Friday, August 31, 2012

Modern design for your garden: plant spheres

There is something about a perfect sphere: so geometric, so clean, so mathematical, so sculptural. They can't help but dress up a landscape.

I love sphere shaped plants in a modern landscape in perfect rows with some space in between the plants so that you can really clearly see the round form. I also love them in planter pots that share their curves (especially if the pots are the most basic of colors: black or white, with smooth sides. You don't want any texture to draw your eye).

Here are a few of my favorite spheres, from top to bottom: Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii), Hedgehog Agave (Agave stricta), Dasylirion wheeleri, Sedum 'Lemon Coral', Buxus sempervirens trimmed as a topiary sphere, and Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Golf Ball'. Golf ball stays very close to a sphere all on its own, so it is quite low maintenance. All of these will be happy campers in most parts of San Diego county.

© Kate Wiseman 2012. In San Diego? Want your own waterwise landscape design? I'd love to help! Please visit for more info.


  1. Lovely article - I love combining spheres of box balls with lavender or grasses - it makes for a striking combination in a simple planting scheme.

  2. I agree, that would be lovely. It can also be combined with spheres of Westringia, which has a grey-green foliage, to create a sort of checkerboard pattern.