The Silver Garden grows under glass in Longwood Gardens, Pierre DuPont’s historic 11,000 acre pleasure gardens in Pennsylvania. It is a celebration of grey, silver and blue foliaged plants procured from many far places around the world, it nevertheless thriving here in its specialized atmosphere, protected from winter snows and summer’s steamy humidity. Once the plants were all assembled, understanding emerged of the origins of “silver” coloration: succulents are clothed in waxy, pearly skins; cactus, their silvery thorns and armaments, and the other wooly or hairy sheaths embellish most of these plants. Therefore the collection is seen to be a good representation of the globe’s mild Mediterranean climates.

 

In order to give the assorted plant groupings some organization, the plants were in some cases massed, creating sloping landforms, and in other cases used alone as striking specimens. The arrangement is punctuated by massive black rock outcroppings and threaded through by the sinuous patterns of a slate “creekbed” walkway – as if washed by flash flood waters.

 

It is said, the creation may well be the only desert existing on the east coast.

 

30,000 sq.ft., 2-year project, completed 1988

© 2015 by Isabelle Greene & Associates. 

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