Big, Leafy Drama

If you are anything like me, you are just dying to say, with conviction, "spring is here." 

We've had so many false starts in NYC  this year. Everything seemed to be going so well, with February feeling positively balmy - so warm, in fact, that on a mid-February visit to a client's terrace I saw that last season's Gardenias - not even close to hardy in our zone - were still alive. And the star jasmine? Looking positively verdant. A first in my gardening career. But that was before the mid-March snow and freezing weather. And before, with my tail between my legs, I hopped a flight to Florida where I could drown my sorrows in seas of big green foliage.

Four Arts Botanical Gardens

I indulged in the landscape immediately, wandering the sand trails of the Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge, and then finding my way to the tamer, yet no less glorious Four Arts Botanical Gardens. And there I basked in all that big, leafy drama, feeling a little jealous of the proportions of it all, wishing that every once in a while I had something a little meatier to stick my green thumbs into, a northern equivalent to that mammoth Philodendron that was scaling the rough bark of a native tree. 

Photos, top left and two below, Four Arts Botanical Gardens.

And then I remembered. The little jewel box patio in an UES townhouse we are installing this spring, with palms and ferns infinitum, touches of Chinoiserie and faux bamboo furniture. I cannot wait to make that little hardscape of bluestone and wood into a lush oasis of soft fronds and ferns cascading from wall mounted planters and springing from each corner.

And then there is that June wedding, in a raw industrial space, just begging for strong, architectural fronds, that somehow manage to soften the space while staying in keeping with the modern lines of it all. 

While standing there in the sun, I thought of all that, and remembered why I was there. For warmth, of course, but mostly for inspiration, and hope. Because those are what the growth of green things give me.

A centerpiece sample for an upcoming wedding.

A centerpiece sample for an upcoming wedding.

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