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Cool and Relaxing

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October 2, 2012
You don’t have to have a lot of color for an attractive garden. Today, I’m visiting a cool and relaxing backyard retreat that features many textures and different shades of green. Out the back door opens up onto a shady patio. The most striking feature is the set of tall and majestic crape myrtles. The exfoliating bark is beautiful. The plantings beneath the crape myrtles are a rich combination of asparagus fern, dwarf mondo grass, pittosporum, and Boston fern in a hanging basket. In this side garden underneath these Japanese maples is a wonderful combination of shade loving plants. The broad leaves of Japanese fatsia provide bold coarse texture, and the finer texture of the serrated leaves of holly fern provides contrast. Even more contrast is obtained combining heucherella and dwarf mondo grass. The mondo grass is also very suitable for planting between the square concrete pavers. Another example of combining textures is this planting of the dramatic Black Magic elephant ear and Japanese holly. The coarse texture of the wooden pergola is softened by the leucothoe growing through the back. Scrambling across the top a delicate entanglement of Lady Banks rose provides a canopy of protection from the sun. Gardens don’t have to splash a lot of color to be attractive. Sometimes, different shades of green and a variety of textures can establish a cool and relaxing atmosphere. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

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