An easy care combination for a damp, part-shade woodland area that incorporates natives:
Primula japonica ‘Miller’s Crimson’, Carex elata ‘Aurea’, Oxalis oregana (native) and Polystichum munitum (native). The plants are still young,however in a few years when the sorrel fills in, the ferns are larger and the Primula has naturalized, this will be a lovely woodland planting.
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A very big thanks! to Sunset magazine for including a Bliss design in the April 2013 issue.
Always an honor to be in my favorite magazine! For more details about this garden, please see Shaded Creek.
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Came across this fellow while doing field research on native riparian grasses at a local pond. He was well camouflaged in the dormant cattails. I think my spring garden season stress level dropped 3 notches just watching his silent and purposeful Tai Chi moves…
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I’ve already pre-ordered my copy of the about to be released retrospective of Bernard Trainor’s work: Landprints The Landscape Designs of Bernard Trainor. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. I have been following Bernard Trainor’s work for the past five years and never cease to be amazed at just how pitch perfect his touch is. Combining the clean lines of modern hardscape with gorgeous naturalistic & native plantings creates the perfect dynamic between wild and subdued. Emulating nature “naturally” is actually not easy to do – you not only need to be a superior plantsman and observant naturalist, you have to distill this down to a program that will work in a residential garden. Hats off to this amazing artist and do check out his book – due out mid-April.
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If you are a home and garden addict and have not discovered Houzz yet, by all means check out this site. Its like an endless magazine with sumptuous photography that is well organized. A place for architects and designers to share their work, it allows you to create “ideabooks” of photographs for everything house. I’ve found it to be a wonderful tool to share my recent work and to be inspired by the talent of other designers. The tablet version is particularly wonderful for cuddling up in your favorite spot and flipping through images. A perfect way to get ready for spring!
The site and a link to my work:
Houzz – Bliss Garden Design
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A few early spring pots captured on one of our recent glorious sunny days. The containers used were the clients and while I typically do not gravitate to blue pottery, the turquoise was a great foil for the creamy yellow colors of spring. Hellebore, primula, acorus and calluna combine for a fresh display with a few bright orange willow twigs from my garden for a vertical accent. Spring is just around the corner…
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When next evaluating your garden in the crisp morning sun or warm evening glow, consider whether there is an opportunity for backlighting. The best lighting effects typically occur with either the early or late sun. When the rays hit a lower level they can light up any translucent plant from behind creating a gorgeous halo. In northern latitudes, the low winter sun can provide backlighting for a good portion of the day. Full sun is not always required for backlighting, filtered sun can also create a wonderful effect. If you study the space, with filtered light you can strategically place a plant to be the only one lit.
Once you determine whether you have the light, then set the stage with plants that will show off. Hands down, the best plants for backlighting are ornamental grasses. From blade to feather – they simply glow. Throw in a breeze and you have performance art. Beyond grasses, just about anything translucent will light up. Red leaved Acers and other similarly hued trees such as Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ and Cotinus coggygria ‘Grace’ create a particularly stunning effect with several warm shades defining the canopy. Even some of the small chocolate colored Phormium like ‘Jack Spratt’ look fabulous when back lit. Bulbs such as tulips look lit from within.
When designing a garden, I always look for an opportunity to backlight plants. Its one of the many ways to make a space magical.
Acer palmatum ‘Fireglow’ is well named
Sesleria autumnalis lights up while Phormium ‘Jack Spratt’ steals the show
Filtered late afternoon sun creates a spotlight with the nearly white Miscanthus sinensis ‘Variegatus’
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