Over the years, Karen Chapman and Christina
Salwitz have designed hundreds of gardens.
The two met at an event where Christina was presenting
on interesting foliage combinations. Karen was sitting in the
audience and felt an immediate
connection because Christina’s work was so aligned
with her own; they both appreciated unique and interesting - even
uncommon plant combinations. They quickly realized they had
been traveling parallel paths as designers and
writers - they were true horticultural kindred
spirits. So, their collaboration on Foliage
First was a natural output of their connection.
I mentioned at the top of the show that Karen and Christina
are passionate about something they call the foliage
framework. This is their starting point for designing a
garden and they know that it requires a little bit of
discipline, a little bit of
focus, and lots of practice.
Instead of focusing on the shiny objects - blooms or artistic
elements - Karen and Christina know the best
foundation for a garden begins with foliage. Well-planned
gardens feature foliage that offers year-round color,
texture, and interest. Add in blooms and art and you have
a lovely garden.
Karen and Christina’s book is expertly organized
with color-coded pages by season: Spring and Summer, Fall and
Winter; and also by exposure: Shade or Sun.
What’s it like when you get two designers on the phone
and you start talking plants?
We are geeking out today - BIG TIME - Let’s
learn How to Design a Garden with Foliage First
with Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz.
I hope today’s show gave you a new approach to
try when you’re selecting plants at the garden center,
when you're creating your gardens, and when you’re evaluating
what’s working and what is not in your 2018 garden. Karen and
Christina are pro’s - they’ve given us their very best advice to
help us reset the way we think about what makes our gardens
beautiful and the value of setting that framework with foliage
For my sign-off today, I leave you with this thought to help
Sometimes the best place to start is the most obvious.
- Where are the places in your garden where foliage is not
- Instead of Foliage First, where is foliage
- Where is it uninteresting?
- Where is it just plain bad or sad?
Make a few changes. Move some plants around, or out, or escort
them to the compost pile.
Putting Foliage First is a skill - and you can get better at
it with practice. So let’s get started.
Have a great week everyone.