Sturdy but beautiful, Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema) tolerates just about any growing conditions indoors. Leaves offer a variety of eye-catching patterns, and when there’s bright enough light, these tough plants send up calla lily-look-a-like blooms.
Add bright gold to stream or pondside plantings with Chinese globeflower (Trollius ‘Golden Queen’). Blooms open 2 to 3 inches across from late spring into midsummer on plants that grow 24 to 36 inches tall by 18 to 24 inches wide. Include this beauty in a cutting garden—its flowers make a great addition to bouquets. Chinese globeflower is a slow grower and takes one to two years to become fully established in the garden. Hardy in Zones 3-7.
As you select plants to serve as focal points in your décor, consider how large the plant grows and also how quickly it achieves that size. Plants like sentry palm and Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) can double their size in a few years, given the right conditions. Chinese money plant, on the other hand, maintains a tidy size, growing slowly to 8 to 12 inches tall. With thick, succulent-like leaves, the plant doesn’t demand much water and thrives in low light. Unusual, round leaves make this plant a conversation piece.
Chinese pistachio (Pistacia chinensis) is a good choice for brilliant fall color in areas where the sugar maple won't grow. The leaves are slow to appear in the spring but hang on late in the fall, turning a brilliant reddish orange. Used for root stock for the pistachio nut tree (P. vera), Chinese pistachio produces fruits that aren't palatable to humans, but birds like them. Medium-sized tree (to 35 feet tall), drought resistant, USDA Zones 6b to 9.
In this bathroom, an oval tub is positioned beneath a Chinese window screen, which involves an intricate pattern of interconnected pieces of wood. Along the edge of the tub are two candlesticks with lit candles and a pot filled with white orchids.
In the bedroom, designers blended the homeowner's collections with a more contemporary color palette. The headboard of this bed is made from two antique Chinese doors which are complemented by the tall antique candlestick and the Chinese statue that is featured in front of the window. These elements, combined with neutral walls and tan curtains give the space a light, yet still elegant feeling.
Purple leaved fringe-flower brings striking dark leaf color to plantings. A strong flush of bright pink flowers occurs in mid-spring. This is a new ground cover fringe-flower, with plants growing 1 foot tall and up to 3 feet wide. It’s an ideal choice for containers or bed edging. Hardy in Zones 7-9. Botanical name: Loropetalum chinense ‘Beni Hime’
This transitional neutral guest bathroom features a vanity made from a Chinese cabinet, then topped with Calacatta marble and a glass vessel sink. The floor features porcelain tile from Arizona Tile made to look like marble.
A classic Southern favorite, fringe flower takes on a new size with this dwarf version that grows 1 to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Flowers appear in mid-spring and sporadically through summer. Blooms beckon pollinators. Use it in containers, tucked into perennial borders or as a mass planting. Hardy in Zones 7-9. Botanical name: Loropetalum chinense ‘Hakuou’
An antique Chinese chest welcomes visitors in this entrance hall. An antique Chinese ceramic pillow is made into a lamp. Orchids are reflected in the contemporary metallic framed mirror. Beyond, in the living room, stylish armchairs beckon.
An Italian serpentine walnut three-drawer commode, a Tuscan carved giltwood mirror and an 18th century English chinoiserie tall case clock are in the foyer designed by Jacquelynne P. Lanham Designs for the Southeastern Designer Showhouse in Atlanta. The black-and-white floor has a zig-zag pattern. On the commode are two gold Ormolu ornaments on lucite bases and a pair of 1930’s Chinese green hardstone lamps with lavender shades. Two 19th century regency-style chairs with an ebony finish are underneath framed original landscape oils by Tyler Colgan.