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A Barbie Dream Garden Fantasy with Pink Plant List! ~ “Ideas Live Forever:”

Pinke Erlebniswelt: So verrückt ist das neue Barbie-Haus in Berlin | Express

It’s been said that it’s a Barbie World and we’re all just living in it! 

The Barbie movie is a dreamy comedy, candy-coated with a potent message. The frothy, fun, escape is a fantasy that we all can deservedly indulge in.  And while Ruth Handler, Barbie’s inventor, says that Barbie doesn’t have an ending, I couldn’t help but feel as I left the cinema that the one thing missing from the perfect world of Barbie Land is a garden.  Barbie needs a Dream Garden.  And then she’ll really know what it feels like not to have an ending!  A gardener’s work never, ever has a finish… So as an homage to our plucky, smart, compassionate heroine, I set out to design a Barbie Dream Garden for her and the other Barbies.


Barbie (film) - Wikipedia

First, grab your popcorn and watch the trailer.  It’s so effervescent, frothy, and exuberant. It’s sure to get you in the mood for a fun garden design fantasy.  

Pink

Of course, the theme for the Barbie Dream Garden for me has to be the color pink.  All shades of pink.  All Hues, Tones, and Tints. Of Pink. I read that the fuschia color was so important that the movie’s run on fluorescent fuschia, that the film contributed to a world shortage.  Could the world run out of pink?! Heaven’s no!

https://p1.pxfuel.com/preview/193/83/813/oops-surprise-sticky-note-pink-royalty-free-thumbnail.jpg

A little background seems in order. I have had a mixed relationship with the color pink. Not unlike my relationship with Barbie, in fact.  Similar to Barbie director Greta Gerwig (who, it tickles me to share, lives with her partner, Noah, in our neighbor-friendly, right-sized Gotham apartment building in the Village. So cool, no?!).  I too had a rather early feminist disdain for this doll. While I was excited that my sister and I were the lucky recipients of an aunt’s couture Barbie outfits ~ Aunt Elaine was a superior seamstress ~ it’s just that I didn’t play with dolls. Although I did favor my Raggedy Ann to slumber with and later a giant one as a motoring companion.  I digress.

As an adult, I came to adore the color pink. In my fashion studies in Switzerland, I was thrilled to learn about Elsa Schiaparelli, the surrealist designer who claims to have invented the color “Shocking Pink.”  It was synonymous with her brand.

Today, I have lots of pink fashions: lipsticks, of course, Lily Pulitzers, pink Swarovski jewelry and sparkly body tattoos and have a funny pink shoes story that I’ll share with you over a Happy Hour. Make it a pink Cosmopolitan.

https://i2.pickpik.com/photos/398/673/311/cocktail-may-day-labor-day-hawaii-thumb.jpg

Come to think of it, I’ll need to create a Barbie cocktail, too, for our girl! I’ll use mint, pink lemonade ‘blueberries’ and pink cotton candy for the garnish. (We have a home machine.) And Malibu Rum and … I digress yet again.  

See, Barbie is so inspiring. And you know how I adore inspiring women. In fact, my videocast, Ladies Who Lunch Conversations is all about inspiring women.  And that Margot Robbie is just so perfect. What I wouldn’t give to have a Conversation~Interview with either of these inspiring women. (I can dream too!) 

 The Barbie film: Trailer, release date, cast and more

The Barbie Dream Garden

When working for my garden design clients ~ in the real world ~ I start with a conversation, asking what they need and desire from their garden; what times of day they have the pleasure of enjoying their various garden “rooms,” what colors they prefer, what music, movies, and art they are passionate about, and many other practical and seemingly not so relevant questions. Yet, in all, it gives me a sense of the client’s dreams, passions, and expectations for the garden’s utility. 

And then I ask them to give me the time to research. And to dream… 

For Barbie’s Dream Garden, I started with some online research to learn if anyone had created one yet. I was delighted that the research page brought up a cascade of pink fireworks silhouettes! 💖 Go ahead. Google Barbie the Movie ✨

Yet, despite the recent HGTV contest for a Barbie Dream Home, (I saw one episode), the research really only yielded these two: Barbie gardens ~ the first one is more patio and hardscape. The second shows a pretty, hard-at-work Barbie planting her raised garden bed with trellis. Gotta love the pink watering can and those electric green boots.

Barbie Flower Garden Playset - Folding Pretty House (1996 , Mattel) - Picture 1 of 8   

After seeing the Barbie movie, I couldn’t help but think what we need for our heroine is a garden design that is befitting Stereotypical Barbie. 

The Plants 

Under normal garden client circumstances in the real world, I start with the overall design and then select the plants to fulfill the look.  However, for Barbie’s perfect dream garden I’m inspired by pretty pink plants.  I also hope that you will be inspired to use some of these pink beauties in your summer garden so I jumped ahead, direct to the plants. 🙂

  • Pink Muhly Grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris ~ Pink Muhly GrassI adore this pink, fluffy, native to North America ornamental grass and have used it in both clients’ and my own garden designs. It’s so pretty cut for vases, too. 

  • Echinacea, ‘Nectar Pink’ or ‘Pow Wow’ or ‘Purpurea’ or ‘Pink Double Delight.’  You can’t go wrong with any of these beautiful, easy to grow cultivars

Echinacea Pink Double Delight, Echinacea purpurea, Dwarf Coneflower |  American Meadows  Buy Eastern Purple Coneflower at your local garden center! – American  Beauties Native Plants

  • Pink Agastache ~ I grow the purple agastache ~ a butterfly magnet.  I use the leaves for tea.  There are several pink cultivars: light pinks: ‘Pink Pearl’ pink agastache from www.monrovia.com 

          or ‘Rosie Posie’

pink agastache from www.bluestoneperennials.com

Or ‘Royal Raspberry’   Meant to Bee™ 'Royal Raspberry' - Anise Hyssop - Agastache ...

  • Rozanne Geranium, Cranesbill ~ is a perennial, carefree, front-of-the-border favorite.  ‘Ballerina’ 

  Geranium (Cinereum Group) 'Ballerina', Cranesbill 'Ballerina', Ashy Cranesbill, Geranium cinereum 'Ballerina', Geranium 'Ballerina', Hardy Geraniums, Best geraniums, Best Border Geranium, pink geranium or ‘Elke’ Geranium 'Elke',  Cranesbill 'Elke', Geranium sanguineum 'Elke', Hardy Geranium, Pink Geranium, Pink Flowers

Or ‘Southcombe Double’ 

Geranium × oxonianum f. thurstonianum 'Southcombe Double', Thurston's cranesbill 'Southcombe Double', Geranium 'Southcombe Double', Hardy Geraniums, Best geraniums, pink geranium, pink flowers, Double Geranium

  • Hydrangea ~ Pink Hydrangeas symbolize love, emotion, and happy reunions. There are so many swoonworthy pink cultivars ~ there is sheer joy in just choosing.  I love and have used a variety in my garden designs for me and clients including, ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ 

WorryFree® Love-A-Lot Pink Hydrangea    and ‘Bobo’   Hydrangea Bobo Panicle Hydrangea - Sugar Creek Gardens

I love how these pink hydrangeas bloom out as white, then gradually, over the season, put on a show of blushing to pink then a rose hue… Pink performers in the garden for sure. 

‘Endless Summer’ fashions a rosy pink  Endless Summer® Summer Crush® Bigleaf Hydrangea  as does the ‘Lady in Red’ that I have in some of our garden beds.Hydrangea, Endless Summer 'Summer Crush' - Baucom's Nursery and ‘Tiny Tuff Stuff’ Lacecap that I planted in our grillscape garden. Hydrangea serrata 'Tiny Tuff Stuff' - Horsford Gardens and Nursery

  • Cosmos ~ Cosmos Flower Growing Tips | Garden Gate could be THE perfect perennial flower for the Barbie Dream Garden. Cosmos bipinnatus, often referred to as the Mexican Aster, its daisy-like blooms come in every shade from Hot Pink to fuschia to orchid pink to soft pink, and are easy to grow and drought tolerant. 

  • Pink Sunflowers, Iris tectorum or ‘Pink Pooh’ Sunflower ~ I just received my tectorum seeds and can’t wait to see how these adorable blooms grace the garden. They are carefree, growing to about 3 feet.    

You Can Plant Midnight Oil Pink Sunflowers | Home Design ...Pink Pooh SunflowerPink Pooh Sunflower  Pink Pooh Sunflower

  • Pink Lemonade Blueberry, Vaccinium ‘Pink Lemonade’ ~ I love this pretty spring-blooming plant shrub with its bluish leaves and have used it in client gardens. The berries are indeed a mix of light and dark bright pink; a bit sweeter than its blue brother. And this will just be so perfect for the Barbies to use in their signature cocktail, don’t you agree? 

Pink Lemonade Blueberry | C&J Gardening Center

  • Asclepia Incarnata, Milkweed ~ I selected these charming, hard-working native. Its fragrance is a heavenly vanilla-scented treat, it’s non-invasive and best of all, it is a preferred food source for Monarch caterpillars and Butterflies.  And Barbieland is brimming with rainbows and butterflies! I love this plant in my garden and so do the butterflies. It’s a magnet for these garden fairies.  

  • Peony ~ ‘Pink Parfait,’ Paeonia lactiflora 'Pink Parfait' (Peony)’Pink Dawn,’ ‘Sarah Bernhardt,’Sarah Bernhardt' Peony | HGTV 

‘Candy Stripe’ Buy Candy Stripe Peony Online | Tree Peonies Sale | Breck's~ the list of to-die-for glamorous pink peonies is endless. My favorite flower will bring beauty and voluptuous fragrance to the Barbie Dream Garden.  

For the foundational, complementary plants, I’d use blue and bright green plants for balance and structure. Some of my go-to stalwarts include 

  • Festuca Elijah Blue ~ carefree, a light blue color, small, ornamental grass, and ideal for most every garden style, especially the mid-century Barbieland garden. 

190+ Blue Fescue Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock | Blue  fescue grass

  • Blue Juniper ground cover, Juniperus squamata, ‘Blue Carpet” ~ This is an all-season work horse, featuring silver-blue foliage.

  • Crepe Myrtle, Lager Black Diamond Mystic Magenta Crapemyrtles for Sale at Arbor Day's Online  Tree Nursery - Arbor Day Foundation ‘Mystic Magenta,’ ‘Tonto’ or ‘Fuschia’ crepe myrtle, fuchsia from www.thetreecenter.com. I have several Tonto’s and love their end of summer burst of brilliant color. 

  • Kwanzan Cherry Tree Kwanzan Flowering Cherry/Gisela 5 — Raintree Nursery ~ Prunus ‘Kanzan’ is my favorite spring-blooming, ornamental cherry tree. Its double blooms are heart-stoppingly glamorous. We have a gorgeous lady in our front yard and folks come just to take photos standing in front of the tree. I love the “pink snow” when the blossoms fall gracefully to the ground ~ the Japanese believe it is good luck if they fall on you.  I like it too because they add a pink carpet to the spring ephemerals. Such a pretty-in-pink look. 

And of course, pink roses.  Intertwined with fuschia or purple clematis.

Climbing pink beauties.  Romantic Summer Color Combo with Roses and Clematis

In addition to all the plants I’ve provided here, please know there are scads of cultivars that will tempt you.  

Hardscapes 

This is where the fun fantasy goes into high gear.  

For Barbie’s Dream Garden I would have to include a pink slide.  The movie features slides ~ along with floating to the ground ~ because Barbies don’t need/ nor use stairs!

High Slide “Tsuri” And Ladder Free Standing Kit With Water Feature PINK |  sdr.com.ecSlide Design Amore Bench in Sweet Fuchsia by Giò Colonna Romano For Sale 

I especially love this fuchsia slide design I found from 1st Dibs, designed by Giò Colonna Romano ~ the seat has the “stylized shape of the word “Amore.”

Pink seating is a must: Metal Flip Flop Garden Bench – Tin Lizzies   Pink wrought iron garden bench | Hire & Rental | Granger HertzogTectake Set Santana Garden Table And Chairs-bright Pink - Garden Furniture  Sets - AliExpress  Barbie will love the retro style.  

I’d add a garden stool or two for seating and to hold drinks:      Make the Most of Your Space With Indoor-Outdoor Furniture | Architectural  Digest Emissary Prosperity Garden Stool-Pale Rose ($455) ❤ liked on Polyvore  featuring home, outdoors, patio furnitur… | Garden stool, Ceramic garden  stools, Ceramic stoolMexico Pink Velvet Skull Stool / Side Table | Collectioni

I’d also have to include a pink fountain as the centerpiece of the dream garden.

Pink Water Fountain | Pink life, Go pink, Pink inspiration

I’d have the fountain spew both bubbles and cotton candy.  This is a dream world, after all, where every day in Barbieland is perfect. 

I’d also add some of my favorite exotic birds as garden art:  Pink Flamingos! Amazon.com: Oceanside Modern Pink Flamingos on Rock Outdoor Floor Cascading Water  Fountain 28 1/4" High for Garden Patio Backyard Deck Home Lawn Porch House  Relaxation Exterior Balcony - John Timberland : Patio,Pink Flamingo Pair | Bella Coastal Decor

Of course, I’d also have to add some classic garden structures: tuteurs. 

Pink tuteurs! Garden Decor: Decorative Garden Trellis become a Tuteur (garden tower) – A  Gardener's Notebook

For a mulch, I’d use a mix of pink pebble stones and glow-in-the-dark pebbles.  I have used the glow pebbles and it’s a cool, otherworldly night time fantasy.

 Glowing in The Dark Gravel Rocks (Pink) - GlowRocks  Rain Forest 30-lb Pink Gravel in the Landscaping Rock department at  Lowes.comBest selling glow in the dark rocks, our hand-curated list.

I hope you have had as much fun reading and pondering a fantasy garden as I have had researching and sharing the Barbie Dream Garden with you. 

I hope I have inspired you.  Barbie surely inspired me.

As they say in the Barbie movie, “Ideas Live Forever.” 

   It was a pink, pink movie day from my pink headband, earrings, clothes and hot pink shoes. 

Thank you, Greta, Margo, and cast. And Mattel

Enjoy the film. And your glamorous fantasy garden.


4 Comments

  • Garden Glamour

    Thank you so much! I appreciate your positive support! While it's all "work" ~ sharing my news and experience and notables and knowledge is my artful contribution… And when I get a note such as yours, it fuels my dedication. Cheers to you.

  • Garden Glamour

    It's a pink, pink-a-lucious world! Pink is trending now, globally but it's long been a favorite color choice for our gardens. The 'Real World' is catching up to us horticulturists and garden designers 🙂 Thank you for your feedback. I'm happy my Garden Glamour gave you good enjoyment. And hope you have been able to see the remarkable Barbie movie by now. As Ken says, "Cool."

  • Anonymous

    Another great article. Keep up the great work!!

  • Anonymous

    I really enjoyed reading this. Never knew there were so many pink flowers and all so beautiful. I hope to see the movie. Thanks once again.

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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
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 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

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