Ode on a Victorian Urn
To view the full article please refer to The New Victorians.
The Victorians favored planting urns with a single exotic centerpiece, along with complementary underplantings that had the same cultural needs. For this rusted urn, Ken Selody, the owner of Atlock Farm in Somerset, N.J., chose the tender perennial Leonotis leonurus, or lion's tail. The deer-resistant South African shrub typically reaches three feet by three feet. Grow in full sun.
For this cast-iron urn, Selody featured the dramatic Blue Ginger (Dichorisandra thyrisiflora) and the long blooms of Red-Hot Cattail (Acalypha hispida), underplanted with Variegated Elephant Ear and Chartreuse Joseph's Coat. Grow in full sun.
Texture can be just as effective as hue in creating enticing contrasts. In this urn, Selody spotlights a foxtail fern, its intricate feathery foliage reaching out in every direction, underplanted with velvety, broad-leaved Begonia ‘Art Hodes.’ Grow in partial shade.
Rob Girard, a gardener at Peter Wooster's garden in Roxbury, Conn., chose a spiky Agave longisepala for this enormous white urn, an ideal central feature for a Victorian-style garden. The blue agave is underplanted with Tradescantia pallida and Plectranthus oertendahlii. Grow in full sun.