Beautiful gardens appeal to all of our senses. The colors and diversity of different design combinations, fragrance, flavors, sounds from birds and insects attracted to the plants, and variety of textures all add interest. Here’s a few tips to combine different elements to make a beautiful garden.
Add flowers or flowering plants
Pops of color break up the green and give variety, contrast and focal points. Try sowing both annuals and perennial flowers, and mix in things like hanging plants. Going vertical is a great way to add interest and use space well.
You don’t have to only plant flowers though. A wide range of herbs and vegetables have beautiful flowers too. These include chives, spring onions, dill, thyme, basils, pineapple sage, rosemary, rocket, as well as all flowering vegetables and fruits. Helpful insects will also be attracted to your garden, and they will pollinate and clean up any pests for you. Flowers are a good addition to any garden. Just choose your favorite color theme. Below is a flowering rosemary bush (rosemary is an outstanding perennial performer in Zones 7 to 10).
Remove any weeds before they go to seed. Compost any plants that compete with what you actually want in your garden. Why waste your money by sharing your plant food and nutrients with freeloaders? Adding an attractive and practical mulch will deter weeds from setting seed.
Add trees and bushes
In the spring, we all love the blossoms on flowering trees. In autumn the focus shifts in the garden to deciduous trees that change color. Remember your garden is there for 4 seasons. Having a few evergreen bushes or trees can help make a beautiful view year round while spring and fall can be spectacular with a few bushes and trees. Lowe’s has a great guide to buying ornamental shrubs, trees, and vines.
Group plants around a theme
Create a collection of plants that have the same foliage or flower color for more impact. Theming an area of your garden with color is a simple trick to use. Stand back and take a look at the colors in your garden. Could you move them around for better effect?
For example, putting a container of four or six of the same colored flower in a container for mass planting has more impact than just adding one flower. Surrounding these with another contrasting color will ‘frame’ them. This simple principle adds balance and uses another design trick, repetition.
You can also achieve this simple technique by planting along the edge of a garden bed or a pond with a border plant. Highlight the shape and color of the container with repeated plantings. White, silver or grey, and blue work well when they are teamed up with most other colors.
Add some garden art
Garden art can be any ornament, collection, or water feature. When you add decorative items to your garden, it shows your personality and adds some character to your small space. A walkway or path through your garden is another way to add texture and interest with a useful feature.
Stand back and see what your garden needs. Perhaps your pond could be made more interesting with a Berkeley pump water feature. Do you have a bare wall that would be better hidden? Paint the outside walls, or if you can’t, try hanging a bamboo blind as a backdrop to your plants. You could staple some fabric to a lightweight timber frame in a contrasting color and then position your pots and furniture in front of this backdrop. This plant screen is portable piece of decorating and can help you to enjoy your outdoor space for very little cost. You can also use this concept indoors.
Plan and learn
I live in USDA growing zone 9B which is semi-tropical. Most of my specific plants I share on my blog are for my growing zone. Some of them like Crepe Myrtle trees can grow in zones down to 7. Know your growing zone and look for plants that thrive in your environment. If you haven’t made a plan for your yard, check out Garden Planning Guide with Printables for tips and resources to plan your garden in any zone. Have a plan but need an update? Print out lists and other tools to help you make changes.
Read garden bloggers for information and tips to help in your growing environment. My friend, Lee Miller, is a landscape/garden designer and author. Her blog, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, has over 300 articles on general gardening, landscape design principles, gardening tips, planting, pruning, garden maintenance, feature plants and more. I’m always amazed at how beautiful her 4-season garden is in dead of winter.
I hope I’ve inspired you to enjoy your garden!
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This is a collaborative post, but all opinions are my own.
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