My goal when I put plants together is to take their styling from ordinary to the more extraordinary. It sounds cliché I know but the fact of the matter is I much prefer my surroundings to look like, in the words of garden author Thomas Hobbs, a gallery instead of a garage sale. Beauty in my eyes is sophisticated, at times sleek, and at times wild. If I can at all create something that looks as if the hand of a man or woman had nothing to do with its arrangement then I've done my best to achieve something that could be considered truly stylish. In other words, everything to my eye is in its right place. Here is one such instance where I wanted to created something that had a somewhat wild but slick look. I love Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear'. If you can find it get it. Never before have I seen such cool silver sheen. It's character is bold, emphatic, and liquid. It looks like Phormium commonly known as Flax but is much cooler and chic.
To punch up the spear-like form of the Astelia I like to mix in the deep merlot of Aeonium arboretum 'Zwartkop' rosettes which some refer to as the black rose. Tying this all together is the leafy rambling of Plectranthus 'Zulu Wonder' which gives the semi-rigidity and firm form of both the Astelia and Aeonium a softer, wilder, more organic feel. I mean come on...foliage that is textural, verdant green on the surface, grape punch purple both on the flip side and its stems. That's too good! The look is as if the seeds of these plants just randomly fell and sprouted where the wind carried them, fashioning a chic silver sexiness.