September 10, 2013
Garden walls are more than just barriers. They create a backdrop for landscape plantings, and can be an integral part of the garden. Today I'm at a friend's to share ideas how they utilize garden walls in the landscape. The outside wall is brick and is composed of different levels and a conventional landscape. The plantings around the lower wall consist of white flowering vinca and butterfly penta. A favorite landscape plant of mine is agapanthus, commonly called lily of the Nile. These plants produce clumps of shiny, strap-like foliage with the flower clusters displayed on tall stems. The flowers are grouped in structures called umbels and each individual flower resembles a garden lily. The seed heads create landscape interest and in my opinion are as attractive as the flowers. The taller section of the outside wall has white flowering Natchez crape myrtles and ligustrum along its length. When you approach the iron gate to the backyard, you notice the garden walls are covered with creeping fig. I find it interesting that the plant attaches to the brick using a natural adhesive. The plantings in the backyard are dominated by the banana and red tropical hibiscus. The tropical hibiscus flowers are striking with their trumpet-shape and bottlebrush-like arrangement of pistil and stamens. Adding color to the landscape are mixed powder blue plumbago and orange-red crocosmia. Garden walls create interest and can surprise visitors when you include different styles of plant selection on the inside and the outside. I'm horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.