Fling 2014: Danger Garden & Thoughts On Style

A stylish garden led to thoughts on garden style.  The current hot style of today in both homes and gardens is  "mid century modern".  Characterized by bent plywood and wire furniture, lights and containers like flying saucers, minimalism, horizontals low-slung.  The Danger garden offered an updated mid century modern style updated, with lusher plantings and a softer, friendlier feel than the 1950's original.
Horizontal lines in the fencing:
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 Eames, Saarinen.  Garrett Ekbo and Dan Kiley.  Outside, lines and grids, rectangles, architectural plants--"architectural" meaning the emphasis is on the shape of the leaves and the plant, not the color or the flowers.  
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Chartreuse, tangerine, oil-rubbed bronze, steel, galvanized.  
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Evoking the confidence of the space age and the postwar economic boom, but updated with modern materials and greater plant choices (those vast green lawns are history).   
The succulent gardens of the 1960s meant stark white gravel and a Cereus jammed against the garage wall.  Today's interpretation is lush in contrast with the starker 1960s.  
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Older people can recall the optimism of that era with wistful nostalgia.  Younger people like the era's sleek iPhone lines and the affordability of minimalism.  
Big foliage is big.
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Is it that we are fascinated by our grand parent's era?  Those born in the 1940's and 1950's remember Granny's Craftsman bungalow;  Those born in the 1980's and 1990's are charmed by Granny's Eichler.  Though each generation makes a style their own, picking through the cluttered attic that is the past, and adding chunks of the present. 
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The Danger Garden was devoted to plants grown mainly for the beauty of their foliage;  it was by no means all about style.
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This might be a Senecio of some sort.  Or maybe not.   
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A touch of floral beauty.  The garden was not all foliage.
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The garden was meticulous.  Really meticulous. 
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Pottery can supply a splash of color in a foliage garden.  A foliage garden seems disciplined, and restrained.  This can be misleading...
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...restraint in plant selection is not the same as restraint in plant acquisition.  
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Lovely garden.  The emphasis on foliage and unity of style made for a restful mood.  After a long hot day of garden-hopping, we needed it.
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  1. Yes it was a Senecio, S. greyi, but now I guess they're calling it Brachyglottis greyi. Whatever it is I am pretty bummed it's quite crispy at the moment. Turns out it's not so drought tolerant after all.

    "restraint in plant selection is not the same as restraint in plant acquisition"...I'm going to be smiling about that one all day...

    1. That's right, Brachyglotis greyi. Well, that day B. greyi was utter perfection, as was the entire garden.

      Restraint in the former and indulgence in the latter may be the most fun and the wisest!

  2. Great tribute to Loree's garden! She makes plant collecting look stylish. In contrast, I look like a rag-tag hoarder.

    1. There's a problem with being a rag-tag plant hoarder? Who says?

  3. Yay for Saarinen! And big foliage has always been "in" -- at least that's how I like to think about it. Who doesn't love huge leaves? :)

    1. If you live where it is windy, huge leaves don't stay huge for long. (But we still love them.)

  4. I think that senecio has moved on to a new name, Brachyglottis greyi. Maybe it's moved on again, but that's what I know it by. I saw it used in municipal plantings in London once! Good design is timeless, and there's much of MCM that will continue to inspire. There's a book in here somewhere, on the relevance of MCM-inspired gardens...esp. with the drought, I think strong design aka Palm Springs Style, rather than "cottage" type gardens will win out.

    1. What's going to win out in the end here is asphalt. :( The MCM garden's roots as I read goes back to the formality of Andre le Notre.

  5. Interesting take on Loree's garden, backed up by photos that verge on sublime.

    1. Most of the pix didn't really do the beautiful place justice. I was getting tired by then and it was HOT.

  6. Interesting takes...not all about style but the foliage. Yet this is a nice style, and unlike most MCM gardens done now (trying to be linear, simple, but no clue on plantsmanship), this puts plantsmanship center court.

    Like you say, it's a better look at the garden than the original MCM gardens usually were. No matter midwest, southwest or west coast. A fun book needs to be writte, for sure!

    1. One of the great pleasures was seeing so many different plants beautifully grown, none neglected. It makes for such a happy garden.

  7. I think 'meticulous' is one of the best words to describe Loree's garden. Everything was so perfect, it felt like a super cool movie set with lots of stabby plants.


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