Garden vignettes are small areas of a larger garden that provide a single use or multiple functions, be it sipping a beverage and reading a book, critter or people watching, depending on the location of the vignette - front, side or back yard - enjoying a view or taking a nap. If all else fails, take a nap!
The above two photos show the gradual transformation of the entrance to a hillside garden from July to November. This area was the first sight upon cresting the stairs to a wood deck at the base of several terraces. Prior to the month of July it was a catch-all or a dumping ground for scrap wood, tools, disorganized toys, numerous objects and refuse. By simply removing the jumbled items and slowly relocating metal signs lying in a pile on the ground, metal garden art, and other miscellaneous elements with story-telling potential, garden visitors are now greeted with a scene that puts smiles on their faces.
Condominium Exterior Entryway Redo
The former planting of azaleas in this small space underneath the open riser concrete staircase, shown on the right in the first photo above, were removed. The azaleas were unable to produce abundant blooms in the low light conditions. The homeowners decided to dress up the area using giant clam shells and succulents that would survive in low light conditions such as Gasteria, Sansevieria, Haworthia, and Aloe hybrids. The above photos were taken on a rainy day. On a sunny day the area will receive brighter light due to the open riser staircase but never any direct sunlight.
The first photo shows the clam shells oriented on the diagonal with the hinged side forward-facing. The second photo shows the clam shells still oriented on the diagonal but turned to highlight the fluted edges. Positioning them in this manner will allow the Senecio rowleyanus, commonly known as String of Pearls, to cascade to the ground. The third and fourth photos were taken after the rock top dressing and existing clay soil were removed. The area was filled with fast draining soil with a high mineral content, crucial for the health of succulents.
The first photo above shows the start of the new fast draining soil being delivered. The second photo shows the space filled with the new soil, the clam shells in their final position and the first in-ground plant installed in the back corner, Sansevieria trifasciata 'Singer's Silver'. The third photo shows a fallen tree limb set in place to add height and interest to the installation. The fourth photo shows all in-ground plants installed and the clam shells planted.
The photo on the left above shows the final plant installation with Spanish Moss added to the cut ends on the smaller branches of the tree limb. The photo on the right above shows the finished installation with the rock top dressing back in place and the entire space lighted for nighttime drama.