Are you Taking Advantage of Garden Seating?
As I pull into the driveway of an old friend, I look fondly at the welcoming bench in her front yard. Although I’ve never seen her sit on it, over the years the bench has held her purse, her groceries, and me. It is often the place I choose to wait for her if I arrive to pick her up for an afternoon outing before she is ready; more than just a place to sit, garden seating affords me the opportunity to enjoy her garden from a different perspective. Outdoor seating can be a cheerful, inviting touch that also provides functionality.Read full story
Does Privacy Matter to You?
Seasonal splendor draws us outside to enjoy time with our families or just to be alone in the garden. When venturing outside, do you often come face to face with a neighbor seeking the same? Even if you have great neighbors, most of us want to have some private time. Privacy can provide a comfy sense of seclusion and security. While we are social creatures, there are times we want to be alone in the garden—or at least, feel alone without being open for inspection.Read full story
How-To Create a Focal Point in the Garden
As you walk down a garden path, your senses are heightened by the delight the garden brings. With a continual swath of beautiful plants, the eye takes in so much beauty as it slowly moves from flower to flower, from one vignette to another. Then your eyes come to rest on a particular item in the garden--a focal point--giving your senses a place to rest. Adding a focal point will register that same elation in the heart.Read full story
Why Sound is Important in the Garden
As I walk through the garden in winter, I hear a breeze coming before I feel it brush my face. The pin oak, still in its infancy at a mere 20 years old, holds its leaves through the winter. It is brown and nondescript until the wind blows, and then a wonderful sound occurs. Looking up, I see the leaves shimmering like a hula skirt, giving me a sense I should shimmy a bit myself. As I listen, all around me the garden has become a symphony of sounds.Read full story
Movement in the Garden
Wind blowing, water flowing, grasses swaying, children playing. Movement brings a garden to life. It seems unimaginable for a garden to be still. Do you find yourself looking from the corner of your eye at something moving, or do you look toward a sound made by the moving wind? Movement engages you in the garden. It can be introduced in so many ways, be it plants, water features, or art. More than likely, your own garden already holds a number of movement makers that are just waiting to be discovered.Read full story
Understanding Color Theory and How-To Design a Garden with it!
Color is what excites people most in a garden design—color in the flowers, the accents, and even in the furniture during the cold of winter. When visiting a garden with colors that blend, note what makes them work together. A refresher in color theory will make this easier to do.Read full story
Let's Get Wild in the Wildlife Garden!
As the evening light wanes, I step out the back door of my suburban home, entering my wildlife habitat. If I was seeking some alone time, I’ve come to the wrong place. Many familiar friends are waiting for me. Butterflies fly above the heads of a resident box turtle, a few frogs, and a pair of anoles. Dragonflies avoid the praying mantis; the yellow garden spider weaves a web to welcome guests; and mosquitoes are being served for the bat buffet. Several birds are taking flight; others are chirping. I can hear bees buzzing, gathering their last bit of nectar and pollen before night falls. As I look around my wildlife habitat, I realize that each is here by invitation. It really is true—if you build it, they will come.Read full story
While visiting a friend’s garden, you may brush against a rosemary bush, and a comforting memory of your mother’s garden comes to mind. Suddenly, you remember her roasted chicken seasoned with rosemary. When you plant an herb garden, you cultivate more than plants; you cultivate a legacy of memories.Read full story
Earthy Delights with Plants with Benefits
Asparagus, a shape that speaks for itself. The 17th-century English herbalist, Nicholas Culpepper, wrote that asparagus "stirs up lust in man and women." And if you were a male in 19th-century France, your prenuptial dinner included three of these sexy spear courses. They couldn't have known it at the time, but asparagus is rich in folic acid, which is said to boost histamine production necessary for the ability of both men and women to reach the big O.Read full story
Spice up Your Love Life with Plants with Benefits
With Valentine's Day arriving soon, here are some suggestions to spice up your love life with Plants with Benefits!. What would our holiday seasons be like without cinnamon? From flavoring cider during a crisp fall Holloween evening to pumpkin and apple pies for our Thanksgiving feast, cinnamon is found in nearly every American home. Three thousand years ago, it also spiced up the bedchamber!Read full story
Elate your Valentine by Eating Plants with Benefits!
Since the deep past of history, aphrodisiacs have been identified and sought out to remedy various sexual anxieties and increase fertility. Procreation being a rather important moral, religious, and societal issues.Read full story
Embracing the Best Mosses Grown in the Home Garden
Did you know moss is the oldest living terrestrial plant? The sight of a verdant-green moss lawn will calm your soul. All you need is shade to part sun and moisture. Many shade-loving mosses can tolerate morning sun. Once established, many mosses are also drought-tolerant.Read full story
How-To Have a Vegetable Garden
Have you ever tasted a tomato picked fresh from the vine, still warm from the summer sun? If you did, I’m sure you look forward to more. If you have to think about it, then most likely you haven’t, for you would clearly remember.Read full story
Fascinating Fence Follies
Warm and welcoming, fences surround the property and tie the home and garden together, making the area from the front door to the fence an extension of the ground floor. The fence, acting as a barrier between your home and the hustle and bustle of daily life, provides you with privacy and protection. But fences can be so much more. A fence can also serve as your folly—a place to turn a functional fence area into something fun and whimsical, too.Read full story
What is Sustainable Gardening?
The term “sustainable gardening” seems to have become the buzzword in the gardening community, encompassing green, organic, and waterwise gardening practices. Simply put, sustainable gardening is the gardening practice of conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.Read full story
Embracing Moss Gardening
Emerald green rolling mounds, stillness enticing and barefoot begging, mosses evoke a special feel like no other plant on earth. Used as a lawn replacement for shady locations, ground cover in a woodland garden, or even in decorative dish gardens, mosses are gracing more home gardens today than ever before.Read full story
How-To Have a Water-Wise Garden
There was a time when I thought of water as a renewable resource. Deep down, I still want to still believe this. Although our water supply does get recharged (some years are better than others), the distribution of this water over my property varies. Each year, the gain isn’t necessarily equal to the loss—sometimes we take more than nature gives.Read full story
Learning Rhythm, Scale, and Balance in Good Garden Design
When a garden scene takes your breath away, it’s often hard to immediately identify why. If you look closer, something might pop out at you, revealing itself like a 3-D image. When that happens, the view in front of you most likely has good rhythm, appropriate scale, and is pleasingly balanced. Although it’s difficult to explain in words, you know it when you see it—a birdhouse near a birdbath or the pattern of various perennials and shrub heights pleasing the eye.Read full story
Layering in the Landscape is About Diversity
Low to the ground or raised high, layers in your landscape give you the opportunity to add more plantings to your garden by taking advantage of each plane level. The idea of layering dates back to early 20th century gardens, which were tiered, like a church choir, for better viewing. Gardens following this design have plants arranged in three planes—an upper layer at the back of the border with trees and large shrubs, an intermediate layer containing bold grasses and smaller shrubs, and a lower layer of dwarf shrubs and perennials located at the front of the border. This stepped arrangement of heights allows every plant to be fully visible and receive optimal exposure from at least one direction. The strategy works best in a deep planting area using a variety of plant heights and situated adjacent to a lawn. For beds dug in the middle of a lawn, the design can be modified by placing the upper layer in the middle of the bed and then stepping down on all sides, creating a pyramid shape.Read full story
Attracting Birds, Bees, and Butterflies to your Garden
You know it’s spring when the birds begin to sing, the butterflies gracefully flit around your garden, and the bees buzz from one flower to the next. But did you know you can take steps to enhance your garden’s attractiveness to the birds, bees, and butterflies? Even better, you can create a garden that entices them to call your yard home.Read full story