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Taj Palace

More of an engineering marvel than a modern home, this Mughal architecture inspired estate contains design elements from historic Indian palaces throughout the gardens. We began working on this property over 5 years ago with a task to maintain consistent color and immaculate gardens in the landscape. 

Maintaining color in the gardens throughout the year is made possible with annuals. In Northern California there are generally two seasons for annuals and that is winter/early spring and summer into fall. Flowers such as Begonias, Zinnias and Geraniums are planted in spring for the Summer season with Pansies, Violas, Snapdragons and other annuals planted in the late fall for the Winter. 

Many plantings in the gardens are planted in what are called “Jali’s”. A repeated pattern common in Indian architecture and art. These particular Jali’s are mounded to provide visibility of color at further distances and angles. Other design elements in the garden are inspired by “Rangoli’s” which are designs common in Indian art and found at many Indian festivals and holidays. Begonias are a fantastic plant to create visible patterns such as these. 

A popular color for this estate is Red. Geraniums, Begonias and Salvia are stellar performers throughout the Summer. While in Winter we rely on the reliable and hardy Pansies and Violas to maintain consistent color. Cyclamen are also used in less frost prone areas. 

Maintaining this estate has been a pleasure through the years and it has been an amazing exercise in what is possible using annuals to create a one of a kind garden. 

Winter Color

During the winter months, all plants in the annual planting beds are changed to cold tolerant annuals. 

There are a large variety of winter flowering annuals, but on this property the majority of the color is provided by Pansies. A specific variety of Pansy from the ‘Delta’ series that provides solid colors with no “beard” in the center of the flower.