When I began gardening I stuck to rows. Just like my grandmothers did. One row dug right after the other in whatever space I had. Lined up like soldiers headed to war.
Then as time progressed so did my gardening skills. I realized that many elements make up a pleasing garden space, regardless of the space you have.
First you have to take the amount of space you have into consideration. Then plan accordingly. I have a cement patio, so I garden in containers.
My preferred containers are galvanized and plastic.
Ceramic planters will often crack in the winter. Terracotta pots let moisture seep through, and in this heat I strive to keep moisture in.
But a garden isn’t just flowers and vegetables to me.
Implementing Your Plan:
I think of a garden much like a room I’m decorating. A room needs furniture. A garden needs focal points. Like furniture and garden art and natural elements such as pieces of driftwood.
So when I design a garden, I’m thinking of where I need to put containers, in consideration of how much sun the plants will need. And I’m thinking of my backdrop for those plantings.
And then I fill in the blanks.
A rugged and faded privacy fence is my backdrop.
Choice Of Containers:
I use a raised container garden along with round pots and galvanized tubs to create diversity and lend various textures to my space.
I choose a small group of colors for my containers.
And of course the galvanized containers lend a rugged look, the patina of age.
Bringing Nature In:
Then I think of how I can draw nature to my garden.
A bird bath is essential to me, since I love birds.
If I didn’t live virtually in the backyard of a Sonic, I would have bird feeders. But I learned quickly that that wasn’t a good combination.
I have short and tall garden art made up of metal from a local artist. I actually used the tall garden art as trellises for my vegetables this year.
Adding Trees In Containers:
In my garden I have two trees in containers.
One is known more for the shape of its leaves, the Gingko Biloba Jade Butterfly tree, which I refer to as “Jade.”
And the other tree is known more for the color of its foliage, which is the Japanese Maple.
Both are doing well in large containers. They give height to my garden space and help to shade flowers and plants that wilt under the intense heat.
Pleasing The Senses:
I love the sound of moving water, so I have a fountain, which also lures in the birds.
I have a rose bush in a large container that lends both height and a sense of roundness to the garden. In the base of the plant I have sedum that drapes over the edge.
I mix flowers, vegetables, ornament grasses and herbs because I love them all and they all serve a purpose for me.
The flowers are for their beauty. The ornamental grasses are for background height and texture. The vegetables and herbs are for cooking and flavoring food.
Garden Tool Storage:
I have a potting bench where I store things I need throughout the garden season. Like tools and soil.
And I also add decor to my privacy fence to break up its “sameness.”
So when I open the French doors and look out on my patio, I see a painting of sorts.
No longer do I garden in regimented straight lined rows.
Now I create a space that pleases both the senses and encourages nature to visit my garden.
I have an abundance of bees and butterflies and lady bugs. Dragonflies and birds.
The Ultimate Creation Of A Garden:
Combining all this, not all planned out but created over time, I have an eco system really. A little world right within the perimeters of my cement patio.
All these things together, in my opinion, make for a successful and beautiful garden space.
No matter how much space you have, you too can do this. Even if you just have an apartment balcony or a small patio. Scale it down and you will have your own little paradise on earth that will please all your senses.
An extension of your home you’ve created for your own enjoyment. And it is all so rewarding.