Are you yearning to get back outside to the garden and continue work on that ever-evolving plan you’ve envisioned all winter? Spring is definitely in the air when the sun decides to show itself and bulbs begin to bulge out of the ground and bloom their little heads off. Our annual show of cheerful, yellow daffodils and tulips is just days away.
The foundational layout is key. Good bones, I call it. Start with the boundaries, walkways, major trees or shrubs already there (called hardscapes). Design online or draw a rough plan preferably on graph paper using a pencil and to scale so you can easily change things. “Live” with it a while in your mind.
Once you have the major attractions and plantings in place it is time to find the few extras that will give it signature style: that perfect latch for the gate, just the right garden bench, or an unusual use of rocks that enhance the overall feel of your garden.
If you are like me, you have some ideas or one particular element you would like to implement, but it takes time to make a masterpiece. I get some of my best ideas from other gardeners, and here are a few of my favorites that may provide you inspiration for your home garden.
1. Perennial Bulbs that expand from year to year~
While a few well-placed objects are pleasing to the eye, I don’t want to be guilty of encouraging anyone to overdo it… for I believe that ‘less is more’.
Eek! I can’t imagine the extra work it would take to keep this yard mowed.
Visit here if you need a good chuckle!
2. Tiered stone tower~
3. A well-placed trellis with annual vines~
A strong rustic tripod of branches lashed together to resist the wind would be a less permanent element… Place it in a sheltered area where the wind won’t topple it. It is a lovely focal point for a colorful annual vine or two. It would be a focal point in a ‘secret garden’ area.
…or a trellis of a more ‘permanent’ nature such as the perpetually-blooming Zephirine Drouhin rose clambering up and over the rustic structure. They would most certainly have added sturdy (metal) supports. My kind husband planted a Zephirine Drouhin rose for me last fall. It was what I chose for Mother’s Day, 2012. We hope to add an archway this year and train the rose to it.
4. Blue pottery planters~
~for easy-care cacti and grasses that need less water~
5. Special-use garden spaces~
An enclosed, shaded outdoor room and conversation area~
…a strong urban or Old World element is a small cozy courtyard garden with brick walk, vines, fountain, and planters filled with flowers and shrubs~
…or a space that doubles as an outdoor room in your side yard, set apart by a picket fence~
For some more outdoor rooms, go here.
6. A garden swing or swing set~
If I had my wish, every yard would have a swing in a tree~
~or one you can move~
7. Fire pit for pleasure or emergency cooking~
8. Potting shed and watering can~
9. Garden ground covers~
From the violets that do well under trees as shown here, to ivy, and 32 more.
10. Bird attractions in the garden~
Remember, you can start small. Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect right away…
…and ’tis true…‘less is more’.
“Half the interest of a garden is in the constant exercise of the imagination.” ~Mrs. C. W. Earle