Please advise me in creating an Elven/Grecian garden

mieriema(Zone 5)March 7, 2005

I would appreciate any help you might be able to give in designing my dream garden.

I have a single bedroom in an apartment I share with two girls. It is a rather small room, about 11x11, with a smallish sliding window that offers no support for a hanging flower box.

Three limitations constrain me: first, the flowers I plant cannot overpower my apartment out of consideration for my roommates; second, they should grow well indoors with little light; and finally, they should thrive in pots.

I would like something ethereal, otherworldly, and ancient. I have been inspired by the works of Tolkien (I have not yet seen the movies) and by ancient Greece. I thought to place a stone column in each corner of my room, the base potted in ivy and the tendrils winding up the length, and topping each column with a stone pot. My signature colours are blue, silver, and white, but I wouldnÂt mind pastel purples, mauves, and other "dreamy" colours inspired by dreams, imagination, and the night sky.

In my reading, I have come across names like calla lilies, sweet peas, night-blooming jasmine, moonflowers, lavender, and night-blooming stock (matthiola bicornis), but in reading several posts on this forum, some of these flowers might be too strong for the effect I want to create and may overpower my roommates.

Do any of you have suggestions that might help me?

My sincerest thanks in advance.

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laurelin(z5a/4b Upstate NY)


Your idea sounds lovely! And peaceful. I like it!

You might consider ferns to start with - many can be grown indoors, low light suits many of them, and they have a suitable Tolkienesque woodland "feel." There are some summer shade annuals that do well as indoors plants - white impatiens (or the very palest pinks and lavenders) are quite lovely. Coleus is also tolerant of shade - the green and white cultivars really stand out in shady conditions. I can't think of any reason why you couldn't grow a white variegated Hosta indoors either. I've never heard of columbine as an indoor plant, but it might be worth the experiment - the flowers are graceful, and the foliage is lovely. Lilies of the Valley can also be grown indoors - dainty white bells, delicious fragrance. Jasmine can be grown indoors, but I'm not sure of its sun requirements (it can be bought from White Flower Farm, but it's pricey - you can probably find a cheaper source).

Don't be afraid to try a few things from the garden center - indoors and outdoors plants. Get one of something you like, and if it does well you can get more; if it doesn't work, it was a cheap experiment. Check out plants from local florists or greenhouses - quite a few houseplants have amazing foliage or flowers and will tolerate low light conditions. (In my limited experience, low humidity is more of a problem for many plants than low light - a little room humidifier might be a good investment if your apartment gets really dry in the winter.)

I'm still hunting for a good approximation of elanor, niphredil, and simbelmyne for my own garden - let me know if you find some!


    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 12:46PM
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mieriema(Zone 5)


Thank you so much! I am so very excited now; I cannot wait to get started. So much time passed before anyone answered that I thought I'd been misperceived as a forum troll but I am so happy to find that I have a kindred spirit out there. Good things come to those that wait.

I will keep my eye out and if I find anything (obviously nephedril is of utmost importance in this sort of garden) I will rush back here to let you know.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 7:00PM
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laurelin(z5a/4b Upstate NY)

Hi Mieriema,

I don't know if you've ever tried forcing bulbs, and I don't know if these are an easy forcer or not, but there's a lovely daffodil called "Lothlorien." It's an elegant white variety with a pale green eye, if I remember correctly. You could also force white crocuses over the winter, or white muscari (grape hyacinths), or white amaryllis. There are many possibilities!

I did find out that the jasmine requires full sun. Pity - its flowers are so delicate and fragrant.

Someday I would love to have a bit of land (not a basic suburban lot), where I could plant a grove of aspens, and a cluster of silver-barked beech trees. What a vision - underplanted with ferns, trillium, daffodils, white azaleas, and other woodland plants. . . . I am blessed to have a line of mature hemlock trees, and I'm creating a woodland garden underneath them, so the vision isn't all for the future. Make the best of what the Lord has gifted you with, in imagination, talent, and resources!


    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 9:14AM
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