Hilltop Grand Entrance
The main entrance to a sprawling hilltop house doesn’t hint at the distance ocean view from the other side. All the interest is “presentational”—the house front itself. The brick-floored entry—in proportion with a massive structure, true—feels too large without substantial seasonal containers. Each year, they are a mix of tried-&-true bravura with new exclamations.
- Unusual & appropriately huge standards of dwarf Norway maple flank the entry. The brick-floored entry & cascade of steps calls out for seasonal container plantings on the largest-possible scale. Two wirework pedestal bowls are the backdrop.
- The wirework pedestal bowls are planted with fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) plus a bevy of variegated parlor maples (Abutilon 'Souvenir de Bonn). As seen in late Summer, they soar to five & six feet, making them ten feet high including their wirework pedestals. Given the massive entry topped by the repeating rooflines, nothing smaller would work.
- Ground-level tubs accompany the pedestals. On this side, a huge specimen of variegated Algerian ivy (Hedera algeriensis 'Gloire de Marengo') flows down the steps. At its back, tractor-seat plant (Farfugium giganteum) is skirted by weeping variegated parlor maple (Abutilon megapotamicum 'Variegatum').
- At the other side of the entry, a variegated pink buddleia is showy all season. At its back, a deliriously happy "metallic" elephant ear (Alocasia plumbea 'Metallica Nigra'). At the front, a cascade of white mandevilla (Dipladenia boliviensis) with (who knew?) a stylish volunteer of purple shizo (Perilla frutescens 'Purpurea').
- In full "fluff & flounce," the grand entry is also extraordinarily welcoming.