Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Senior Horticultural Interpreter.
The design of Wave Hill’s Flower Garden takes its inspiration from the Arts and Crafts gardening style, popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One of the main principles of this style is the considered use of color and, in this garden, each of the eight planting beds has its own color palette: one is full of dark reds, enlivened here and there with spots of yellow or orange, other beds are silver and blue, or plum-hued, apricot, yellow and pink and chartreuse with white. The overall structure is clear form this first shot, taken from above, though an eye-level view is necessary to see the color palate of each bed.
Planted containers, situated at various points around the garden during the warmer months, continue this concept, and this year the combination of choice is yellow and blue. Positioned right at the garden’s center is a masterful assembly of plants in a fine, Ali Baba-style earthenware container. It has all the elements expected of a combination container planting: a “thriller,” some “fillers” and a “spiller.”
A dramatic giant elephant ear (Alocasia macrorrhiza ‘Solid Gold’ – sometimes listed as ’Lutea’) is obviously the thriller. Its large, upright, glossy leaves are held up by golden yellow petioles (leaf stalks). It will continue to expand through the rest of the summer.
Adding interest at the middle of the arrangement are two, blue-themed plants, the “fillers”: a Brazilian dwarf morning glory (Evolvulus glomeratus ‘Blue Daze’)—related to the rue morning glory—and a type of spiderwort (Tradescantia pallida ‘Blue Sue’), with lovely, blue-gray (glaucous) foliage.
Dichondra (Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’) completes the arrangement with stings of silvery foliage spilling down the sides of the container. Not accidentally, the container stands at the center of a roundel of blue-gray flagstones.
Look for this and other yellow and blue-themed containers in the Flower Garden over the next few weeks.