I’m about to move into a new home. The lot is landscaped well enough, but I’m going to make changes to the garden to make it more welcoming and give it my own personal touch. I’ll share with you some of the ways I plan to make this garden my own.
First of all, I’m going to step up the maintenance. Once they decided to sell their house, the previous owners started to neglect the outdoor areas. It’s not terrible, but it’s not up to my standards. So, before I do anything else I’m going to remove dead and dying leaves and branches. I’ll pull weeds, replace mulch, and re-cut the edges of the beds. Then I’ll be able to see what I’ve got.
Nothing says, “Welcome to my garden” better than flowers along the front path, so I’ll plant colorful annuals there. And I’ll put in solar lights to illuminate the flowering path. I want my neighbors to know that I’m friendly and will do my part to keep the neighborhood looking pretty.
A local artisan makes custom handcrafted plaques with house numbers. The colorful plaque, painted with local flowers and birds, will be a lovely addition to my front yard. I have a fanciful metal sculpture of an imaginary animal that I’ll also put out front.
The transition from the front garden to the back will be through an arbor, which is much more inviting than a closed gate. I’ll probably plant sweet peas or morning glories on the arbor just to get some quick flowering. Eventually I’ll put in a perennial vine, but I have to understand the conditions in that part of the yard before I can figure out what will work best there.
The garden in the rear of the house is for relaxing and hanging out. My goal is to make it so comfortable and pleasant that friends and family will want to spend time there. I found a weathered teak bench and a pair of loungers in a yard sale. I just need to find a table and umbrella. Oh, and a hammock.
My plan is to make several little garden rooms out back. One spot will be quiet and meditative, with bamboo wind chimes and a gentle waterfall or fountain. A small lawn will be perfect for playing. Bird feeders and a birdbath will occupy another corner; after all, I want to welcome feathered friends as well as human visitors to my garden!
With all my plans you may be thinking that I have a huge yard, but it’s less than one-quarter of an acre. With careful use of plants for screens and accents and garden ornaments for interest, my “estate” will seem much more spacious than it actually is.
After I finish these projects I’ll step back and see what’s next. A garden evolves, and the more time I spend in my new plot of ground the better I will understand what else I can do to make it even more welcoming.
Get your creative juices going with these resources on garden décor:
The Weekend Gardener has lists of gardening resources for garden décor, fountains, arbors, art, and plaques.
Find out how to use decorative elements to enliven your garden.
Frugal gardeners show how to create garden art from trash.
Lynne Lamstein gardens in Maine and Florida and is currently working on a sustainable landscape. She has a degree in ornamental horticulture from Temple University.