This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

June 21, 2015

Framing the cannas and haworthias with rocks

This tiny area of my garden is very important, as it's right near the patio door. And that means that, in addition to getting the type of afternoon shade that cannas require here, it's also an area that has a very hot microclimate. And that means that just about everything that I've tried to plant at the base of the cannas has been killed by the intense summer heat. And that's made the base of the cannas look unsightly as usually all that's been there is dirt and dying plants.

But the haworthias are doing fine there (they're the ones that kind'a look like aloes) so I've added in more and I've also added in the grey rocks which create a frame for the cannas and a backdrop for the haworthias. The brown rock in the foreground is more of an eye-catcher, as it's petrified wood, but the grey rocks are just background rocks.

What I'm trying to do here is to balance the large scale of the cannas with the small scale of the haworthias. When your eye goes to the haworthias I don't want you to be seeing just some dirt at the base of the cannas. That's the concept of a frame - telling your eye that there is a defined edge. So now the haworthias, instead of being in the same planting bed visually as the cannas are in their own frame.

I'm experimenting mostly, but I am liking this look. It should look better once the other plants grow in some more.
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