Monthly Archives: May 2016

Suzy Schaefer’s Succulent Garden

A private garden owned and designed by Artist Suzy Schaefer in Rancho Santa Fe, Southern California near San Diego, USA.

View of contemporary house and drive with mixed beds and borders containing succulents and cactus. Suzy Schaefer's garden, Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA - © Richard Bloom/GAP Photos

View of contemporary house and drive with mixed beds and borders containing succulents and cactus. Suzy Schaefer’s garden, Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA – © Richard Bloom/GAP Photos

It’s approximately one acre in size with a great variety of drought tolerant plants, colourful succulents and architectural specimens set around a Mexican ranch style house. The local climate is mild and sunny with a hardiness rating of USDA 10a. In 2007 wild fire swept through the area including the Schaefer’s property but the water retaining succulents in their garden prevented their house from catching fire unlike many of their neighbours properties.

To view this garden, click here.

Nunen

Contemporary garden with dining area - © Visions/GAP Photos

Contemporary garden with dining area – © Visions/GAP Photos

Garden architect Ellen Knoeff gladly takes her time with her clients. The result here is a private garden that is completely tailored to the needs of the garden owners. With attention to detail, and using quality materials.

Contemporary pond garden - © Visions/GAP Photos

Contemporary pond garden – © Visions/GAP Photos

For this contemporary bungalow with an enclosed garden, Ellen made a striking design. There’s a pretty front garden and around the back of the house there is a small outdoor space. Ellen: “In this project I actually saw the garden as a whole, circling around the central house. Because the front and back of the house is made of glass, the residents feel they are in the middle of the garden. By placing the pond and the garden on both sides of the house, I created a unity.”

Click here to view this lovely garden.

May posie

All white posie step by step in May: Taking a cutting from a hawthorn branch - © Nicola Stocken/GAP Photos

All white posie step by step in May: Taking a cutting from a hawthorn branch – © Nicola Stocken/GAP Photos

This is the season for the purest of whites, either bold as in fragrant lily-of-the-valley, ephemeral like white blossom or feathery cow parsley.

Every posie needs a ‘fluffy’ flower to create body — cow parsley or pimpinella are lacey — whereas perennis daisies are versatile, available in whites, reds and pinks that stand perkily for days on end, their rounded shapes vieing with the erect forms of grape hyacinths. For foliage, choisya adds small, shiny leaves, the dainty white flowers an added bonus.

All white posie step by step in May: Mexican orange blossom, Bellis daisy, cow parsley, white grape hyacinths, hawthorn and lily-of-the-valley. Choisya 'Aztec Pearl', Bellis perennis, Anthriscus sylvestris, Muscari aucheri 'White Magic' , Crataegus laevigata and Convallaria majalis. Arranged in junk shop find - © Nicola Stocken/GAP Photos

All white posie step by step in May: Mexican orange blossom, Bellis daisy, cow parsley, white grape hyacinths, hawthorn and lily-of-the-valley. Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’, Bellis perennis, Anthriscus sylvestris, Muscari aucheri ‘White Magic’ , Crataegus laevigata and Convallaria majalis. Arranged in junk shop find – © Nicola Stocken/GAP Photos

Whilst picking flowers and foliage, compare one with another, looking for contrast or harmony in terms of shape, texture and colour. With a limited colour palette, the container plays a greater role, and it’s interesting to experiment with chance ‘finds’ from charity shops — unwanted tea caddies, cut glass, old sugar bowls and an endless supply of silver vessels can be found for little cost.

A striking all-white posie is created from a blend of Mexican orange blossom (Choisya x dewitteana ‘Aztec Pearl’), hawthorn (Crateagus laevigata), cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris), lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis), bellis daisies (Bellis perennis), grape hyacinth (Muscari aucheri ‘White Magic’).

To view this feature in full, click here.