Nestled in the heart of Middle Tennessee, the 2023 Southern Living Idea House captures the essence of Southern charm and elegance; this year’s house captivates with a particular focus on outdoor living. Whether you have a green thumb and a pro-looking porch or you’re a garden growin’ newbie, the curated plant palette of the 2023 Idea House has been crafted to inspire Southern homeowners to take their landscapes to the next level. Let’s grow!
Secret 1: Evergreen shrubs keep the porch planters glowing season after season
When it comes to porch planters, most folks head to the annuals section of the nursery, picking seasonal “one-hit wonders” that only bloom for a month or two. Just like your home, the Southern Living Idea House needs to wow visitors from the hottest days of summer to the chilliest nights of winter, making fussy porch planters a no-go! Instead, color-rich evergreen shrubs like Dragon Prince™ Cryptomeria and ‘Soft Caress’ Mahonia create dynamic interest with their remarkable foliage and lasting vibrance. For color as captivating as flower petals, Purple Pixie® Dwarf Weeping Loropetalum offers saturated foliage that weeps elegantly.
Secret 2: Pops of trendy purple are woven throughout the landscape
The 2023 Southern Living Idea House landscape is adorned with trendy purple flowers, instantly captivating visitors with lavenders, violets, and plum hues. Elegant Ever Amethyst™ Agapanthus sways on towering stalks by the pool, while sumptuous Dark Moody Blues™ Veronica adds decadent color to garden beds in front of the home. Even the porch planters see the thread of plum carried through with weeping Loropetalum, creating a cohesive look across the property.
Secret 3: Boxwoods create a parterre-like effect
Parterre-style elements, characterized by their formal and symmetrical design, complement the classic architectural elements found on the Idea House. Boxwood creates elegant borders around high-impact plantings of vibrant hydrangeas, heucherellas and more, their dark and dense foliage offsetting the brighter colors within. These formal, parterre-like elements are tucked close to the house, while the more romantic and naturalistic landscape plantings can be found further from the house, blending the border between countryside and estate.
Secret 4: A unique new gardenia casts a fragrant spell across the property
From grand planters on the property’s many outdoor balconies to their post flanking the doors of the Idea House’s playful “Party Barn,” Diamond Spire® Gardenia lends height, elegance – and most importantly, fragrance – to the 2023 Idea House. Offering an intoxicating aroma and pristine white blooms, Diamond Spire’s slender, upright growth makes it ideal for lining pathways or adorning the porch corners. With an extended bloom period and evergreen foliage, this gardenia offers year-round beauty, making it a practical choice for the Idea House, which will welcome thousands of visitors across the course of several seasons.
Secret 5: A series of balconies features themed container plantings
Each balcony within the 2023 Southern Living Idea House boasts planters thoughtfully tailored to reflect its unique purpose. The outdoor kitchen porch showcases planters teeming with an array of fresh herbs like Chef’s Choice® Culinary Rosemary flanking the grill, ready for seasoning at arm’s reach. On the sleeping porch, an aura of tranquility is evoked by the soft, dreamy ‘Buttered Rum’ Heucherella and EverColor® ‘Everest’ Carex planters. Meanwhile, the main bedroom balcony, nestled in the shade, features elegant Soft Caress Mahonia planters, adding tranquil movement with the evergreen plant’s featherlike foliage. Each carefully curated planter not only complements its respective balcony but also enhances and reflects in-ground elements in the Idea House landscape.
Reflecting the best of gracious country living, 2023 Southern Living Idea House landscape inspires with its timeless elegance and innovative design. From trendy purple flowers and fragrant blooms to purposeful planters and parterre-style plantings, we hope you infuse a few style secrets from this tranquil Tennessee oasis in your yard!