Carmen Johnston, of Carmen Johnston Gardens and a Southern Living contributing garden editor, recently visited Nashville’s newest signature home event, the Nashville Symphony Show House. She was inspired by the home and gardens, and here are her take-away tips from the charming Southern contemporary folk-style home. 

Nashville Symphony Show House 2015

A little bit of green has a big impact! Note the inviting plants in the background beckoning guests indoors.

I am a proud Georgia peach, but after seeing the Nashville Symphony Show House for the first time, I was ready to uproot my family (and my garden) to move into the stunning Southern home. I have seen a lot of show houses over the years, but this is by far the most inviting. Seriously, I can still hear it calling my name! The space is perfect for entertaining, the kitchen is incredible and the overall size is just right.

What can I say? It was love at first sight. Of course, the excellent use of greenery throughout the show house is what really caught my eye. And with that, here are my suggestions for how to implement the same tasteful garden style in your own space:

1. Put your best blooms forward with annuals or hydrangeas at the front door. Anchor your porch with boxwoods to greet your guests as soon as they arrive.

The front porch is anchored by symmetrical planters, hedges and flowers.

The front porch is symmetrically anchored by two pairs of planters, hedges and flowers. Image credit: Alyssa Rosenheck

The entrance to the home is anchored by symmetrical placement of beautiful planters, hedges and flowers.

Prior to entering the home, guests are greeted by a bold display of succulents.

Nashville Symphony Show House, 2015

The front of the home is anchored by sturdy hedges and symmetrical placements of flowers, front porch furniture and planters. Note the three pots parked unassumingly on the side of the porch.

2. Take it down a notch with a few special nooks throughout the garden. Small-scale gardening is a great way to create intimate places for your guests to converse, or for you to enjoy your morning cup of coffee or late-night book.

The backside of the Nashville Symphony Showhouse

The back of the home offers a spacious garden area, complete with patio seating, beautiful greenery and elegant lighting.

Another view of the back of the home shows how the use of plants and hedges break up the large patio area into more intimate nooks.

Another view of the back of the home shows how the use of plants and hedges breaks up the large patio area into more intimate nooks.

Sit a spell and enjoy a good book, a cool ice tea or an engaging conversation with a close friend.

Sit a spell and enjoy a good book, a cool iced tea or an engaging conversation with a close friend.

3. Hit ’em with your best pots—the best pots for your front door, that is. When choosing containers to flank your front door, you want to go big before you go home. Two pots too small is not a good look!

Twin pots flank either side of the front door and offer a smorgasbord of heights and colors.

Twin pots flank either side of the front door and offer a smorgasbord of heights and colors.

4. Stuff ‘n’ shove your entire house with succulents! These plants are extremely low-maintenance, needing to be watered only twice a month. They are also incredibly stylish and look great in any and every pot, from galvanized to glass.

Succulents tastefully placed throughout the Nashville Symphony Show House.

Succulents are a great way to bring life to your home, and they look great in any container.

Baby succulents peek over the edge of a beautiful wooden planter inside the home.

Baby succulents peek over the edge of a beautiful wooden planter inside the home.

These four garden solutions are so simple and easy to achieve. It just goes to show you that in order to transform your home, a little green is all you really need. As for my garden and me, we will continue living in Georgia for now, but the Nashville Symphony Show House will always be a source of inspiration for all my green dreams.

The Nashville Symphony Show House is open for tours daily through Sunday, June 28, in the Forest Hills area of Nashville with on-site parking. Built by the 2012 Southern Living Custom Builder of the Year, Castle Homes, visit their website for more information and tickets.

Photos by Leila Grossman of Grannis Photography