Showhouse Season V, Issue 3, Early Decisions

As I said in Issue 2, this is going to be a formal garden. The garden’s official name for the showhouse journal and website is ‘A Formal Invitation’.

The ‘invitations’ are implied the the garden’s design. Its layout allows views from the adjoining rooms–Invitation No. 1. Entrances to the garden from three other areas of the property–Invitation No. 2. A table for rest and relaxation or a place to enjoy a bottle of wine–Invitation No. 3. A sculpture or fountain as a focal point/feature of interest–Invitation No. 4. Beautiful containers filled with very detailed plantings–Invitation No. 5.

The choice of which style of containers (shown in burgundy on the plan to the left) to use is important in this garden because they will set the tone on the second layer of design ideas. If I choose to use black Medici urns, the garden will not have the modern welcoming feeling that I want it to have. For me, too much formality feels pretentious, rigid and stogy. Mixing it up will give this outdoor space a sense of being in the present rather than the past. I have a fondness for terra cotta planters. They’re timeless, their matte finish contrasts and completments many type of foliage and flowers.

For a few years I have been using and recommending Seibert & Rice terra cotta. They are worth every penny. The quality is flawless. Seibert & Rice are local importers who have a keen eye for great design. Depending on the style, these pots can lend a formal or an informal feeling to the garden. Although I haven’t made a final decision yet and I’ve previously used all of the ones pictured below. They could work again.

The Hartford Pot by Guy Wolff–a great simple pot

The Olive Oil Urn–I’ve filled this urn with Cannas–Wow!

Lemon Flower Box–Great for herbs near a kitchen door

All photos are used with the permission of Seibert & Rice.

3 thoughts on “Showhouse Season V, Issue 3, Early Decisions

  1. Coincidentally, I am also involved in a show house this year. I am working with a landscape architect and a co-op nursery; we plan to focus on sustainability.

  2. The showhouse garden I did last year was completely sustainable –solar power, recycled materials, native & xeric plants, rain water collection etc. It was really a conversation starter. This year, the homeowner, who is buying the space has a lot of input so I have less creative freedom, but I always do what I can to be as sustainable as possible.

  3. Hi Susan! This is great post. I feel similar about formal gardens – can’t be too formal. The pots you are showing are also so beautiful!
    I am planning some improvements in my garden this year – they include some garden ‘combing’ and ‘taming’ by arranging some formal elements and adding some nice clay pots 🙂
    BTW – you fly to my blogroll 🙂 if you don’t have anything against.

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