The clean, French lines of the edible landscapes are also worth noting -- something one doesn't often see in Southern California vegetable gardens.
EVEN Disneyland gardens that are a bit themey and theatrical have ideas worth borrowing. The gothic garden of the Haunted Mansion takes advantage of new hybrid colors available for familiar plants. Here, just inside the moss-green wrought-iron fencing, low-growing heucheras sport leaves in unusual shades that could be best described as dried Grey Poupon mustard and day-old lox. They bob above dark tufts of black mondo grass.
Ground covers of black ajuga and vermilion ipomoea trail around headstones. Small weeping mulberries, contorted willows and shimmering coprosma serve as the garden's midsize plants, while dappled sunlight falls through classic Southern magnolia trees arched overhead.
The Haunted Mansion's garden may be one of the most cleverly planted arrangements you will see. If you were to swap the colors of the plants -- say, trade the washed-out heucheras for ones in vibrant Cabernet colors, switch the ajugas to variegated pinks and greens, and change the ipomeas to purple and pinks -- you would have created a garden that was traditionally beautiful. The color palette that visitors see here does create a forlorn sense of decay, but the shapes and combinations of leaf and branch are what make this garden worth studying.