The Foliage Variability Vortex


There are times when a foliage based container design is planned out. You have the chosen container that provides inspiration, you choose the plants, set the mood… and then you are done.

And then there are times when you choose the container of inspiration, “think” you have chosen the plants to set the mood and then WHAM!! One month later, you don’t have the same feeling, the plants have transmigrated into a completely different design and you have found yourself in an alternate design universe. A horticultural and design vortex sucked up your plan and there you have it. An entirely new idea is born. A new energy and idea has sprung to life.

The great thing is that, this new idea might be more fun, than the previous one. Not better, just different. Mother Nature CLEARLY had a plan of her own and all this designer did was set her up to say “Hey, I am the ONE in control here.”

Never fear, so you move the pot. Re-adjust expectations and move on. Isn’t that the beauty of design? We like to KNOW exactly how it will come together in a measured, predictable way. But, maybe that’s just not what we really NEEDED. Maybe we needed the surprise of this morphing to see the colors in a whole new light. A Universal/Horticultural kick in the rear as it were, to see the interplay of textures and how we use them in a way that we didn’t fully realize we needed to learn. This is a good thing.

This speaks to the heart of the Designer, a grand experimenter if there ever was one. Happy accidents, a result of trying to plan an outcome too hard and dominate the environment are available if we remain open to them. I am here to say that I have fallen into the vortex and it is grand. 🙂

The main players in this design are: Oxalis ‘Dark Dancer’, Plectranthus ‘Silver Shield’, Variegated Fuchsia ‘Magellan’, Actaea ‘Black Negligee’, Variegated Creeping Wire Vine, Zea Ornamental Corn.

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