I grew up on the beach in South Carolina in an L-shaped modern house with a pool in the front yard and the ocean only a hundred feet or so off my back patio. Many of my earliest memories are of the natural landscape, of the sea oats that stood like bastions on the edge of my back yard, anchoring the sand dunes from washing away due to the daily high tides. I grew to love the vibrant hues of the coastal flora and fauna, the colorful natives along with many of the flashy potted patio varieties. Now, twenty three years later as a transplant in Georgia, my own garden is as lush a tropical display as Zone 8 will allow. On numerous occasions I have plucked plants from the sandy soil of my mother’s garden in Pawleys Island, South Carolina in hopes that I can push the boundaries of suitable conditions in which to propagate certain species of plants (lots of luck with the loquat, no luck with the hibiscus). The bottom line is, I want a verdant and colorful garden in the summer months and have created a landscape that allows for that. To that end, I have planted varieties of plants that are showy in color or form, ideally both.
The canna tropicanna and equisetum hyemale featured above are two of my favorites, always garden stunners. The bright orange flash of the canna tropicanna flowers are truly exotic and coupled with their yellow and chartreuse striped foliage, are showstoppers. Although the equisetum hyemale is notoriously an aggressive spreader due to creeping rhizomes, I willingly plant it just to have access to those sculptural evergreen, bamboo-ish black banded stems. Plus I love that equisetum is the sole survivor in a class of prehistoric vascular plants dating back 350 million years, and due to its high silica content, was commonly used by early Americans for scrubbing pots and pans, thus came to be known as scouring rush. It’s like having a dinosaur in the garden who can do the dishes.
Fresh cut and paired together in a low and curved vase, I delight in the bright hues and textures of these garden beauties. What’s growing in your garden lately?
IMAGE CREDITS | Floral arrangement & photography by Tami Ramsay of CLOTH & KIND