ROYAL OAK, MI – An imaginative combination of perennials and annuals bring color, texture and scent to a 400-square-foot terrace at SkyLofts MarketSquare.
On Bob Burrell and Tony Walser’s shaded terrace, you’ll find woodland ferns and a redtwig dogwood shrub. Annuals and annualized perennials like impatiens, caladium and coleus provide dashes of cool color — purple, fuchsia and rust.
All of the lofts at MarketSquare, 101 Curry Avenue, have outdoor living spaces. Most are balconies, and 6 of the available lofts have a terrace similar to this beautifully landscaped example. Small or large, though, “There almost are no limits with what you can do,” said Sara Hannick, the container gardening specialist at Telly’s Greenhouse in Troy, where Burrell and Walser bought much of their stock. “You can use trees, shrubs, woody ornamentals, herbs or fruits. There’s an incredible selection of plants on the market these days.” She enthused about Burrell’s and Walser’s choices.
“These plantings work well because they use a variety of colors and textures without mixing too many styles. Coleus are an excellent choice for container plantings. They are available in almost every color imaginable and they are very easy to care for. Another wonderful choice used here is Brugmansia or angel’s trumpet. This small tropical tree produces very large trumpet-shaped blooms all season long. As if this weren’t enough, these blooms produce an incredibly wonderful fragrance all throughout the evening. What a delightful specimen to have in the area where you sit and unwind after the day is through!”
Walser confirmed that the angel’s trumpet “went crazy” when it blossomed. The plants had up to three dozen blooms the size of an actual trumpet.
Finding containers is half the fun. Burrell and Walser, accomplished shoppers, prowled the aisles and discount shelves at Costco, Kmart, Lowes and Home Depot for their eclectic mix of lightweight pots.
“The pots used are similar in size and shape and help to keep the overall look tidy by creating a sense of unity amongst the various plant material,” Hannick said.
“Having the terrace helps to compensate for not having a yard,” Walser said. He and Burrell lived in a house in Ferndale before moving to MarketSquare in 2005. “We’re out there even in winter on warm days. When we had a yard, the only area we used on a regular basis was the size of the terrace. Beyond that patio was just more work on the weekends and after work, blowing leaves and mowing the grass.”
“Plants used in an outdoor seating situation like this can help to create a tranquil, secluded oasis just outside a busy urban area in your own back yard just as these homeowners did!” Hannick said.
Founded in 1993, Morningside Group is a real estate development firm that specializes in creating premier mixed-use and multi-family developments in urban locations throughout the Midwest. Long recognized as a leader in the design and construction of highly acclaimed buildings, Morningside Group has built an enviable track record of successful public-private partnerships.
Morningside’s incomparable work ensures that each new development will join a growing portfolio of prized buildings which includes, in Michigan, SkyLofts Royal Oak, and Liberty Lofts in Ann Arbor and, in Illinois, Arbor Court and Prairie Town Center in Oak Lawn, Crescent Court and Museum Square in Elmhurst, Morningside Square in Downers Grove, The Glen Astor in Glen Ellyn and buildings in Evanston and Skokie.
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