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Grey Gardens Within Green Gardens For A Different Look

Aug 17, 2007
Wonder why on earth would anyone be happy with grey gardens? One can understand blues, greens, reds, but Grey? Grey in a garden of reds, pinks, lilacs and a riot of other colors adds a very interesting twist in the tale so to speak. Grey gardens are so called because of the particular plants that have a beautiful grey, silver, blue aor green tinge provided by Mother Nature. There is a large variety of such plants for you to choose from, depending on the size and layout of your garden. These can be added to your existing garden for a touch of the exotic or the au contraire.

Some plants that one can put in grey gardens to create some magic are aglaonema, sage and basil, which are aromatic and grow low. There are a lot of succulents like crassula -with fleshy fat leaves, and these form a fantastic base for its spray of red and yellow flowers which are long lasting. A display of silver begonias and syngoniums in a shady corner will set off the grey garden beautifully. The advantage one has here is that all these are low maintenance and relatively pest free. One can add to the family by replanting a stem so there is no extensive gardening required.

Grey leaf plants are unusual in the sense that they have waxy coating on its leaves like the West African Cotyledon orbiculata, and they can also be hairy. These plants look very attractive as part of grey gardens. These two features of this plant make it very easy to keep in dry weather conditions as they need less water. The hair and the waxy coat reflect sunlight and this does not allow the water in it to dry up.

A good example of this type of plant is the Kleinia which is a grey blue carpet type of foliage plant and this stores its water in the stem. The Acacia baileyana in its level to the ground form is yet another example of plants that can survive in dry arid conditions. Some other plants you may consider are the Iris Pallida, the Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula', the Cynara cardunculus and Stachys byzantina among a host of others.

We need to remember that all flowering plants have their respective seasons. Think on the lines of planting in such a way that in every season your garden blooms with the appropriate flowers and you will not be stuck with a depressing grey garden right in the middle of winter.

For grey gardens, one needs imagination, plants that complement your color scheme, grey blue silver plants that will offset the colors that you have envisaged. You also need a tongue-in-cheek kind of attitude to do something different with your normal garden and a dollop of good old hard work. The results are there for the world to see and you to take pride in.
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