Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Lesson and Celebration of LBDs

The little black dress is now known in fashion circles as just the acronym LBD.  I only know this because I happened to be reading a fashion column (why, I'm not sure) and they kept talking about their LBD.  I had no idea what LBD was, but I googled it (what would we do without google search?) and realized they were talking about the little black dress, a simply shaped dress, black of course, usually a cocktail dress.

The LBD can be dressed up or dressed down, depending upon the occasion, with pearls, diamonds, no jewelry, or even a jacket.  I've had a couple of LBDs through the years, and I can attest to the fact that they can be quite versatile.

Is there a LBD of the garden?  I think there is.


In my garden, the leaves have been falling.  Plants that were once full of leaves are going bare.  Other plants have died down, backing away from the cold, sheltering their roots in the warm earth.  Some of the changes are beautiful, while other changes look sad and ugly.


Donna of Gardens Eye View asks us which Seasonal Celebrations we look forward to.  I look forward to seeing the garden dressed in its LBD - the evergreens.  Like a LBD, evergreens are versatile, classic, and appropriate for almost every garden.  They dress up the garden in winter, and can be adorned with berries, blooms, or left plain.  They also look elegant with a jacket of snow.


Evergreens may not be appropriate for all gardens, but for the gardens that have them, they are like the LBD - simple, yet essential.  I love to see the garden attired in its LBD.  When I've planted a new bed, I always include evergreens to adorn the garden area in winter.  So, as the plants die back for winter, I look forward to seeing the evergreens make their appearance known, almost like Cinderella making her grand entrance to the ball.


Beth at PlantPostings asks for Lessons Learned.  Recently, I have become excited about a lesson learned on evergreens.  I've heard that a garden consisting of mostly evergreens would seem dark, and heavy.  But I've been reading a book (I'll do a review on the 20th) about a garden of many evergreens.  I was enchanted by the image of having a garden that depended upon evergreens for beauty instead of blooms, or even a mix of deciduous foliage.  A garden that doesn't wait for the cocktail hour of winter to show off its finer.  A garden dressed up in its LBD all year long.  I realized that I have been using evergreens in my garden, but not to their full potential.


I usually use evergreens to outline beds, or as accent plants.  But the thought of having a bed dominated by evergreens has fueled my imagination, and I am making plans to have an area where the evergreens are the main attraction, not the backbone.  I am looking forward to having at least one section of my garden dressed up in its LBD throughout the entire year.  Of course, I want to add some jewelry to the LBD in certain seasons, and bulbs will be planted in this area, too.  But the main beauty will come from the simple form of the LBD.


An entire area in my garden dressed in its LBD - shapely, classic, and evergreen - is my Lesson Learned, and will be a Seasonal Celebration for years to come.

(Some of the photos are from last winter.)

42 comments:

  1. Great analogy - us men certainly see the value of LBD's, too. And everyone can see the benefit of the garden bones, for adorning with plant jewelry! Great thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad men like LBDs, too! :) I realized that I have been planting the jewelry first, then putting in a few bones for support. But in this area, I want to do the opposite - have the bones there first, with just a small amount of jewelry!

      Delete
  2. I like your comparison of evergreens to LBDs, and as you say, flowers to light up the darker evergreens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do love evergreens, and more and more as I realize how very versatile they really are. I'm looking forward to having this evergreen bed!

      Delete
  3. In my garden, I think the LBD's would be grasses. Evergreens, although I have a few, are just too much of a struggle to keep neat and bagwormless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My bagworms stay to the trees - so far. I hadn't realized they would spread to the evergreens, too! Yikes! I do think grasses can be a bit 'sexy' in the garden, although I haven't added any to my garden yet.

      Delete
  4. dear holley, what a great analogy. every year, when the garden falls apart in between seasons, I wish I just had simple LBDs, so I wouldn't have to practically redesign it each time. But then we wouldn't have as much change and variety and unpredictability. I mostly dressed in black for years, and dressed the garden in pastels, but now I'm ageing (dis)gracefully I wear bright colours (sometimes) and allow the colour orange in the garden! But I can tell you have a Vision, and I look forward to seeing your Evergreen Area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Before, I have always wanted those changes and color in the garden, too. There is not an area in my garden that is not full of bright colors. So I think an area that is mostly evergreen will actually make a good counterpoint in my garden. It will be interesting to see how the areas will be maintained differently, and which I decide I like to maintain the most. Like you, I think it may change as I age.

      Delete
  5. An evergreen area in the garden is always a good idea. It looks quiet, peaceful and is a rest for the eyes, when other parts of the garden in summer are full of bright colours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have just hit upon what I think my garden needs. A rest for the eyes, from all the jumble of color in the other parts of my garden. :)

      Delete
  6. The planting of evergreens is the most valuable lesson I learned from the landscaper that helped me start my garden 2 years ago and I am reaping the benefits now. So I agree with your lesson - you just have to have them for year round interest and beauty. I love the analogy to the LBD. How true that is.

    PS: Holly, your cat! Is she a girl? If so, my Tom says "well hello there!!" (i.e. your cat is BEAUTIFUL!!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor evergreens. They have such an unexciting reputation, but they do really add value to a garden. I'm sorry to disappoint your Tom, but Sphinx is a boy.

      Delete
  7. I have to tell you your LBD evergreens save my sanity during the Winter months. I need that green among all the white of the snow. I think every garden, especially in zones like mine can profit from an LBD. Thanks for your thought in the post today. Jack

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think evergreens are much more important in places that get snow. And so much more beautiful, too, with their forms making patterns in the blanket of white. I just love that look.

      Delete
  8. Agreed. And their value isn't only aesthetic, since birds also appreciate evergreens as a nice protected place to hang out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right! If there were only perennials, the birds would have no where to hide!

      Delete
  9. Beautiful photos :-) I especially love your holly. My parents have a walkway lined with beautiful, lush hollies. They are now overgrown and tower over us like a hedge. Amazing plants :-)

    I also love the little kitty in the picture. Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that look! I have some dwarf burford hollies that are almost 10 years old, and they are finally as high as the roof of my house. That is exactly the look I had wanted to achieve - but now I'm worried I'll have to start trimming them way up there! The thought of getting on a ladder with hedging tools sounds a bit dangerous - for me, at least!

      Delete
  10. I really enjoy evergreens in most gardens. They are such a great place for birds to get food and shelter in winter. In my own garden they fly from the Juniper and Arborvitae to the bird feeder and back all day long. I have been asked to design with all evergreens, not a favorite request, but a bed of evergreens can be a nice addition to a garden. I liked your comparison to the LBD. It really is appropriate going into winter. I just came from PP post and saw your post was up. It was a good LL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw a garden of all evergreens in a magazine once. It was winter when the magazine was published, so of course, I loved it. I looked through the magazine again in the spring, and it didn't hold the same excitement for me. But, I think just a few added bulbs would have made all the difference! I think that's why even in my evergreen area, I plan to include bulbs as the jewelry.

      Delete
  11. I need more evergreens. I really have just one, a big old overgrown Japanese Yew. I just can't figure out what kind to grow or where to put it. When I saw LBDs, I thought of our acronym for sparrows and other non-descrpt small birds - LBJs, or Little Brown Jobbies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When winter comes, it will give you a fresh perspective on your garden. If you need more evergreens, you will be aware of where they need to be added then, I think.

      Delete
  12. Thanks for joining in and I love your LBD. I have been toying with adding more evergreens as they require some things I do not have in my garden as far as soil, but I need to learn more. I have one book but will look forward to what you are learning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love finding a book that gets me excited about creating another area. I never thought I'd be so excited over evergreens, but I wish I could plant them right now! Of course, there's a lot of things to do before planting, so maybe next year I'll be able to.

      Delete
  13. the little black dress in my garden is worn by
    http://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.com/2009/12/little-black-dress-at-peace.html

    I've never had a LBD, but my niece (blonde and beautiful) had a simple linen shift. Drop dead gorgeuos, and she found it at a thrift shop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just loved your little black and white beetle! Very Coco Chanel! I think with LBDs, price doesn't matter - it's the lines that are important. I bet your niece has a good eye for fashion.

      Delete
  14. Wow, great idea! I definitely take the evergreens for granted. There's a huge portion of the year up here in the north when they're the only things interesting in the garden. I need to follow your advice. Thanks for joining in the memes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They really are easy to take for granted, they are so stable and dependable. Yes, that sounds like what I need more of in my garden!

      Delete
  15. Garden LBD's importance cannot be emphasized enough, they are the ones that provide solid structure to a garden :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, and that solid structure is so important when everything else goes dormant.

      Delete
  16. Great thoughts... I love thinking of the EVERGREENS as the LBD of the Garden.... PERFECT... You are SO smart.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I'm wishing I could made a LBD topiary! :)

      Delete
  17. I will now follow your example and refer to my evergreens as the LBDes of the garden. I love it.

    The area off my dining room door is my winter interest garden. Backed by a huge laurel hedge, (more like a LB Muumuu) I have a Cotoneaster lacteus, now sporting a bazillion tiny red berries in dangling clusters, (earrings). I've also got several Nandinas (scarfs) and a 'Sky Pencil' Ilex,(for the size 2). There are many deciduous shrubs too and the branches contrast nicely with the permanence of the LBDes. Looking at this scene is what keeps me sane during the winter months. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved hearing about your winter garden. I think some area like that is so important to keep a gardener's spirits up during the long winter months. I love that you have it off your dining room door, too. haha - Now when I see sky pencil, I'll imagine a tall, thin (size 2) model! :)

      Delete
  18. Evergreens and LBDs are a great analogy. There are many perennials that are evergreen too like hellebores, ferns, hardy cyclamen, etc---they can be LBDs too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. I know a lot of things that are evergreen here, too, that may not be in colder climates, so I guess every garden might have it's own design of LBDs!

      Delete
  19. Love the post on your winter garden - I think my LBD is the grass feature in my front garden. I will join in on the Celebrations and Lessons learned meme.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I need some grasses! Obviously, they are very sexy in the garden! ;)

      Delete
  20. Hi Holley! I smiled reading this post of yours! You are so passionate about gardening that you think of it even when you read a fashion article, and you reinvent your garden on that! Crazy! :-) (brilliant indeed!)
    But the very question here is: do your evergreens take the olive along with their Martini or not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - Yes, obsessed - I mean passionate! :) I believe there are some olive trees hardy enough for zone 8 here, so I say with! :)

      Delete
  21. I need to add more evergreens to my garden especially those that have berries for the birds! Looking forward to reading your book review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have some evergreens, but I would love to see if I could have an area that relied solely upon them. I love a challenge! :)

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...