Bloggers Give Back: A Garden Sketch

March 31, 2011

I was feeling inspired to experiment with a little watercolor project to imagine a garden for the GHH, Bloggers Give Back project. I think the last time I used watercolors I was maybe 8 years old. Way too long, in my book. So I gathered my hot tea, a few gardening books [thanks, Mom!], my new watercolors and went to work with a few ideas. I like it. Not as a formal plan, but just as inspiration and pretty colors in a very cottage garden style.
1. Japanese Spurge [Pachysandra terminalis] – Dark green, shiny leaves, tall white flowers in the springtime. Grows 8” to 10” tall. This is, by far, my favorite groundcover! It is slow growing, but once it’s established – so pretty! Conflicting information: A few sources I’ve seen say that this plant is “invasive” – but the tag at Lowe’s said “Slow Grower.” In my experience, in full shade, pachysandra is sloowww growing, but some sun would probably speed it up.
2. Witchazel [Hamamelis Intermedia] – A twigy shrub with springtime flowers that look like streamers, and beautiful fall foliage. Grows 12 feet [3.5 meters] and is good for “natural areas” – perfect for our low maintenance garden.
3. Periwinkle [Vinca Minor] – Vine-like, evergreen groundcover, can do well in sun or shade, cute purple flowers in springtime.
4. Viburnum [Opulus] – In the shrub or small tree family, prefers sun but will adjust to part shade. Grows up to 13 feet [4 meters] high.
*Up to 13 feet high seems a little much for me, I would trim it down every couple of years
5. Creeping Jenny [Lysimachia Nummularia] – Another one of my favorite groundcovers. Can tolerate sun or shade – brighter, more neon green colors in sun.
6. Creeping Phlox [Phlox Subulata]  Grows 6” tall. Also known as “moss pink” because of its bright pink flowers in springtime. It’s colorful amongst all this green and it attracts butterflies!
7. A bird bath for structure, height and to break up all the greenery and shrubberies.
8. Containers to add height and interest. I would put groundcover first, then container, then shrub – something to lead your eye around – and add some colorful trailing flowers, like these containers.

Here’s what I started with… while sitting in Starbucks and day-dreaming. I was wishing I had a ruler and my nerdy pack of colored pencils. :)

And then my colorful inspiration.
Copyright Whitney Curtis 2010-2013

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