One of the challenges of gardening in a small space is air circulation or lack of it. To remedy this Louise prunes all the trees and shrubs hard at least once a year. This also gives her more room to group plants of different sizes, tucking smaller plants under larger ones. This layered look adds a richness to the overall space. Personal touches like her collection of statues add structure and are fun to discover as you stroll through the garden. The more you look around the more you will see, whether it's a rooster or a small stone squirrel resting under a boxwood. Other additions include two waist-high brick pillars at one end of the garden which support a wooden gate painted a soft shade of turquoise. An oversized palm in a large pot creates a focal point in the center of a brick path. Not surprisingly, there are vines for vertical spaces too, including Confederate jasmine and the evergreen Clematis armandii. A small fountain surrounded by plants provides the welcome element of water. The recent addition of a garden room with walls of windows off the back of the house means that they can spend even more time in the garden.
What I took away from my visit with Louise is bigger is not always better and that with a bit of imagination, planning and lots of work, even the smallest garden can offer year around beauty.
Erica’s Pick: Variegated Boxwood
Botanical name: Buxus sempervirens 'Aureo-Marginata,' Buxus sempervirens 'Marginata,' Buxus microphylla 'Golden Dream'
About the plant: Variegated boxwoods both American and little leaf are versatile evergreen landscape plants. Some have gold and green variegation and others have green and white leaves.
Use in the garden: Great for containers, hedges or topiary.
Planting and care: Boxwoods thrive in a moist, well-drained soil. Plant them in full sun or part shade.
Sources: Ashe-Simpson Garden Center, 4961 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30341, 770-458-3224, GardenHood, 353 Boulevard SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, 404-880-9848, Land Arts, 809 North Broad St., (Hwy ll at 78), Monroe, GA 30656, 770-267-4500
Erica Glasener is a horticulturist and host of "A Gardener's Diary" which is currently on hiatus. Fridays on HGTV. For questions, visit Erica Glasener's Web site.