Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The glorious garden of Elissa Steeves

This post is long over-due, but hopefully worth waiting for.

Back in August, I got a chance to go to Blacksburg Viriginia to speak at the Down and Dirty Gardening Symposium hosted by Virginia Tech. It was a terrific conference, put together by the marvelous Dr. Holly Scroggins, who you hopefully know from the excellent Garden Professors Blog. The symposium was beyond excellent, the talks (aside from my own) were informative and fun, but the real highlight was getting to see the spectacular garden of Elissa Steeves. It was a garden I'd want to have someday. Gorgeous design, a wonderful mix of solemn beauty lightened with exuberant silliness, and a really spectacular selection of plant ranging from the familiar to off-the-charts rare.

Enough talk. Onto pictures.
Best. Agaves. Ever.

Spray painted allium seed heads and I WANT THAT FOUNTAIN!
Backlit bamboo in a container

Hardy begonia, B. grandis, catching the rays of a lowering sun

These brilliantly colored chairs were tucked away in a dark, shaded nook, all the better to show off their brilliant, exuberant colors.
A traditional fairy garden...

...and a very UNtraditional fairy garden.

The glorious Impatiens namchabarwensis. Yes, I got seeds.

I love the way she matches furniture paint colors to plants.

I feel like I should know what this is, but I'm drawing a blank. Lovely backlit, in any case.

Again, furniture colors that MAKE a garden room.

Sempervivums in a boot... taken to a marvelous extreme.

Slightly nontraditional containers. She told me she gets them from a place that sells seconds of plastic bones for anatomy classes. I kind of want to get some too.


  1. Love the pictures... lots of fun and inspiration. I want that impatiens, too. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  2. Great fun! Very good Halloween garden blend in the last ghoulish one! Looking forward to getting to know you personally in a week or so!

  3. your mystery flowers=Tibouchina heteromalla.