One of the things I enjoy most about garden tours and visiting botanical gardens is looking for intriguing plant combinations. Occasionally you see two plants together that absolutely pop. They make make both plants look better and more interesting. I saw this plant combination of Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ and an unknown orange lily together in Minneapolis and it still stands out in my mind as a stunning plant combination.
I was very fortunate to have the privilege to present at the 2016 EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival. It was during this weekend that I came across this plant combination at EPCOT. I stopped, in the pouring rain, and took several photos as Mike and I hurried it find lunch.
Later in the day the talented Ms. Lisa Orgler was presenting on garden design just a stage away. I sat in on her session and was mesmerized by her description of texture in the garden and the process for creating tantalizing plant combinations. She focused on the importance of combining fine textures with coarse textures. My mind went immediately to the planting just outside the building with the lomandra and bromeliads. Now I understand why this had so much visual impact.
Even as Lisa was speaking I was thinking of my own garden. I could pinpoint my fine textured plants as well as my coarse textured plants, but where did I combine them? This was one of those “ahh- hah” moments for me.
After Lisa was finished Mike and I took some time to walk through EPCOT and admire the topiaries while having a drink. My mind was already spinning as I thought about the potential plant combinations. It’s hard to believe, but almost a year ago to the day I wrote this piece on our garden renovation where I was removing all of the odds and ends plants from a bed and replacing it with lomandra ‘Breeze’. If only I would have known then about the garden renovation that was to come!
I waited several weeks, but it was all I could do. While visiting the Winter Garden Spring Fever event I came across this lovely striped bromeliad. It was unlabeled, but a good deal at just $10. When I got home I set in in among the lomandra plants. The texture combination was perfect but the bromeliad started to show some sun burning of the leaves after a couple of weeks.
Shortly thereafter I was at a nearby Lowes and was stunned to see this Imperialis Bromeliad, Alcantarea imperialis, for sale. Done and done. It was probably one of the most expensive plants I’ve purchased from a box store, but it was a really good deal.
I needed to move the lomandras around, but it is now planted in the center of this bed. What do you think? Does it start to recreate the beautiful combination that Disney’s horticulture team put together?