I think green, like a steady boyfriend, is often taken for granted in a garden. It’s the most widespread color—and expressed in a range of hues—in an outdoor environment. The luminescence of leaves that have a way of attracting a single ray of light even on a gray day and their nuanced textures that beg for you to touch them. A cluster of leaves makes a fine arrangement, and green flowers are in a class of their own.
“Some may see green leaves and stems as the supporting cast of actors, playing second fiddle to the marquee-grabbing leading ladies of summer stock. The blowsy peonies, perfumed floribundas, slender delphiniums, and robust dahlias—we love them all, but the loyal green of foliage comes first in my garden book.
There is no aspect of my garden that teases me more with its endless possibilities than the abundant shades and shapes of green. The outline, the main frame, the chassis, and the backbone, green is the foundation of my garden. Included are walls of hornbeam that define areas and create rooms, arborvitae towers that frame and protect one rose garden, and a pear allée that acts as a tunnel between the house and the path to the pool. Columns of yew flank a garden ornament, and in other parts of the garden more yew columns stand by a moss-covered table surrounded by and topped by plants and an eighteenth-century dolphin sculpture. Belgian fence–espaliered apple trees create a trellis wall around the rose garden, while a new living willow folly shows great promise, its branches being snipped and woven to create something far less formal and perhaps a little mad.