Big Leaf Room

I have been laying out garden rooms and seasonal areas in my garden for twelve years now, but it has always been something developed organically rather than being randomly imposed. For example, when we removed a modern garage that was built across the face of the1840’s farmhouse, we were left with an 8’ foot drop right by the front door which presented both a dangerous situation and a great opportunity! Hiring a stone mason and watching him slowly build a massive 25’ x 8’ foot tall dry stone retaining wall was incredibly exciting and changed the possibilities of the spaces the new wall defined.  Now covered in lichen and moss the wall looks like it has always been part of the place. I named the area below it The Big Leaf Room. It wasn’t designed with a clear vision or specific idea, but after planting several large leaf plants such as Petasites Japonicus- butterbur,  Astilibioides tabularis, and Rhuem palmatum – ornamental Rhubarb, Kirengeshoma palmata and Rodgersia aesculifolia that did so well in the cool shady area, a theme started to emerge and I ran with it. I have been attracted to plants for their foliage rather than flowers for a while and now I have an area to experiment with some real giants! When your 6’-6” it’s nice to not have to bend down and stare at a plant, but to look at a plant head on!

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7 Responses to Big Leaf Room

  1. Deirdre says:

    I love it! A low spot like that is perfect for things with big leaves since they usually want moisture.

    And bravo on taking out the garage. Garages in front of houses is one of my pet peeves. It’s not like they’re decorative. The wall is beautiful.

    • Don Statham says:

      Hi Deirdre- the area is very wet- and there is just morning light. The sumac tiger eyes keeps it lovely color chartreuse leaves all summer. I have seen this plant get fried when it’s planted in full sun.

  2. Deborah B says:

    I’ve always admired your lovely house. It’s interesting to see the house you started with. Nice update.

  3. Laurrie says:

    Your dramatic foliage works so well particularly because you have the mass of the beautiful 8 foot stone wall to anchor it all. I like the boldness, and I like that the space has straight lines for borders rather than any attempt to make it curvy and “soft”. I love the greenery, the big leaves and the lines of a classic looking garden. And what an improvement with the garage gone and the house restored!

  4. mkriegh says:

    How wonderful. Your gardens really are an inspiration.

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