Friday, July 23, 2021

Sherman Gardens' greenHOUSE

As mentioned in my last post, Sherman Library & Gardens has a special exhibit running until mid-September.  While the primary purpose of my visit last Saturday was to attend the Plant-o-rama sale, my secondary objective was to check out the greenHOUSE exhibit, which features "rooms" inserted into garden settings.


First up is the Bedroom.

The bed and its wood canopy frame sits adjacent to the the garden's large lath shade house.  (Sherman's lath house was the inspiration for my garden's own much smaller structure.)

View from the foot of the bed

There wasn't a list of the plants that made up this creation but my guess is that the mix includes: Ipomoea barbatas (sweet potato vine), tuberous Begonias, Centranthus ruber, Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame', and red-flowered Arctotis.  I thought the maroon foliage plant could be an Alternanthera like 'Brazilian Red Hots' but I'm not at all confident of that.

The Formal Dining Room was perhaps the most elaborate display.

Notice the utensils used in the table settings!  Large terracotta pots planted with boxwood shrubs served as chairs.

View of the table from the other end.  A friend identified the shrub with the golden foliage for me earlier - I think it's Ligustrum sinense 'Sunshine' but my memory isn't entirely reliable.  I believe the purple-leaved plants are basil. 

I recognized the plants included in the centerpiece as tuberous Begonias,  Physalis (tomatillos), Echinacea (coneflowers) and Tropaeolum majus (nasturtiums)

Edibles planted behind the dining table included artichokes and corn

The 3-piece Lavatory was spread out within what's generally known as the Sun Garden.

The mirror-topped sink was very popular with visitors taking photos.  I picked a vantage point that captured a spectacular Tibouchina heteromalla in lieu of my face.  Other plants surrounding the sink included Delphinium, Digitalis purpurea, an Eryngium of some kind, and Senecio candicans 'Angel Wings'.

More views of the Tibouchina.  I grew T. urvilleana in my former garden but it was rangy.  There were 2 in my current garden when we moved in but one after the other died out during our earlier drought.  I adore T. heteromalla but I can't justify planting it in my garden given the water it requires.

Another important lavatory piece sits in the middle of the garden's pond, largely blocking garden mascot, Sherman the otter, in the background.  The little girl viewing the toilet on the right looked perplexed.

Another view, showing off the mossy toilet paper.  Plants in this area included Acanthus, Cleome, Delphinium, Digitalis, and water lilies of some kind. 

The nearby tub included more water plants

I almost missed the Music Chamber, tucked into a corner within the Shade Garden.

The moss-covered piano is surrounded by ferns, including small and large-leaved Adiantum (maidenhair ferns) and Platycerium (stag horn ferns), as well as a variety of Begonias

Close up of the Begonias

The Parlor was low-key but popular with families taking photos.

I never got a good enough look at the flowers planted in the drawers of the fuchsia-colored side tables to identify them

The last room was the Study, located next to the Succulent Garden.

Moss and small succulents were the main elements used to dress the space, including the books on the shelves

If it'd been up to me, I think I'd have planted a spiky Agave in the seat of that chair but then that might have posed safety concerns

The exhibit was inventive and fun.  It reminded me of an exhibit put on in early 2020 at RHS Wisley in the UK.  Referred to alternatively as The Monstera Mansion or the Giant Houseplant Takeover, it featured tender plants occupying rooms within Wisley's glasshouse.  It was open from late January through March 1, 2020, just as the pandemic was gaining steam.  I'd have loved to attend in person but was consigned to virtual tours via various online publications.  Each featured somewhat different photos but, if you didn't get a see the exhibit in one way or another, you can find links to a few sources here, here, and here.

Enjoy your weekend however you may be spending it!


All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

23 comments:

  1. What a fun exhibit! The music room with those amazing begonias was my favorite. Have a great weekend, Kris.

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    1. I have a fondness for Rex Begonias too. I almost bought another yesterday just because...

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  2. Thanks for the VERY fun/funny tour. Truly creative.

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  3. This is fabulous! So inventive and fun. I was also enamored with the RHS photos. I would absolutely love to visit in person in the future. Currently, CDC advised to avoid travel to the United Kingdom. Again. Maybe by next spring.

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    1. Regrettably, I think the Wisley Monstera Mansion exhibit closed last year, although they no doubt have some other fabulous exhibit to see.

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  4. This is gorgeous and I am actually taking all kinds of ideas from this post! I have an old wooden chair that I've been contemplating to cover in moss and other plants. Will see how that works.

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    1. I think that sounds like fun, Angie. As I rarely sit in any of my garden chairs or benches, I should probably consider doing that myself ;)

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  5. Your photos capture this exhibit! Sherman’s 5 member horticultural team, including Erin, Carol, Joe, Dawn, and Tim as well as Eddie, who takes care of maintenance and events did all the work regarding this exhibit. They purchased many of the items on Craig’s list, including the piano, couch, end tables. They also constructed from scratch the bed canopy, the large arm chair of the Study/Library as well as the oversized dining table with the centered planter.
    Yes, it is Ligustrum ‘Sunshine’ around the dining room. I loved how they set the table using terra cotta drainage plates and gardening hand tools as utensils. They also glued inexpensive glassware to candlestick holders to make the elegant crystal glassware.
    The Parlor couch was a throw-away find, and they covered it with grass sod. The plants in the drawer are Laurentia ‘Fizz N Pop Pretty in Pink’.
    I enjoyed the Monstera Mansion links! One day, I hope to visit RHS Wisely Garden!

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    1. Thanks for adding the details regarding the greenHOUSE exhibit, Kay. I knew you'd have the scoop!

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  6. A surprise around every corner, which is so much fun! Of course the toilet made me laugh...I would half expect them to have something growing out of the bowl - I'm such a kid when it comes to stuff like that ;)

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    1. Good point, Margaret. The toilet bowl and the study chair were missed planting opportunities!

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    1. It was. I appreciated how they carried a lot of the colors and the plants from area to area.

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  8. I am sure it was very enjoyable to visit a quirky place like this!

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    1. Sherman Gardens changes out its exhibits regularly and always offers something new to see. You might appreciate the "fancy pigeons" shown in my July 21st post on their plant sale.

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  9. Hmm... I'm just not sure what to think. I didn't care for the bedroom, dining room or bathroom at all. That toilet was just, well, gross. I did love the music room and parlor though. Goof for them for trying something different.

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    1. You had much the same reaction to the "lavatory" as the friend I toured the garden with, Loree. I thought the sink portion of the area came off well - it was very popular with visitors anyway - but I can't believe that Sherman the otter was very happy with the toilet in his pond.

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  10. Ah, Kris! I'd heard about Sherman's latest but didn't think I'd have time to make it out that way. Thanks for the photo tour!

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  11. I enjoyed the exhibit but the birds kind of ruined it for me. It was a pretty mild day but still very hot inside and the birds were barely moving in their cage. I hope they won't be kept in there when the weather heats up this week. It seems really dated to consider living birds as part of an exhibit like this.

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    1. I too hope the pigeons are being well cared for.

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