When you’re planning on creating outdoor spaces, you also need to think about focal points in your design. This breaks up the landscape and draws the eye all around your space.
Like using a water fountain or birdbath, for example. You want different heights to bring the eye up and down.
The pupsters look pretty comfy. Abi is her regular diva self. And Charlie is looking around for cats that might be hiding in trees. He is not accustomed to cats.
The layout of my patio:
This is the corner just left of the seating area. When I begin to develop my outdoor space, I first locate a seating area. Because that is a simple focal point that is easy to establish.
How did I establish this one? There are two reasons I chose this particular spot:
- It is in the shade part of the day
- I can see it from the patio doors. Which gives me much pleasure.
And why did I choose the plants that are there? There’s a lot of shade, so I put ferns and hostas in this corner. Plants that like shade.
Here you see the continuation. I begin my garden areas. There is more sun here, so I put the plants that will grow best in this location for the best possible outcome.
This is the length of the patio. I hate to have so many plants just lined up like soldiers. But many of them will grow vines that need the support of the fence.
Now we shift slightly to the right. Sorry about the rolled up fencing. That is left over from fixing spots to keep the pupsters inside the fence.
Galvanized container gardens:
You can see here that I’ve brought in an alternate element to the equation. This container garden.
Here you can see it better. I “built” this area by first putting two galvanized tubs not very far apart. Then I overlapped the old washer tub three or four inches on each side.
I put another tub in front. This creates a “garden” effect.
What I planted in the tubs:
I am trying the herb stevia for the first time. You know, like the sweetener you can buy?
I have placed a few plates on the inside edges of the tubs for a touch of whimsy and color. Also as a backdrop for the plants in front of them.
I planted most of this yesterday, so it hasn’t started to “perk up” yet. This is the time of day it gets some shade. But it will get six hours of sun, which is suggested.
Many I brought from the other house; some I bought. Home Depot this week had a big sale on perennials (love those because you’re planting things that will come back year after year!) and also herbs.
I could not find rosemary, which I always have in my gardens. And apparently the harsh winter here killed the one at the little blue house.
Stick solar lights in containers:
Another thing I like to do is stick solar lights in my containers. They look beautiful at night. Glowing and casting light on the plants.
I began here, added the chairs, and worked outward. You want to situate pots together for that “garden” feeling. And because it is more pleasing to the eye.
Feeding the birds:
A problem I’m having: Over toward the far end where the two trees are, I hung a bird feeder with black oil sunflower seeds about a week or so ago. And I have no takers! I have two bird baths. And no takers!
I hear the birds. But I can’t figure out why they aren’t coming to eat the sunflower seeds. Thoughts? It is not too close to anything where a cat might lurk.
People ask me how to create settings outside. Just use your gut. Believe me, I do a lot of moving and shifting around. And I will continue to as I add more things out here.
Color-themed garden ideas:
You can have color-themed gardens or just a blast of color. In some of the containers against the fence, I have a white-themed and a purple-themed container.
Occasionally a breeze brings the scent of the white and purple alyssum drifting in the air. Oh, I love that scent!
Using all the senses:
Your aim in your garden/outdoor space is to utilize all the senses: sight, scent, sound.
Birdsong and water fountains bring sound. (Which I hope to be able to also do, but I have no electrical outlet outdoors, so I may have to go the solar route.)
Symbolism in the garden:
Each plant or decorative object you bring to your garden often has symbolism attached. I have one house-shaped metal sign I had made when I lost my best friend in 2006. She died eight years ago yesterday.
I also have the Pepper dog sign for the dog I lost just six weeks prior to her death.
I had these made by the Garden Deva, who happens to be right here in Tulsa. She shipped them to Texas for me. They are custom made.
When you have lost a loved one, it is cathartic to create a garden. Something alive and growing to remember them by.
You can look up Victorian meanings of flowers and herbs and create a garden or container garden around what feelings they evoked in you. Such as rosemary for remembrance.
I find that this gives me a measure of peace and a place to remember them.
Planning fairy gardens:
Next I plan to start tackling a few fairy gardens. I have all the little miniatures from other fairy gardens. But I just have to carve out the time to work on them.
Right now I’ve got to carve out a space indoors to accommodate my washer that has already shipped! And I’m having to work the kitchen decorating around that.
Get out in the sunshine and smell the roses today! It’s gorgeous outside here. And I plan to enjoy it.