Posted by: Brenda Kula | June 30, 2008

Contrast In The Garden


Have you tried mirrors in the garden? (Please excuse the sneakers I had on.)

In fact, we’re getting ready to remodel the bathrooms. And I’m scheming on how I can manage to get those huge 1980s mirrors off the walls and out to the garden without breaking them!


You can’t beat good old sweet potato vine against most anything. But this one goes particularly well with plants in the shade of chartreuse. It always amazes me that the sweet potato vine above starts out green and then turns this deep shade of purple.


Dusty Miller is another good one. It grows and grows. Keep it clipped back, and you will be rewarded with beautiful silver foliage which shines in the moonlight for quite awhile. And it gives any pot or garden lovely contrast. These sedums just set it off. I don’t let mine get leggy. Root power is wasted.



Sago palm with succulents and sedum. Oh, and see the marbles in the Sago palm pot? Helps keep the moisture in on hot days, and looks good to boot. Just layer it on top of the potting soil.

I love passing by this trio of plants on my way to the mailbox. This pot full of color just makes me smile.

And another tip, if you’re wondering what that pole-looking thing is in the far right pot, that’s a solar light. I place them in pots throughout the garden to light up my paths at night.

And for those of you interested, guess what’s now in a bookstore near you?


Yep, and I can’t wait to thumb through it!




  1. I always forget about the sweet potato vine. Thanks for the reminder.
    As for the mirror, it does look nice but what happens when it breaks and you have glass in your garden? I tend to look for whatever accidents will happen.

  2. Dusty Miller is one of my favorites in the garden. I love it alone for that wonderful foliage and color, but it compliments *any* color beautifully. And blooms here until the frost kills it. 🙂

  3. Hi Brenda, I didn’t know the sweet potato vine would turn purple ! Glad I found that out,so I won’t think something is wrong with it. I have a Sago Palm too, I will have to pu some marbles around it also. Thanks for the ideal. HUGS

  4. I love it! Very neat. Hoping you can get the mirror out with little to no problems. 🙂 xoxo, Joanna

  5. My little daughter loves dusty miller. I even wrote a post about it once. The magazine looks great. Hope you got to read it. Do you have an article in there?~~Dee

  6. Love the mirror in the garden idea Brenda. I have the purple and green potato vines in a huge planter by the pool. Looks so pretty. We had a similar situation with the birds. The wrens built a nest up under the awning on the deck and everytime the cat came out and would lay on the deck the birds pitched a fit. They have finally flown the nest safely.

  7. love these plants, they are my favorite also. The mirror sounds like a fun idea. Now I just need to find the spot for one in the garden.

  8. You are so sweet:D Thanks for all your kind words……I so appreciate them:D If you have ever used Picassa (free program from Google) it is fabulous!!!! You can do so much with your photos. I also have Adobe Elements, but don’t like it as well……..Picassa does just enough to be interesting without being too complicated!

  9. I just love seeing your potted plants! Such good ideas– teaching me. I’m getting marbles on the next trip to the store. 🙂

  10. Thanks for showing your sweet potato vines. Reminds me to get some for myself. The leaves are edible, you know. They’re great for salad…I blanch them first…then add ginger, red onions, tomatoes, black pepper, vinegar and a little bit of soy sauce.

  11. Now thats a neat idea! Mirror in the garden… Just be careful.. We took our mirrors down and they do break very easy. Take care, Susie H~

  12. LOVE the marbles!!!!

    M ^..^

  13. Another pretty post, Brenda, filled with great ideas (do you ever sleep)!

  14. I have been trying to figure out a place to put a mirror in my garden for years. I think it is such a great idea.
    I agree that Ace of Spades sweet potato vine looks great with Margarite, the charteuse one. In fact, I have some of both growing together that overwintered for the third year in the garden.

    Always Growing

  15. Love your garden pics! You’ve combined everything so well!

  16. Love your garden pics! You’ve combined everything so well!

  17. Love your garden pics! You’ve combined everything so well!

  18. I saw dusty miller in Charleston last week that bloomed yellow flowers! That doesn’t happen here.

    Robin at Bumblebee

  19. Hi Brenda!

    Beautiful photos as always!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the mirror idea – brilliant!


  20. Hi Brenda! I’m so glad you found my blog and put in your name for the drawing.
    I love your blog! I’m going to put marbles in all of my containers outside now. I also went back and read your post on the crazy quilting… wonderful! Thank you.
    If you don’t mind, I’d like to put your link on my sidebar.
    Have a beautiful day!

  21. Brenda .. I had to see who the “other’ “Joy” was commenting on here ! It is rare to run into another of me ? LOL
    This is a great posting .. I want to have some mirror effect in my garden too .. and this was the year I got back to using Dusty Miller in pots .. good old fashioned reliable plants !
    I laughed about the BIG FOOT noise you heard in the attic .. our guy/gal is VERY quiet and we are still waiting for the trap to snap .. this is really getting on ours nerves .. now we have a list of contractors to contact about repairing the damages .. idiot raccoon catcher hasn’t surfaced here yet .. and .. you wanted to know what FB meant ? .. have you watched the silly Austin Powers movies at all (of course Mike Myers is Canadian so we have to watch them ? LOL) well “Fat Bastard” is the name of one of the characters .. VERY naughty but the name suits this whole situation to a tee ! So now you know girl ! LOL
    Joy .. the other one ..the Canadian ONE !

  22. Just wanted to stop to thank you for your sweet comment. I am sorry for your Peppy I know you miss him!

    Have a nice day! Suzy

  23. We love Dusty Miller…such pretty texture in the garden!

    Have a blessed and wonderful day!

    smiles, kari & kijsa

  24. I really like the mirror idea.
    Beautiful pictures.
    Have a great evening.


  25. Hello, I saw your name on Garden of the month(comments) and thought I’d stop by…my sister has the same last name as you :o)

  26. On all the decorating shows, they always tape the mirrors before taking them down. That way in case they do crack, you don’t get shards everywhere.
    Love the marbles around the potted plant. That is so colorful.

  27. I have not seen a mirror in a garden, but certainly mirrored gazing balls. Your blog is looking so lovely Brenda….

  28. I love your photos. Dusty Miller is a wonderful plant for containers…as well as sweet potato vine. I enjoyed your post!

  29. Hi Brenda,

    Beautiful foliage! And I love the mirror in the garden! :0


  30. Great idea with the mirrors!

    I will have to pick up a copy of the latest Somerset Life – I love that special pub!

    Thanks for all the hand advice.


  31. Hi Brenda! I’m just popping in to look at your lovely flowers again.Take care and be a sweetie,
    Shelia 🙂

  32. Brenda you have such a pretty and cozy backyard…. love the contrast of those leaves in the first pic…. I have tried using purple and green potato vines in my pots in previous years, but this is high desert country and they don’t do too good here–too bad, beacuse they’re so lovely…. I have planted Elephant Ears this year, these lovely large plants also love humid weather and lots of rain, and it barely rains here, so we’ll have to see what happens…

    Have a blessed 4th, my friend


  33. A friend who is a great gardener (and interior decorator) placed an old dresser mirror against a wooden privacy fence and framed it with lattice panels. It looks as though you could walk right through into another garden. It looks wonderful.

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