Sunday, 28 June 2009

Form and Texture - Two more from Tom Stuart-Smith at Wisley

This great green block of planting inspires me to really go for leaf texture. It also reminds me to have the courage to show restraint in the number of plants in a scheme. There are the designer's signature columns providing structure (here, not quite evergreen, as they are beech, but the brown leaves will remain through winter), and allowed to go straggly. The Allium seedheads almost look better, I bet, than when they were a haze of purple balls floating above the swishy waves of grass. I am not sure what grass this is or what its flowers will look like. I'll just have to go back. This apparently simple planting creates a powerful genius loci, or spirit of the place, outside the new glass house.

This small composition is also thrilling: spikes of Eremurus, floating plates of Achillea, a fan of Iris, and a haze of Stipa tenuissima.

Update: the grass is Hakonechloa macra, Japanese Forest Grass, which is often grown in its variegated form, 'Aureola'. T S-S apparently won't use variegated forms, though I have been told that some imp did sneak in one of the vulgar yellow-striped miscreants.

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