In a series of guest posts, San Francisco's Academy of Art University will lend its landscape architecture knowledge to Garden Design. Its first post is a handy one—tips on how to help revive a struggling garden.
Costa Farms gardening expert, Justin Hancock shares valuable design tips for selecting and planting perennials and ideal companion plants. Because they come back year after year, require little watering, are long-blooming, and offer a variety of textures, shapes and colors, Hancock says perennials are the backbone of any beautiful garden. He suggests starting with these five beautiful, easy-care perennials to instantly transform any garden.
One of 22 varieties in the Celebrette Series, ‘Coral Light’ has a kickin’ combination of large coral flowers hovering over dark-edged foliage midstriped with a blaze of more coral. Needs some shade, but laughs at heat and humidity. Grows 8 to 10 inches tall and 10 to 12 inches wide. Annual. simplybeautifulgardens.com
Dorothy Biddle was a pioneer in the world of American flower arranging, traveling around the country by bus and train from the late 1940s to the late 1950s, encouraging Americans everywhere to grow and arrange their own flowers. Her legacy lives on today in her company, Dorothy Biddle Service, run by her granddaughter, which continues to sell flower arranging supplies—now on the Internet.
Keeping a close eye on her developing progeny, this Kalanchoe succulent, nicknamed "the mother-of-thousands" is as prolific as it is maternal—hundreds of tiny plants actually grow on the mother's arms. When released, each plantlet falls to the ground to take root on its own—now the next "mother" in the lineage, never too far from home.
Adored, feared, and fabled, the oleander is a deadly beauty. Drought-tolerant and easily propagated, it is commonly cultivated in gardens and public spaces in subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world and it is also considered to be one of history's deadliest plants.