Plant a Pocket Garden
This spring, add a touch of green to garden paths, patios, steps and walls
Pillows, throws, and comfy-looking couches are often used to dress up a stark interior and make it more inviting. Outdoors, the same effect can be achieved by inserting clusters of colorful foliage and flowers in large expanses of paving, which often look austere. These pocket gardens can be almost any shape and size, as long as they accomplish the desired effect of softening the hardscape and adding pleasing texture and color to the design. My favorite examples use striking combinations of textures and colors — or add a touch of green to unusual places, such as a stone wall.
This unique garden planted on a sloping lot incorporates a series of pocket gardens to soften the descending stone steps. Boxwoods provide the perfect shape and form.
At the bottom of the slope, red leaf cannas and green euphorbia create a striking focal point.
Plants can be tucked almost anywhere, as long as there’s soil and water available. Here, puffy heather, heath, and thyme plants grow between the boulders and stone steps.
What a fun surprise to find plants growing out of a stone wall. Succulents are perfectly suited for the job.
Concrete steps can seem unwelcoming, but not the ones shown here. Fescue, thyme, and other low-growing plants soften their lines, and add appealing color and texture.
Symmetrical plantings of multi-trunk olive trees and Mexican feather grass add drama to a contemporary entry.
Here’s another way to create a pocket garden using succulents: this time, the plants are clustered around a large stone “water tower” that looks like the perfect drinking fountain for birds.
Pockets of grasses, succulents, and colorful New Zealand flax make a charming entry garden.
A series of cutouts filled with dramatic rushes soften a stark wall.