Last year around this time, some of my family and I had the chance to visit Virginia Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills. Although we had never heard of the place before, its not too far away from Glendale, tucked into one of the canyons just up from Beverly Drive. Mrs. Robinson was the heiress to the JW Robinson department store fortune, and she lived the high life. Touring around the beautiful grounds, there was no doubt the place was built for parties. From the stories the docent told us, I doubt if anyone in her circle of friends ever had a day job. It must have been fun, but I think it would have gotten boring after awhile.
Well, the reason I wanted to write about our little garden tour is because its planting time just about everywhere. There are public gardens all over the country. Take some time over the next couple of weeks and visit one. They usually have some interesting and unusual plant you’ve never seen before. Or maybe you’ll come upon an interesting design. If you see something you like, write the name down, or draw a sketch of the layout.
At Robinson Gardens, I found this little urn of succulents interesting:
Then, when you get home, do a little research on line about the plants you liked, then track them down. There are lots of on-line resources today, and two that I like are Bluestone Perennials and Whiteflower Farms.
Here’s how I interpreted the urn of succulents above for my own garden:
The gray and black scheme worked great at Robinson Gardens, but I’m a color person, so I took the concept I saw, came home and made it my own. Now, I know not everyone is going to be that ambitious. No problem. Just make a trip to Lowes or Home Depot, or better yet, a local independent nursery. It’s always nice to help the little guy, and right about now, they really need the help.
Get a few market packs, get them into the ground with a little fertilizer, and then look forward to a summer of brilliant color. Or maybe the cool monochrome of the urn above from the Robinson Gardens might be just the thing for you. Either way, try something new and have fun.