Seating Spots: The Well Placed Bench

Seating Spots: The Well Placed Bench

The message of any group of seats or well placed benches is that a garden is a place to rest, relax, and enjoy. Every hard working gardener needs to take a breather and we all should take some time to sit and enjoy the fruits of our labors. A Quiet Spot Entire backyards may be dedicated to the concept of meditation and quiet, but I think every truly well designed space requires at least one spot that is primarily centered around a sense of rest and serenity. Take a look at a Serenity Garden A popular idea that is used in many gardens and parks is the bench under a sheltering bower of green leafy branches or vines. Tucked under an arbor, within a pergola, or next to the shade tree, this restful seating is the perfect place to enjoy birdsong, flitting butterflies, and the scent of roses on the air. The Inviting Patio My husband and I have been particularly enjoying the deck with its cozy seats, patio table and umbrella. Whether chatting over cool evening drinks,  enjoying a grilled meal, or just a morning cup of coffee alone, this is one highly valuable landscape feature that gets used almost every day. ( In pleasant weather, of course!) The best way to take advantage of such a place outdoors is to list the desired features ( i.e. place to eat and entertain, solitary getaway, quiet and out of the way or front and center to the door,etc). Be aware of sun and shadow, whether there is a pocket of warmth during springtime or if heat might make an...
Five Principle Ideas To Design A Beautiful Garden

Five Principle Ideas To Design A Beautiful Garden

Everyone wants to do it: design beautiful spaces around them. It is no surprise that gardeners want to take the wealth of nature and surround themselves with as much of its sights, sounds, and scents to enjoy each day. What a challenge that proves as new plant introductions are brought to light and designs showcase the many ways to use plants. It sometimes seems beyond our grasp to create what we want to bring out of our imagination. Of course, not everyone thrives on the design of a garden, it seems too much work- and anyway it is paper and pen, not earth and botanical life. Some just love the experience of growing things, and the overall form isn’t nearly as important as the cultivation of plants. Then there are those who love looking, but the whole idea of devoting time and sweat into the making of a garden seems unappealing. I can’t help but think they just haven’t been made aware of how much impact the landscape makes on us everyday. Yet we all appreciate something of nature’s beauty close at hand, whether we simply walk through it to reach the front door or revel in the greater part of our hours spent somehow in its beds and paths. The point is that if you would like to design and grow your own garden, you can. If you have half a will to learn a few concepts and put them to work in the making of a plan, it is more than likely that the result will be attractive and something you will actually love doing. What does it take to design...
Summer Flower Container Ideas

Summer Flower Container Ideas

A Moveable Feast Of Summer Color Containers are like a feast of color, a concentrated burst of plants that draw the eye and give an appetizing presentation of foliage and blooms meant to delight the viewer. Unless the pot is so large and ungainly to make moving improbable, most containers can be transported to other parts of the garden. Plants in containers have become my favorite way to brighten up the garden with annuals. With plants in pots, one doesn’t worry about the sun exposure or time of year, at least not in the sense of some permanent way. Temporarily, we can move the whole planting into more or less sun, start our seeds later than usual for flowering fresh in the middle of summer (when most annuals look a little tatty), and bend the rules a bit because we can. You can never do that with a fixed flower bed. With container plantings, small failures are easily filled in. Hot weather may result in cool-loving annuals melting out, but replacing them with new plants is not only easy, but might make an improvement on the whole arrangement of plants. Giving an entirely new look with what might be usual houseplants… draceanas, asparagus fern, airplane plants (Chlorophytum comosum) to name a few.  Annuals in Pots Ilona’s Garden’s pin on Pinterest. The combination possibilities are endless. If you have need of recipe ideas for your containers I have some pages here, and Pinterest has turned out to be a treasure trove of creative plant artistry. My Container How-to Pages: Container Gardening Recipes For Annual Plant Combos 5 Container Ideas And Tips...
Monochromatic Gardens

Monochromatic Gardens

Just Choose One Single Color Gardens “…besides my small grey garden, I badly want others, and especially a gold garden, a blue garden, and a green garden” ~ Gertrude Jekyll, ‘Colour Schemes for the Flower Garden‘ To be completely honest, I cannot contain my color enthusiasm to just one choice, but I have often experimented with the idea of a monochromatic flower plan. I happen to love the impact of a single color while the rich textural variations of different plants provide the eye candy interest. I place pockets of monochromatic design within the landscape, especially using annuals to create one color areas where I find it most telling. I do like the entry way to have a monochromatic design, and blue has been my favorite hue to accomplish this, in most years. My first introduction to a one color garden was at the first home we owned. The remnants of a former garden had remained and they were all white or very pale blossoms: a white peony, Annabelle hydrangea, a Dr. W. Van Fleet climbing rose. From that base I built my first real garden. Later in the exuberance of planting my garden in my present place, the front porch garden settled on the all blue scheme. Still one of my favorites. Blue is quiet enough to provide a calm invitation to my old farmhouse home, but the color stands out in the flat, mostly sunny, landscape. That says it is a garden of note, in my estimation. What Are Some Advantages Of Single Hued Gardens? More Monochromatic Ideas and Info Springtime Pink Flowers July Pink Harmony Strong...
Cottage Garden Gold Flowers

Cottage Garden Gold Flowers

A Sunny and Simple Cottage Garden There was something about the monochromatic scheme idea that has always attracted gardeners. I think it has something to do with the powerful impact of such a design, but also due to the psychological effect that color has on people. Color says something to us, and there are times that the message is desired to say something either to ourselves or to the “world out there”. Those messages might just be buried within the fact that we simply like a certain hue. Yellow and gold have a cheerful effect on people, but they are also attention-getting shades. It matches well with a wide variety of home exteriors, and it might be the hue you are looking for to give the landscape a unified feel with its optimistic, emotionally strong, and friendly appeal. Suggested List of Yellow to Gold Flowers Have you ever wanted a monochromatic garden, one made with most or all the flowers in just one glorious color? Gertrude Jekyll had the idea of a sequence of “garden rooms” each with their own primary color scheme of one or just two colors. It is an idea that appeals to the designer in us: creating a cottage garden plan with the tapestry texture of one color we love best.   Cottage Gardens This post is for the cheerful sunny colors of yellow, spilling out of borders, overflowing urns, and generally shining with golden colors throughout a Cottage Garden. First though, have you any idea of what makes the Cottage Garden Style? If the style is as important as the color, to you, then...
Blue Sky Flowers

Blue Sky Flowers

Heavenly Blue Come Down Into The Garden I was traveling the Highway in an area of the Western United States and looking down below me at a home in the desert (to my Ohioan eyes) on to a patch of shimmering blue shining from a circle in the yard. This oasis of blue sky hue was not the result of a reflecting pool of water, but of what I am convinced was a stand of blue flax. I have grown just such a patch of blue in my own very green June garden. Perhaps my yard did not yield quite so startling an effect as the bare beige, gray, and pale browns of land of that sunny day, as my car whizzed by to the next destination. It reminds me of how gardeners love certain color -and blue is a certain favorite. There is something about this shade of blue, a clear azure, which fascinates our eye when we see it in flowers. It is certainly not a common bloom color. The gardening world has an imagination stretching way of describing colors, especially the elusive blues. Most of those are more of a violet to violet-blue. The idea came to me that a short list of such blues might be useful to somebody. There are many Spring flowering plants with sky blue, so I have mostly included plants that flower sometime from June through August. More Color Ideas: Color design Serene Blue Garden The reason to identify that fleeting scene from my car as a stand of Linum perenne, is due to its singular clear azure blue color, its...
A Garden of Simples, Growing Medicinal Herbs

A Garden of Simples, Growing Medicinal Herbs

The Medicinal Herb Garden A “Simple” was an herbal plant grown on its own as a medicine. “Simple” being a term from the melding of two Latin words, Singula plica: a single purpose. Although there were always remedies compounded for ailments, the housewife of olden times was able to use simples for common remedies often needed in daily life in her home and with her domestic animals. Increasing milk, treating a fever, calming a queasy stomach… Make no mistake about it, the seemingly benign view we have of “herbs” has the potential to be no less toxic or potentially harmful, just because we grow it ourselves or have just enough knowledge about it to be dangerous. This article is a guide of landscaping and historical interest, and any use of herbs medicinally should be with consultation with your health professional, as well as your own research into the use and dosages of such plants. With that rather scary warning, most herbs that you might grow in a simples medicinal herb garden will be mild and safe, such as mint or chamomile. Some are common culinary herbs, like sage, rosemary, and thyme. For many of us, the decorative value is the most important thing, but the addition of knowing how to use our herbs for good health is a boon we can enjoy, too. Simple Designs for Simple Gardens Design and History of Herb Gardens Herb Plantlists Culinary Herbs How To Start An Herb Garden It seems to me that if we use our herbs for their properties, that we would like to grow them in the most organized and...
Flower Garden Design Keeps Curb Appeal In The Pink

Flower Garden Design Keeps Curb Appeal In The Pink

Plants And Ideas For Your Pink Flower Garden Design A pink flower garden design, does that sound too much like something a little girl would dream up? Boring or a bit too precious? Pink monochromatic gardens have plenty of interest, are versatile and sophisticated if that is what you wish. They can also look airy and almost as calm as a white garden. When combining the sharper color of hot pinks, the landscape can sing. Don’t overlook a patch of pinks and what this color can do for your garden. A pink flower garden design might be just what your home landscape needs to increase the curb appeal of your home, whether you are going to live there a long time or decide it is time to sell. Photo credit: jjulian812 from morguefile.com The pink flower garden is one of the easiest of all monochromaticthe use of a single color of the spectrum gardens to create. Pink is one of the most common colors found in the flower world. The color pink pops in the visual landscape, its bright color carries well whether in shade or sun, and people generally respond well emotionally to pink flowers. If you have decided that this year’s garden might be best planted in pink, this post works to inspire you. Source: crushculdesac.tumblr.com via Renee on Pinterest Creating Interest In A Pink Monochromatic Scheme Monochromatic? Learn more One of the most famous gardens in the world is Vita Sackville-West’s white garden in Sissinghurst. Although the idea didn’t originate with her, using one color of bloom for an entire garden scheme successfully created a magical...
How To Make A Fairy Garden Terrarium

How To Make A Fairy Garden Terrarium

If you live in a cold climate, you know that for at least half the year (from October through May) frost threatens the garden. If you have grown to love your outdoor fairy garden, or simply have a hankering to create a miniature garden inside your home, a terrarium garden is a wonderful winter project. The addition of fairy garden accessories turns it into something truly charming. Your terrarium can be as small as a simple glass container holding one rock with a fairy figurine perched on top, a few sprigs of a grassy plant and some moss, to something quite large and full of fascinating fairy folk in a repurposed aquarium. It is all up to you and your own creative imagination. Let’s start with some terrarium garden basics. What Is A Terrarium? Click A terrarium is an enclosed miniature world, a plant environment within a glass container. From small jars to large, the important thing is to remember to balance the mini-environment with just the right amount of moisture to circulate within the glass. Terrariums can be either open or closed. Source: 1.bp.blogspot.com via Samantha Terrarium How-To Find a Glass Container Layer the bottom of the container with gravel (I like aquarium gravel in a natural color) Mix together your soil, Martha Stewart has a formula for using horticultural charcoal and orchid bark in her Fairyland Terrarium. I like to make a “terrain” with small rocks and different levels. Plant the mosses, then add the small plants. Finally, insert the fairy furniture, accessories and figurines Find figurines, and fairy garden accessories online. Fairy Inspiration Checklist for Terrarium...
More Faerie Garden Resources

More Faerie Garden Resources

A Fairy Garden Curation To collate all the resources I’ve been making and collecting, an index of fairy garden links seems in order! Instead of this article I decided a complete permanent page was an easier way to find the many tutorials, creative ideas and articles that fairy gardening seems to be inspiring. Faerie Garden Links All Over The Web The New Fairy Garden Resource Page Watch the video below, and be sure to visit my pages for indepth guidance on plants and ideas on making your very own Fairy Garden. Here are the galleries, articles, links, and social media collections to help you enjoy a fantasy ride into the treasure trove of a Fairy Garden fantasy world. Source: beautiful-portals.tumblr.com via Jo Ann on Pinterest More Miniature Plants For A Tiny Garden Add to the lists on my other Fairy garden pages. Muelenbeckia complexa, Fairy Vine is a groundcover plant with tiny wiry stems. Arrange it over a miniature arbor. ‘Jean Iseli’ Tsuga canadensis Dwarf Canada Hemlock makes a slow growing, fine leaved evergreen. Hardy, too. Bellium minuta are diminutive daisies.Quite hardy with sun and moist soil needs. Japanese Chirimen Dwarf Hinoki Cypress is a very slow grower with all the cultivation needs of other Hinoki Cypress plants. For other lists of plants to grow in your Fairy garden displays, see the 3 garden plans page, and how to create a Fairy garden. New Faerie Garden Links Fairy Garden Gallery -Look at inspiring photos of Fairy environments. My Squidoo Lens on Making a Fairy House -Follow a Grandma as she makes her own fiary houses for less than a...
Learn From The Experts: Russell Page

Learn From The Experts: Russell Page

“I have always tried to shape gardens each as a harmony linking people to nature, house to landscape, the plant to its soil. Everything that distracts from the idea of a unity must go.”Russell Page, The Education of a Gardener, 1962 One of the pre-eminent landscape designers of the twentieth century is Russell Page. You can’t help but admire his strong lines and beautifully furnished gardens. A designer of international renown, he was a British landscaper who made his home in France and designed gardens in Europe, and the United States; throughout the world, in fact, including the Middle East and South America. He had studied Classical and Islamic gardens, producing a memorable read, “The Education of a Gardener”, which distilled his adventures and opinions. He had a distinct vision which influenced the garden world of the Twentieth century. Imbued with a classical serenity and calm, yet with the life of the plants billowing and abounding, he draws upon the best of British garden sense to create his unmistakeable mark upon the landscape. Source: flickr.com via Tim Russell Page Design Keys Key concepts from Page’s writings: The best way to gather his design tips and opinions is, of course, by reading his books and essays, but here are a few concepts in a nutshell. Paths are all-important. Paths indicate the structure of a garden plan, and the stronger and simpler the lines they follow the better. …Repetition or the massing of one simple element … Beneath all the charms of a garden will lie a logical and direct framework A windy garden is unrewarding Style and site are interconnected....
Fairy Garden Gallery

Fairy Garden Gallery

Recently I was out and about and looking at different fairy garden displays in local nurseries. The selection of plants and tiny furnishings, not to mention replicas of the fairies themselves has mushroomed. I hope you enjoy this gallery presentation. A delightful collection of dish fairy gardens. A collection more inspiration! I love the ingenious thinking that fairy homes and gardens inspire. From...
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