized multiple containers in other places where it made sense but when at your garden center selecting pots keep all options open. Eric remembers some sage advice Michael made early on and that was to typically go with something bigger because in the garden center or in Michael's showroom when we see a 16 inch container, it looks pretty big sitting there on the shelf but when it's moved out into the open air the space can often dwarf the container which brings home the point that what you really needed was something quite a bit larger. Also, if it's too small, it may disappear. Another reason Eric really likes large containers is if using woody ornamentals in containers or other plants he wants to have for years and years to come, with smaller containers there will be added stress put on that tree or shrub. In this case Eric's using a golden arborvitae, if he put that in a small container it could dry out faster, quite possibly requiring watering multiple times a day. It would become very, very hard to maintain. So if using some of these larger, bolder plants putting them in a big container where they've got all this extra room to grow will help the plant actually hold up better.

Eric points out several other containers around the pergola. He found two wisteria sinensis that were growing on the property. He likes to use containers with these plants because they can tend to be unwieldy and containers exert influence over the root system. Eric is looking forward to the day when the blooms make it up and around the pergola. It will be beautiful.

Eric thanks Michael for his help with container selection. He’s very happy with the results.

It's rewarding to see how everything has come together with this design. A lot of hard work and effort has been rewarded with an amazing show of color.

LINKS:

Color Choice Flowering Shrubs - Proven Winners
A Better Landscape Starts with a Better Flowering Shrub

Ball Horticultural
Ball Horticulturale

Suntory Flowers
Home - Suntory Flowers

Southern Living Plant Collection
Southern Living Plants - Plants Selected For Southern Gardens

Simpson Power Washer
Pressure Washers | Power Washers | Simpson

Good Ideas Rain Barrel
https://goodideasinc.com/collections/rain-barrels

Michael Carr Designs - Containers/Pottery
Home - Michael Carr Designs | Wholesale Pottery and Decor

Plant List

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By Susan Martin for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

Have your hanging baskets seen better days? It’s normal, by midsummer they are ready for a little TLC to bring them back to their former glory. To learn more click here for an interesting article.


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