5 Ideas To Make Your Garden POP

All gardens are beautiful, but if you want design features your guests will remember and your family will treasure, you might have to think outside the box. Creativity is the key to making a strong impression. Don’t do anything the way everyone else does it. Try something new. Go with something bold and out of the ordinary and adapt these exciting ideas to your unique style.

1. Add and Aquaponics Water Feature

Water features can be practical as well as beautiful. Consider a working waterfall raining down upon hanging or fixed planters to water them. The planters are filled with grow bed medium and beautiful plants, so your water will stay clean. Finally, after working through a system of numerous planters and waterfalls, the water babbles quietly through a final waterfall into a 300 to 600 gallon decorative fish pond. You could raise Koi for their beauty or Tilapia for your table.

Aquaponics system designs could be natural or something quite modern and abstract. Materials could be stones and concrete, decorative hammered copper and glass or any number of decorative materials. Many people are creating practical aquaponics systems that are utilitarian and designed to grow vegetables and fish, but it is possible to create intense beauty with an aquaponics system as well. Aquaponics systems self water plants, using bell siphons so they require very little maintenance, and the sound of their many waterfalls is absolutely enchanting.

2. Build Matching Walkways, Seating and Planters

There are many methods and materials that can be use to build a wonderland in your garden. Stone is always a good choice, but stamped or decorative concrete can mimic stone, brick, wood, marble or any other surface very convincingly at a fraction of the cost. A good concrete contractor can build both vertical and horizontal surfaces with the same patterns and materials. You will find his fees quite reasonable compared to the price of stone and the entire job will look like it cost a fortune.

3. A Custom Archway Trellis or Arbor with Built In Planters

Trellises and arbors can be so beautiful, but it takes forever for plants in the ground to reach the top of the trellis. Why not design an arbor with planters along the sides and built into the top for flowering plants. By combining the idea of vertical gardening with the old fashioned arched trellis one can have an amazing look almost immediately instead of having to wait for vines to grow to eight feet high? This way all types of flowering plants could be incorporated easily.

4. Build planters on the Top of your Garden Fences

Why not attach long planters to the tops of your fence posts so that they sit on top of the fence in a uniform row. This will add height, not only to your fence but to your garden. You and your guests will be able to enjoy your tall garden as a row of flowers or greenery at a new and unexpected height. This idea would work with any fence height including tall privacy fences. Consider filling the new fence planters with native violets and allowing them to trail down the fence in ample cascades of mauve and white blossoms and deep green foliage.

5. Consider an Exciting Designer Hammock

There are two stunning hanging furniture designs by Dedon, an Italian furniture company. Either would provide a stunning impression. Dedon makes an exciting 2 meter wide hanging teardrop shaped pod made of woven Dedon Fiber and stuffed with exciting outdoor cushions. Another possibility might be their Swingrest daybed. This round garden bed can be suspended or its swivel Corian base can be placed on the ground.

Mike Smith is a home decorator who uses Premium Pools and Gardens for all of his outdoor needs.






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Where are my gardening gloves – time to get my hands in some dirt

I’ve got my work cut out for me this weekend! Yesterday evening my husband and I went to a new garden center that opened up near us – it’s called Reeves Nursery.

We’d driven past the site a few times in the last couple of weeks and when I took a look at their website I discovered that they have a “no tax” Wednesday every week … so we figured we might save some money if we went shopping for our plants last night.

It turned out that they were having a 20% off sale … so we got that instead of the “no tax” as that saved us an extra 7%. They had a great selection of plants in a variety of sizes and the prices were ok … I’d be happy if the prices were the lowest I could find, but the discount and the quality of the plants made me a happy gardener.

We ended up spending more than I thought we would. You see we have several hanging planters, window planters and 7 balcony boxes (those large low rectangular planters) to fill with annuals.

I did grow some of my own annuals this year, but not nearly as many as I need.

So … what did we end up getting?

A flat of Impatiens, 2 nice double flowering Begonia, 2 small Fuchsia, 6 dwarf Dahlia’s, 6 Gerber Daisies, a few Coleus, several Lobelia and Petunia plants, dwarf white night scent Nicotina, several Marigolds in vibrant orange and yellow and I’m sure a few other plants that I can’t think of right now.

I also picked up some early Girl tomato plants, Sweet cherry 100, English cucumbers a few types of lettuce and Swiss Chard.

The only plants I couldn’t find, but ones that I usually use in my garden or planters were annual Geraniums and Cleomes. When I found the dwarf Dahlia’s I thought I’d use them instead of the Geraniums but if I can find some Geraniums this weekend I might use both.

As for the Cleomes I did find some at Reeves but they were single plants in 4 inch pots at 2.99 each … and I need about 20 of them to border the back of my garden beds so I’ll have to find cheaper ones. Oh and I did take some seeds off the plants last year so I’ll be planting some of last years seeds in the back of the garden beds this weekend too.

Earlier in the week we’d been to another garden center. I wanted to find a replacement for one of my roses – Chicago Peace – as it didn’t seem to come back this year. With the great weather we’ve had all year I’d think it would show signs of life by now, especially considering that all the rest of my roses are 3 to 7 feet high, full of leaves and rose buds … but no luck.

So … I thought I’d replace that rose with perhaps a Weigela or another type of flowering hardy shrub since I’ve now lost two roses in the same spot in the garden. I did pick out a purple Weigela that I love, but then I found yet another Chicago Peace … so I guess the Weigela will go in another place in the garden and I’ll try the rose for the third and final time in my small oval patio garden bed.

All in all I think I picked up 75 or more plants! You know what I’m going to be doing this weekend … planting, planting, planting. I’ll also be pulling out all my seeds and get some veggies and a few other annuals started by seed.

Hows the weather in your area? Are you going to be planting this weekend too?

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Photographee examines the camera

I don’t know who the photographer was, but they managed to capture a once in a life time shot!

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The Blue Jays around here aren’t very friendly.

Sure, they’ll eat from the bird feeders and visit some of my plants, but the minute that either my husband or I go outside or one of our neighbors enters their yard the Blue Jays are gone. I’d never get a shot of a Blue Jay landing on a hand held camera in a million years!

It’s been quite rainy here in Toronto today, but the rain has just stopped and the suns out … who knows for how long … but I’m going to try to go out and get a little gardening done.  I have some annuals to plant in planters and a few bulbs to plant in the garden beds.  It would be nice if I could get this stuff done before it begins to rain again!

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