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3 views of the jewel box garden at Brandywine Cottage

by Timber Press on December 8, 2013

in Design, Gardening

Early April in the jewel box garden at Brandywine Cottage. All photos by Rob Cardillo.

David Culp achieves year-round visual interest in the gardens at Brandywine Cottage, his home in Pennsylvania. The jewel box garden, tucked in near the house, is a good example. Here, David shares his approach to creating a layered garden in this spot.

Late April. Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ is featured in all three views; it is one of our first woody plants to show color in the fall.

Being close to the house and on the main path leading to the garden, the jewel box garden holds my interest twelve months of the year, with flowers or foliage or bark or all three, depending on the season. In the late winter and springtime, snowdrops, double hellebores, trilliums, Siberian squill (Scilla species), dogtooth violets (Erythronium species), and other treasures, which might be lost in other areas of the garden, are easy to see and appreciate in this location.

Select tender plants—including coleus, a Cordyline specimen, and a chartreuse-leaved Boston fern, Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Rita’s Gold’—provide more color once the spring flowers are finished. Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’, a deciduous shrub in the dogwood family, is planted along both sides of the path, and its amber-colored twigs in winter look stunning against the backdrop of the white house. I underplant these shrubs with complementary apricot- and yellowflowered hellebores, and for year-round interest I have used black mondo grass as well as two variegated aucubas. Container plantings in this bed are changed six times a year, and provide color and interest in all seasons.

Late September. The evergreen Aucuba japonica and the tracery of the Hydrangea petiolaris branches on the barn wall also provide winter interest.


Click image below to see inside this book:

Offers the perfect blend of inspiration and practical advice. Readers will come away with plenty of ideas and guidance to create their own layered, four-season gardens wherever they live.—American Gardener

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 plant pots January 10, 2017 at 1:38 am

So beautiful pictures,thanks for your sharing.

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