Make a Grand Entrance

Vermont garden is a nonstop flower show.
Slideshow: A Vermont garden in high summer. Click on the images to see captions or go to full-screen mode.

I love visiting my friend Sue’s house. She’s the best flower gardener I know. We could talk about flowers nonstop for days on end. In fact, we did just that several years ago when we took a two-week trip to England together. Sue put together the itinerary (she grew up in England) and we visited no less than two and often three public gardens per day. It is so much fun to tour a garden when there’s someone at your side who is ooh-ing and ahh-ing as much as you are!

One of the gardens we loved best was Great Dixter, home of the late Christopher Lloyd. At the very heart of the gardens is Christopher Lloyd’s family home, a 15th century half-timber house that’s ever-so-gently slouching into the landscape. The house is entered through a covered portico that’s always flanked with an incredible assortment of fabulous potted plants. Inspired by this ever-changing horticultural tableaux at Great Dixter, my friend Sue has taken to creating her own entryway theatre.

Clustering potted plants in a protected area like this, lets you experiment with tender exotics, wild colors and weird foliage. Part of the fun is changing the plants around every few weeks. Sue has integrated some outdoor sculpture, antiques, found objects and more. Something you might want to try at your house!

The entrance to the manor house at Great Dixter is always flanked by terrific potted plants.
Entrance to Sue's house

The entrance to Sue’s is a bit different, but a grand entrance, nonetheless.
Entrance to Sue's house

Last summer, Sue’s display featured Gartenmeister Bonstedt fuchsia, many different coleus varieties, some rex begonias and lots of impatiens.
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2 Responses to Make a Grand Entrance

  1. Devon K says:

    What an inspiring display of color! I love how bold each one is alone, and the overall effect of each hue playing of another.

  2. Julia says:

    Gartenmeister fuschia is one of my favorite shade annuals. What a terrific plant. I find that it picks up and compliments the warm oranges and reds in the garden as well as the cooler violets and purples, acting as a bridge between cool and warm colors.

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