Setting Your Garden’s Tone

“Beneath all the moods and faces of my garden, there is one constant: its tone,” says Fran Sorin, author of Digging Deep. “No matter how bright or dark or stormy or cold it is, my garden has a very specific feeling that defines it: bold.” Here are some tips from Fran’s book on what to place in your garden to achieve a certain tone.

A Romantic Ambiance
Climbing roses on a trellis against a wall
Swings and gazebos
Wind chimes
The sound of running water
A wrought-iron pergola dripping with fragrant wisteria
Comfortable, cushioned wicker furniture
Tropical draping vines like passionflower or bougainvillea
Aromatic herbs such as lavender or valerian in abundance

A Sense of Whimsy
A splashy wildflower meadow
Interesting color combinations like orange and purple with touches of deep blue or lime green with burgundy and touches of silver
Brightly painted furniture and pots
Patterned pillows
Funny little architectural pieces that aren’t meant to be there, like an old headboard
Metal frogs peeking out mischievously from behind an angel’s trumpet

A Rustic Air
Weathered signs
Adirondack chairs
Natural woods
Woodland plantings such as azaleas, rhododendrons and witch hazel
Random stone pathways
Overgrown grass

An Aura of Quiet
A hammock or gazebo
A solitary bench ensconced in a woodland area of trees
A soft carpet of moss underfoot
Low-wattage lighting

A Modern Feeling
Limestone or concrete walkways and patios
Steel statues
Fountains with running water cascading over river stones
Gravel gardens
Lots of greenery with minimal color
Straight lines
Glass-brick walls

An Atmosphere of Sophistication
Long, straight pathways
Italian-style fountains
Graduating stone walls that create levels
Neoclassical statues

A Taste of the Tropical
Lush flowers
Palm trees
Banana plants
Humongous philodendrons
Intensely colored furniture
Bright pots
Pergolas with sumptuous vines trailing overhead like a canopy
A tiled fountain
Elaborate umbrellas

Digging Deep by Fran Sorin
(Braided Worlds Publishing, 2014)

Categories: Gardening