Christena Bender is a garden designer at The Good Earth Designs, where she has been designing beautiful gardens in Atlanta for more than 5 years. She’s worked with celebrity designers such as Chip Wade on projects such as the 2015 Atlanta Decorators’ Show House and Elbow Room on HGTV. We were so impressed with her work at the Show House that we asked her to be a guest blogger.
When it comes to making a first impression, your home’s entry makes more of an impact than you can imagine.
As an interior designer, Bridgette Boylan knew her home was in need of new plantings to showcase the entrances. After meeting with her and seeing her home, I knew that larger, more elegant planters were essential for showcasing the botanical presentation I had in mind.
Atlanta’s summers are unforgiving – hot and humid with daytime temperatures averaging 90° – so we needed hardy plants to ensure that they lasted the season.
For the side entrance, I chose Frontgate’s Athens Urn, a neoclassical urn with a wide planting area. We brought in gardenia radicans for their amazing fragrance and “kaleidoscope” abelia for its multi-colored foliage. The existing mature crape myrtle became the focal point in this intimate area, and the urns were a perfect complement.
At the front door, we wanted to make a splash. The dipladenia plant produces stunning bright red flowers all summer long. Purple fan flowers are superb in the hot Georgia summers (we’re in the USDA hardiness zone 7b/8a) and will flower non-stop, providing a pop of color against white vinca, as it cascades down the sides of the urn.
Accent plants add lasting depth and interest. I often use creeping Jenny, with its bright chartreuse color, around boulders or as ground cover (though it can be a bit invasive). A stark contrast is the purple heart, intense purple foliage that springs forth pink flowers as it matures through the season. For added drama, silver falls dichondra will drape over the sides adding even more depth and dimension. Lastly, creeping Charlie has a pleasant fragrance, and its green and white foliage is simply adorable.
The end result is simply stunning, transforming two keys areas into grand entrances worthy of Bridgette Boylan’s elegant home.
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