Plant Your Dream Garden

Down and dirty advice for making yours come alive—in full color

| April/May 1999

  • A dream garden delights in the brilliant complements of buttery nasturtium, ripe orange squash, and dramatic sage ‘Tricolor’.
  • Fast-growing annual vines such as morning glory will arch high along a trellis.
  • Kale snuggles around a young basil, ­providing a contrast of color and texture.
  • No row plantings for these herbs! Kale, nasturtium, parsley, and ore­gano look­ ­positive­ly exotic when freely ­planted.
  • Great looks in the garden need not depend on blooms and bright colors, as this foliage ­composition ­demonstrates.
  • When the poppies have dropped their petals, dill blossoms offer a lacy ­background to the poppy’s remaining seed heads.
  • A dream garden delights in the brilliant complements of buttery nasturtium, ripe orange squash, and dramatic sage ‘Tricolor’.
  • 1 BRONZE: Red globe amaranth, ‘Scarlet Bees’ runner bean, cabbage, garden sage ‘Purpurescens’, poppy ‘Danebrog’, red-leaved lettuce, tomato, bronze fennel, basil ‘Red Rubin’, garden sage ‘Tricolor’, perilla, eggplant, chard ‘Ruby’, mustard ‘Osaka Red’, beets 2 SILVER: Cottage pinks, Artemisia canescens, lavender, milk thistle, clary sage, lemon mint, pinks, cottage pinks, opium poppy, sweet Annie, artichoke, rue, horehound, chives, artemisia ‘Powis Castle’, oregano, lavender-cotton, lamb’s-ears ‘Silver Carpet’, garden sage ‘Berggarten’, savory 3 Center, ­potted ­succulents; corners, ­potted ­lavender-­cotton; strawberries 4 CHARTREUSE: Parsley, orange zinnias, purple verbena, lettuce, Santolina virens, lemongrass, tomato, golden feverfew, basil, dill, corn, Swiss chard ‘Rainbow’, lemon thyme, peppers, Texas sage ‘Lady in Red’, yellow nasturtium, summer squash (bush form), marigold ‘Lemon Gem’ 5 VARIEGATED: Nasturtium ‘Alaska’, basil ‘Spicy Globe’, variegated thyme, ­garden sage ‘Icterina’, Cuban oregano, variegated rue, angelica, yucca ‘Golden Sword’, Iris pallida ‘Variegata’, romaine lettuce, variegated horseradish, lion’s-ear, nutmeg-scented pelargonium, society garlic ‘Silver Queen’, pelargonium ‘Atomic Snowflake’, sweet potato vine ‘Tricolor’
  • A dream garden delights in the brilliant complements of buttery nasturtium, ripe orange squash, and dramatic sage ‘Tricolor’.

• Design Plans: Plants For A Dream Garden

I believe in making dreams a reality—at least in the garden. I'm never afraid to tackle a project. I've taken a sledghammer to a sidewalk, dug up ancien concrete foundations for clothesline poles, stripped hundreds of yards of sod, spread thousands of pounds of compost and manure, and hauled tons of bricks and flagstones.

Adapt my plan however you like. You'll notice that here are no rows of plants in my garden. If you're used to planting your basil, eggplants, and lettuce in rows, give it up. Your like will be better.

Other people might accept a boring patch of lawn with some tiny flowerbeds surrounding it, but I say rip it up and create a real garden full of herbs, edibles, and ornamentals.

I’m dangerous. Friends should never ask for my help unless they mean it. When Susan and Ronda asked for my advice on what to do with the boring strip of grass in front of their house, little did they know that they were in for a complete change of life. They used to water and mow—now they garden. We turned that tired turf into an herbal paradise that endlessly fascinates the new gardeners and entertains visitors, neighbors, and passersby.

I’m out to do the same for you. Give me an inch, and I’ll take the rest of your yard. This plan is based on my own herb and edible garden. If you have an area as small as 10 by 10 feet, I challenge you to turn it into a brand-new garden. Susan and Ronda’s garden is about 12 by 30 feet, but any square or rectangular area can be adapted to my design.



September 12-13, 2019
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