The client had several terracotta pots scattered in her garden and wanted a decorative combination to continue all year round. I suggested placing the pots together along the wall of the house where they can be seen from the conservatory. I have approached this by creating the a key structure with the evergreen small trees and shrubs and by filling the spaces with seasonal perennials and annuals.
The choice of plants for the integral evergreen key structure had to take into account the colour of the red brick wall that would serve as a background to the pots. Glaucous leaves of Camellia sasanqua, and cool green-grey variegated leaves of Eounymus fortunei ‘Emerald gaiety' combine well with red brick.
The addition of Buxus semprevirens shoots bulked up the evergreen skeleton. Variegated Skimmia japonica, ‘Magic Marlot,' with its small flowers the colour of the terracotta and fluffy autumn flowering Hebes, fulfilled the evergreen base structure. Furthermore, the principal rhythm of the composition was created with seasonal white and purple Brassicas (cabbages), which form the backbone of the design.
Blue is the most valuable colour in the garden formation and looks pleasing in most gardens. Gentian was initially included in order to bring the blue highlights within the scheme and create a sub-rhythm. Once the autumn flowering Gentian and some of the cabbages disintegrated by December they were replaced with what was in season: white, blue and pink, primroses - creating a new sub-rhythm. Another option could have been pansies.