Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's not just about the plants ... or the sculpture

 This is Henry Moore's "Oval with Points."

We encountered a bit of serendipity last summer when we visited the Denver Botanic Gardens. It just happened that the public garden was hosting "Moore in the Gardens," an exhibition of the sculpture of Henry Moore, when we were there in August. Talk about a two-fer -- we went there to see the plants and got to see amazing sculpture, too.

Apparently, we weren't the only ones who were impressed. Westword recently named the "Moore in the Gardens" event the best sculpture show in Denver.

I love visiting public gardens whether or not there are important art pieces there. Public gardens provide a major dose of inspiration. Even though the ideas may be on a grand scale, they often can be adapted for smaller, home gardens. And this visit was no exception.

Classic (albeit huge) terra cotta pots fronting symmetrical planting beds. Repetition is power!

Tall cactus and succulents in containers that are placed in water. Typically dry garden plants contrast with a wet environment.

More succulents, this time in huge, shallow metal bowls. Bigger, fewer containers. Stunning. 

The designers used one of my favorite tropical annuals (that strip of deep maroon in the back) in a bed that also includes cardoon, squash and basil. It's a warm-climate tapestry.

Yes, more big containers. Made of hypertufa, they're on the rustic side, but still beautiful, and perfect for plants they demand good drainage.

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