Designer Snapshot: Flower Power

By Paula M. Bodah

Designer Carey Erdman grew up in a family of avid gardeners. “I had my own garden when I was six years old,†he says. “It’s in my blood.†So it’s no wonder Erdman, who shows us how to set up a colorful pool area in our upcoming July/August issue, goes beyond interior work, helping his clients with their gardens. “As interior design has gone to outdoor products—decks, fabrics, furniture and so on—I thought, ‘Why do I stop there?’ †he says. This spring, he adds, most of his design work has been outdoors rather than indoors, including a good handful of urban gardens in Boston’s South End. The only drawback? “I don’t have time to do my own gardening anymore,†he says.

“In this garden, the client was disappointed that many boxwood bushes had been crushed by winter snow shoveling. I selected colorful, low-maintenance plantings that have a formal structure. Most of the plantings, such as the hostas, disappear in winter so they won’t get damaged.â€

Photos courtesy of Carey Erdman

“The client wanted a new boxwood hedge, but also wanted color to combat the site’s natural darkness. They had planted bright flowers in the past but the blooms had withered in the shady location. I tried to create the feeling of an abundant garden washed with sun, but using plants like colorful coleus that thrive in the shade.â€

“The owners of this roof deck wanted to create a lush oasis from which to enjoy their fantastic skyline view while hiding the nearby landscape of black-rubber roofs, vents and capped chimneys. They also wanted a sense of privacy. I used an extensive list of perennials and annuals to provide a tapestry bursting with color. The great thing about container gardening is that it’s easy to swap things out and move things around to maximize the look as different things come into bloom.â€

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