The 98 pages of Great Gardens, Solutions for Small Spaces are divided into sections for typical small problem areas you might have in your garden: Foundations, Island Beds, Corners, Narrow Spaces and Patio & Decks. I particularly liked that built into these chapters are design lessons on Scale, Focal Points, Repetition, Going Vertical and Containers. I believe that the design of a tight gardening spot is even more important than in a larger garden, and the lessons are given in a very understandable way, something that even I can do without needing professional help.
“No Space is Too Small for a Spectacular Garden” shouts the cover. Well, I’m from the Show-Me-State of Missouri. I put myself in the shoes of friends who live in attached villas with small patios. What can you really do with that little space besides a few pots? As in the other chapters, they guided me from what I wanted from this patio to getting the finished look, and they are solutions you can really live with, not the “far out” examples I’ve seen on some of the TV shows.
A formal garden…..oh, how great they looked in the books and gardening magazines. Yup, we’ll do that one day. So….we did! But we got way more than we bargained for and I mean that in all good ways!
The land was barren; it was a former sod farm. There was nothing good about the scape nor the dirt. But we did have our backdrop of the mountains – well, foothills I guess to y’all in real mountainous places on this globe.
We had moved from a place where we kept a large vegetable garden and somehow, my brain went completely haywire as I drooled over the formal garden pictures.I wanted flowers and boxwoods.I pictured myself in a lovely hat with an English trog and my snips out there just cutting gorgeous blooms; coming in and arranging perfect creations for the new digs.
My husband is an Engineer by training amongst other things. He also knows me to a “T”. Okeedokee, a formal garden you shall have m’dear. But he knew – he can see into my future
Shrubs or trees that are suitable for tall styles of topiary design include Alberta spruce, arborvitae, and Juniper. For wider sculpted pieces, globe arborvitae, boxwood, or privet are accommodating. For the classic topiary “ball on a stick” design, you’ll need a tree with a straight leader that will grow up a stake.
The Technique: Spiral
This Alberta spruce had grown too large for the corner where it had been planted as a sapling. I needed to either remove it, or prune it to be less overpowering in the small space. Armed with my bypass shears and a roll of orange surveyor’s tape, I decided to try my hand at designing a spiral topiary. The tree is about 6 feet tall, and the project tok me a little over two hours.
Look at your tree from all angles and decide just how sloping you want the spiral design to be. Take into consideration the height of the tree, and how wide the bottom is. The taller the tree, the closer together the spirals can be.
Start at the top and tie the
The garden snowflakes, from the genus Leucojum and Acis (Amaryllidaceae), are perhaps not as popular as many of our other garden bulbs like lilies, tulips, crocus, etc, but they are deserving of space in the garden in regions where they can be successfully cultivated. At one time all the snowflakes were classified as Leucojum but more recently, most have been placed into a ‘new’ genus called Acis. In reality, Acis is not really new at all; the plants in question were originally classified as Acis back in 1807 but in the 1880’s were lumped into the genus Leucojum. With new DNA studies, the separation of many Leucojum back into Acis happened as recently as 2004. How do the two differ? Leucojum are generally larger plants with wider, strap-like leaves, hollow flower stems and white, bell-shaped flowers whose tepals (sepals and petals that look the same) are tipped in green. They look much like snowdrops on steroids! Acis on the other hand, are smaller, more delicate plants with narrow, grass-like foliage, solid flower stems and nodding bell-like flowers that are either pure white or tinted pink. Their flowers are more reminiscent of lily-of-the-valley. Of the 10 species that were once classified
We already have three bedrooms, I reasoned, and there are only two of us, so we certainly don’t need them all. Besides, there’s a fourth room up there that’s pretty much vacant. As a Zone 5 gardener smitten by tropical plants, this proposal made perfect sense to me.
Let the Negotiations Begin
“This is absolutely absurd! How are the plants going to survive up there without sunlight? You can’t cram them all in front of the windows.”
“Fluorescent grow lights.”
“How are you going to get those big, heavy pots up there?”
“With a dolly.”
“What if the pots leak or overflow and the water comes down through the ceiling into our dining room?” (which, much to my chagrin, actually happened several years
Are you new to gardening and not sure how to get started? Let us help. Here’s our quick guide for the beginner vegetable gardener on how to plant a vegetable garden
We’ll highlight the basics of vegetable garden planning: how to pick the right site, figure out how “big” to go, and how to select which vegetables to grow.
Remember this: It’s better to be proud of a small garden than to be frustrated by a big one!
One of the common errors for beginners is planting too much too soon and way more than anybody could eat or want. Unless you want to have zucchini taking up residence in your attic, plan carefully. Start small.
Gardening for the Beginner
To get started gardening, here are some very basic concepts on topics you’ll want to explore further as you become a vegetable gardener extraordinaire:
- Do you have enough sun exposure? Vegetables love the sun. They need at least 6 hours of full sun every day, and preferably 8.
- Know your soil. Most soil can be enriched with compost and be fine for planting, but some soil needs more help. Vegetables must have good, loamy, well-drained soil. If you’re
One of the most important parts of a plant is the part you can’t see. Roots are absolutely vital to a plant’s health, and if the roots are sick, the plant is sick. But how can you tell if roots are healthy? Keep reading to learn about identifying healthy roots and growing healthy roots.
Importance of Healthy Roots
The importance of healthy roots can’t be stressed enough. Roots hold plants in place. They also carry water and essential minerals to the rest of the plant. It’s how the plant eats and drinks. It’s important to keep healthy roots in plants that are already established, of course, but it’s even more important to check for healthy roots in plants you buy in the store.
If you buy a plant with a bad root system, at best, it will take it a long time to adjust to transplanting. At worst, it’ll die soon after you get it home. But how can you tell the difference between healthy and unhealthy roots?
What Do Healthy Roots Look Like?
Identifying healthy roots in the store is easy, since the plants are all potted and the roots are easily
One of the most versatile and easy ways to grow bushels of colorful annual flowers is in containers. The fast-growing popularity of “color bowls” is proof positive that Americans like container growing, whether they do it themselves or have someone else prepare it for them.
If It Will Hold Soil, It is a Container
While many people think primarily of terra cotta, plastic pots, glazed pots, or half-barrels as likely containers for plants, just about any “container” is a possible prospect. Car tires, old shoes, coffee pots, raw bags of growing mix, and just about anything imaginable can be used to grow plants. If whimsical is your style, don’t be afraid to try it. The basics remain the same.
Container growing offers many benefits, not the least of which is that you can put a “garden” just about anywhere. Cement balconies on a highrise building can become urban gardens, or splashes of color can be put on a backyard deck or patio. And, providing the containers are not too heavy, potted plants can be moved and rearranged whenever the need or mood arises.
Without a doubt, container gardens will require less