Wedded Bliss. A Project by Sundown Gardens.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Mario Mirelez in Annuals, Container Gardening, Fall


A client calls in says their daughter is getting married at their home “in 3 weeks” and would like to know if we can come by and spruce things up a bit. Truth be told, the client wanted little more than this, but I proposed (no pun intended) more. And they went for it! 

I think “my thing” at work has become “making it happen.” Consequently, I’m called in to whip things up in situations like these. Sure there are moments of panic, like when you think the project is dead, then you get the call saying please proceed– a week later!! Then there are those moments when you need 70 white mums in fall but all the growers are out of white and nearly every other color for that matter. This is when I dig down deep inside and remind myself to breathe. Then I formulate plan B, and C, but never lose hope for A.

Our job begins with a fall cleanup, which consists of weeding, removing or cutting back spent plant material, pruning (where necessary), mulching, and of course hauling away all the debris. Not shown, myself and 3 other team members furiously working away. 

While the cleanup is in progress, I undo the urns where old summer annuals were past their prime. The pink dots mark where new mums will be planted. It’s rainy, but the show must go on. The wedding is in 4 days.

As I planned for this transformation, I kept hearing in my head “Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something blue”. The symbolism of this Old English rhyme became integral to my plan.

I selected Snapdragons and Pansies in bright hues with a touch of white Sweet Alyssum. These annuals feel old fashioned to me and that felt right for the “something old” concrete planters. The result was no less splendid than a lovely bridal bouquet.

To enhance the fall theme, mini Cabbages and Heuchera with Swiss Chards were added as foliage accents. Grasses and Variegated Liriope echo the existing Liripoe in the beds. A cute pumpkin tucked here and there reminds us that this is the gathering season.

I was surprised to find two tall plastic pots deep in the garden beds. Except for one white geranium, all was practically dead in the neglected pots. This became my “something borrowed” moment. I gathered the old Geraniums and silvery Dusty Miller plants from another container and planted them together with new cabbages and kales. I just love how this came together. 

The edges of the beds near the walkway were also planted with Cabbages and Sweet Alyssum. Repeating plants in various areas formulates visual cohesion and that creates a calming effect for the eye.

This is the view from the front porch. One side of the walkway was planted in a mass of pansies. This was my “something blue”. The enormous mum pots with grasses in the center reach 4 1/2 feet tall and are wonderfully impactful. Just cracking open, these four pots will bloom in white. Eight other matching mum pots in every color but white are placed throughout the outdoor reception area.

And last but not least, “something new”. The home is flanked by 70 white mums. This is a wedding afterall. As luck would have it, I was able to procure the mums at the perfect bloom stage– 4 days till showtime. I just love how they look against the golden hues of the hostas. I love pulling it all together and seeing it come to fruition.

Some projects are a year in the making, others just a few days. No matter the timeline, I strive to give all projects, and clients, my very best. Oh, about that swanky car. It’s a vintage Cadillac which will be used for phots ops at the wedding.

Article originally appeared on Hortus | 5 (http://www.hortus5.com/).
See website for complete article licensing information.