Rick believes you should apply the same principles to accessorizing a yard as you would inside the house. This metal filigree table doubles as an attractive plant stand with room for drinks, snacks or a book. An oval-shaped ceramic planter, packed with plants, makes the most of the available space. Grouping the plants in a larger container makes for more efficient watering and helps focus attention on the foliage and flowers, rather than an assortment of pots.
Canvas chairs at either side accentuate the lifestyle feel and tempt people to rest awhile, to enjoy the view. The whole creates an atmospheric garden vignette that anchors the eye in a sea of vegetation.
“I love mixing patterns.” says Rick. “We spaced broken slates of various sizes well apart and used a lighter grouting to create a textural floor pattern. The table’s intricate, leafy, filigree design, elegant shape and structure sits lightly on top of that.”
The planter is overstuffed with plants chosen for their contrasting textures. In the top version, you’ll spot a frilly kale, ornamental sweet potato, and pelargonium with heart-shaped caladium leaves as the crowning touch. Below, a dark-leaved dahlia anchors last year’s collection of plants in the same pot. A decorative begonia and soon to be wandering Tradescantia zebrina continue the purple theme.
Most gardeners would agree that a garden is always changing: a work in progress. Rick rearranges and updates his yard often. The buttery yellow color of the table will be refreshed and the canvas chairs swapped out for a different design. The annual plants will be replaced with the changing seasons and overcrowded perennials will be moved to a more accommodating spot. And he might add a pair of plastic pink flamingos for color and height while the young plants are getting established.
“It’s easy for our senses to overlook what’s familiar.” says Rick. “Embrace the temporary. Switch things around and you’ll experience the garden more vividly.”