Gardens, whether they are in Aspen or at home, provide energy and calmness. A well-crafted garden transforms an outdoor space into a livable sanctuary; somewhere you can go to unwind and truly “get outside.”
The Gardens at The Nell are created and kept by Arabella Beavers, our head gardener. We recently sat down with her to learn about how our guests and admirers can plant gorgeous gardens at home. Here is her expert advice on planting a garden worthy of The Nell.
The Five Components of a Garden
Before planting a garden at home, identify and plan these five complementary components:
This purposeful combination of plants and flowers gives gardens their diversity and complexity. Here are Arabella’s favorites for each component.
For Color – Columbines
Columbines are perennial plants that come in an array of colors. There are 65+ species that grow well at high altitudes. (Currently, the Colorado Columbines are experiencing a second bloom in our perennial garden!)
For Bloom – Daisies
Daisies are splendid and bloom all summer long.
For Green – Monarda
Monarda (also known as bee balm) feeds bees and encourages hummingbirds in your garden. Its underlying plant is full and adds green to your gardens.
For Movement – Ornamental Grass
Ornamental grass is easy to maintain and provides movement, which emits energy in your outdoor space.
For Fragrance – Lavender
Lavender is a wonderful way to bring fragrance into your garden.
All the plants and flowers mentioned above have one thing in common. According to Arabella, “They’re all resilient.”
Height of Garden
The biggest mistake Arabella sees in gardens throughout the world is improper height. It’s important to make sure your plants are low in the front and have middle and back tiers. For example, you may purchase daisies this summer that are four inches, but within one year they grow to 14 inches. Knowing how tall each plant is going to be will make sure you don’t hide or block other plants in your garden.
This is called the tier technique and makes any garden more aesthetically pleasing.
Indoor Plants & Gardens
For those living without access to large grounds, Arabella recommends succulents. Succulents are wonderful, and there are all types of succulents– as well as containers to fit seamlessly into your home’s decor.
They are also architectural. You can easily mix them with aloe, hens and chickens, deep reds, and burgundies.
Succulents need a very small amount of tending to; they survive the long weekend away. If you have an arid garden or one without much soil, these unique accents are perfect.
The Gardens at The Nell
At The Nell, there are six gardens for your enjoyment, the newest being our living wall displayed in the courtyard. To learn more about the Gardens at The Nell or gardens in your own home, take a Nell Gardens tour with Arabella. Find out where she gets her inspiration for planting each summer and learn from the best in Aspen. She is an important part of the bright summer experience at The Nell.