By Marianne Binetti
My plans to improve a side garden are inspired by European gardens, and an antique iron gate I recently purchased. Clematis grows well in our climate--and purple Jackamanii clematis already thrives in my shaded garden and happily winds its way into an evergreen arborvitae hedge.
I intend to keep the iron-gate panel rustic and unpainted but need to figure out a way to keep it standing upright and sturdy enough to support a flowering vine. I'll use it to form one wall of the new garden and give the space a sense of enclosure.
So here's my shopping list for items that will add Old World romance to the new garden of my dreams:
1. A clematis vine that won't take over the small space: Clematis jackmanii is purple and dependable, but what else would work?
2. A hardy rose plant with at least some fragrance but good disease resistance. Is there a flower carpet rose with some scent? White would be nice.
3. An urn or two to give the space that classic European charm. In my dreams the urn would be overflowing with flowers, just like what we saw in the gardens of England.
4. The rich romance of creamy-white blooms. I love the idea of a white theme garden and the way anything with pale blossoms lights up a shaded spot. Pee gee hydrangeas are a favorite--and the creamy-white blooms turn pink and rust as they age.
So what plants and ideas would you suggest for the rustic, romantic look I'm after?
See more Northwest Gardening Articles.