In garden circles, plectranthus is known as the plant with a funny name that delivers big, strong color. ‘Velvet Elvis’ is no exception. Leaves offer a fuzzy touch with a deep green top and violet-purple underside. Lavender flowers rise on 4-inch spikes that last easily through summer heat. Use ‘Velvet Elvis’ in pots or planting beds—pair it with ‘Jack Frost’ brunnera or ‘All Gold’ Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’). Plants grow 28 inches tall and 31 inches wide.
Create a retreat just like you would an interior room by starting with furnishings. Consider your style and budget, along with how you’ll likely use the space. If your retreat is a cherished space for reading and hanging out with family, include plenty of seating options. For a retreat that provides an escape for morning coffee, you might just need one seat and a spot to park your favorite mug. Include container gardens to give the space a touch of greenery and nature that will minister to you, body and soul. These pots sport a mix of annuals: dwarf purple fountain grass with ‘Sweet Caroline Light Green’ sweet potato vine and Intensia blueberry phlox, dark Vertigo purple fountain grass, and Blushing Princess sweet alyssum solo and with Supertunias Royal Velvet and Trailing Silver. A pot of Diamond Frost euphorbia adds a just-right blooming accent to the coffee table.
Pamper yourself by transforming an outdoor space into a custom retreat. Japanese forest bathing research shows that time spent in the Great Outdoors brings significant health benefits—lower blood pressure, less stress, greater empathy. Green spaces soothe both body and brain, and you can reap the results with a spot in your own yard. Start your project by choosing an area with easy access. A small deck, porch, patio or corner of a garden provides a terrific foundation for a home-sweet-home getaway. Approach your project with an eye to design by including touches that speak to your style (retro? chic? urban?). You don’t have to spend big bucks to make it work. This welcoming retreat features a crate coffee table that blends beautifully with wooden chairs. Pots of colorful annuals bring nature near. Annuals include purple Angelonia with Raven (dark) sweet potato vine, Yellow Chiffon superbells, Royal Velvet supertunia, and ‘Banana Cream’ Shasta daisy with Vertigo purple fountain grass.