Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"Just a mini-garden"

Susan Whiteley says, "It's just a mini-garden," when asked to explain how she thinks of designing her seasonal containers. Just, just. How come mine never look like hers? How much time do you have?

"Just a mini-garden"

Susan Whiteley says, "It's just a mini-garden," when asked to explain how she thinks of designing her seasonal containers. Just, just. How come mine never look like hers? How much time do you have? 

Susan, a member of the Four Counties Garden Club for the last decade and owner of Garden Views, a garden design and installation business in Newtown Square, created a slew of holiday containers for our interview today. They were really interesting.

One of my favorites looked quite simple - except I just never think of designs like that, which is why I get paid to write about people who do rather than do what they do! This one starts with a plastic pot from Home Depot. Now I know plastic has a certain je-ne-sais-quoi reputation, and I don't mean that in a good way, but these pots are fabulous.

Susan filled it with a 'Fat Albert' Colorado blue spruce, which she decorated with long cinnamon sticks tied with wired ribbon, copper-colored Christmas balls with both shiny and matte finish, and the tiniest white lights ever.

All around the base of the tree she used eucalyptus, which hangs down and will dry nicely. The color scheme is very blue-gray and coppery. Wow. "It's not complicated," Susan says, although the tree - meant to be used as an indoor Christmas tree, then planted outside - is very heavy and thus, not easy to move around the property, as Susan is fond of doing.

I'll be posting more about her great container designs and tips. Meanwhile, that phrase - "just a mini-garden" - is tormenting me. If only.

Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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