With those spruces echoing the porch posts in such an interesting way, you wouldn’t really want anything here except a plant that will cover the ground and disappear, i.e. pachysandra.
That red color could not be better in front of this little green Greek Revival house. And underneath the impatience is nothing but a sheet of ivy,another uncool plant that works. The reddish trumpet vine, as you can imagine, is spectacular when it blooms.
Here’s another example. I like everything about the way this house is appointed, even the neatly trimmed yew hedge behind the fence, which in theory I would consider too short to be interesting. But I love the way it rides just a few inches above the fence here.
The old-fashioned, high-contrast planting–Dutchman’s pipe, neatly trimmed yews and brilliant red geraniums–against the white house, I find oddly dream-like. A dream of a grandmother’s house, even though the people who live here are a very interesting couple around my age.
One final example: Undermounted beneath the magnificent dogwood in the photo below is goutweed! Invasive scourge of many gardens, but originally brought here on the boat, of course, because it’s such a good ground-cover. I’m assuming the people who live here keep it check by mowing. And it looks dandy.
In fact, these places all look great because they are not fussy and not stingy. They are all about a very few ordinary plants used in such masses that they become interesting.
Reader, give it up. Neither your yard nor mine will ever look so nice in such an uncomplicated way, I am willing to bet. If you have somehow found yourself here at Garden Rant, you are probably much too busy stuffing your little scrap of earth with unusual plants ever to achieve such simple chic.