Green gardening: Taking cues from French ornamental farms – Palm Beach Daily News

Gardening Mag

Green gardening: Taking cues from French ornamental farms – Palm Beach Daily News


Dune sunflowers provide a bright yellow pop. It makes a perfect specimen in any sunny spot, tolerating drought, wind, sand, salt,
The coffee plant bears bright red berries.
Cocoplum hedges add depth to the landscape via the variegated leaves, from green to orange to red.
A cloudless sulphur caterpillar feasts on a Bahama senna plant.
Sea lavender with its long, soft green leaves and clusters of white flowers.
Deep veins on wild coffee leaves add interest to the yard.

The Society of the Four Arts, in conjunction with the Garden Club of Palm Beach, recently hosted P. Allen Smith’s interesting and informative lecture about his Moss Mountain Farm in Arkansas.

This ferme ornée, or ornamental farm, has its roots in the natural landscapes of the English era of Capability Brown, when the formal vernacular of the William and Mary period was replaced with the curvilinear features of the pastoral movement. Quite simply, the essence of ferme ornée is the marriage of functionality and beauty: combining farming techniques of vegetable and livestock production with the beauty of pastoral gardens.

Smith personally retraced the steps of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson when they explored the “must-see” English gardens of the 1780s. Jefferson was the
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