The Q&A Archives: Plants and Trees for a Modern Style Garden

Question: We have a brand new modern-style house in south Louisiana (think Frank Lloyd Wright) made of a light terracotta colored brick and a lot of glass. Other than a pond in the front and grass, we have no landscaping. I have been trying to find books with examples of gardens that go with modern style houses, but all of the ones I find use California homes and desert-type plants. We particularly like grays, greens, and purples. Can you recommend some perennial plants/shrubs/trees (or at least a book I can find) that grow well in south Louisiana AND look nice with a modern style house?

Thanks so much!

Answer: Kimberly,

I apologize for this delayed reply to your gardening question and hope it is still helpful to you.

I am not aware of any particular book that give such a landscape perspective but here are some plant suggestions that fit your request.

For grey plants keep in mind that such colors often end up with disease problems in rainy Gulf Coast regions. I would consider trying dusty miller, powis castle artemisia, and perhaps bush germander (Teucrium fruticans). For green there are many options but I think the compact southern magnolia variety 'Little Gem' would be nice as would Bright N' Tight Carolina Cherry Laurel. For purples in bright shade try Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyeranus), and Chinese witchhazel (Burgundy is a good variety). This should be a good start.

Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening year in 2007. Please stop in again soon!

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