Category: Yard & Garden

Yard, landscape, hardscape, xeriscape, garden, and lawn

Lemon-Lime Garden Space

Lemon-Lime Garden Space I LOVE!!

A little lemon-lime garden

……a nice change of pace.

It’s taken me a while to decide what to do with the space in front of our front porch.  It’s been half done for a few years now.  At least it seems that way to me.  I just haven’t been able to zero in on what I like for that area.  Well, I think I finally did it.  At least I like the way it has turned out.  I may change it again in a few years, who knows?  But that’s what’s fun about gardening.

The perennial grasses have been there for about 4 years.  Everything else is new this year.  Well, except for the purple bench.  We’ve had that forever.  My husband made it for a church program a long time ago and I just keep painting it over and over.  My 6 year old granddaughter said a couple years ago, “that sure is a great purple bench Nana has.”

All of the hardscape stuff in this picture has been re-purposed, even the flagstone.  We have moved that all over the yard.  The green pot/vase, whatever, has been used here and there as well.  Secret: the geranium in the pot is fake……ssssshhhhh.  I never use fake stuff outside, but we’ve had such harsh climate conditions the last couple years it’s really been hard to know what to plant. Single digits in the winter and triple digits in the summer!  What’s up?  There is no way I could keep a plant alive in a small pot like that in those conditions.  And it’s really been fun to have that pop of color on that bench.  I’m not even ashamed.  And NO DEADHEADING.  Yay!

What I really like about this space is the lemon-lime color of it all.  The scotch moss (which is one of the mosses that does very well in the sun) and other little plant that I can’t for the life of me remember the name.  It starts with an “S”. And the lemon creeping thyme.  These are all perennials and I’ll let you know next year how they winter over.  Then the yellow tam is a golden tipped spreading evergreen.  It will only get about 3 feet in diameter and about 6 inches tall, just right for that space.  The moss should fill in between the flagstone really well next year.

Between the purple bench, the green pot, the pink fake geranium, and the lemon-limes of the plants it produced a nice cool color palette and is a refreshing respite in spite of the triple digit summer heat.

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How to Make Your Own DIY Misting System

Don’t you just love to walk through a misting system when you’re out shopping or at an amusement park in 90+ degree weather?  I love it!

Well with the summer sizzle around the corner I have been re-wanting a misting fan in our backyard for the kids to play in so I went on the search for a DIY and on the cheap misting system.  I really wanted one that would attach to a privacy fence surrounding our patio, but decided that it would probably keep our patio furniture too wet.  But if you’re a lucky one who has a pergola or an arbor away from things you don’t want wet think about attaching one to that.  How fun would that be?  And great for the plants, too.

I needed to find a more portable option; one maybe that I could stand by our hot tub (which isn’t so hot in the summer, but makes a great little pool for the little ones), or one that I could just stand on the grass and let the kids run circles around.  I’m also thinking of a lazy day on a lounge, reading a good book while my legs and feet are being cooled and freshened by a soaking summer breeze…mmmm…… mmmmm.  Sounds nice, right?

Well, guess what?  These are easy, fun, and cheap!  YAY, all the things I love in new ideas.  The basic items can be found at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot.  All you need are:

A fan ~ you can get a floor model or one on a stand

Tubing

Misting nozzles

Some connectors

Plumbing fixture for faucet

Zip Lock ties

These really are all the basic requirements.  You will need to be able to connect to a GFI outlet and also your outdoor faucet (or hose as an extension).

There are some great instructional videos on youtube to create a misting fan here.  A more complex system that can be attached to a patio or pergola and can be found here. (http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-install-an-outdoor-misting-system/index.html

You can also purchase the parts separately or order them online.  Not expensive at all.

I’m so doing this!

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Misting system patio Misting system pergola

Space vs Stuff

Space vs Stuff- Enriching Your Space

Stuff vs. space in a garden can be a quandary.  So what is the stuff?  The stuff are the elements you choose to decorate your space.  Patio furniture, grills, pots, potted plants, trees, shrubs,  you know…..stuff.   Once you have filled your space, you no longer have space it becomes stuff.  Space is the expanse of an area to look across and wonder “what’s over there?”  Space is the freedom to move about without banging your shins or stubbing your toes or walking into a tree or bush.  It is simple surface, like grass, or pavers, or the surface of water in a pool.

Space vs. stuff is a primary decorating consideration whether inside or outside.  Is there a right or wrong proportion? Not really.  The harmony of a yard or a room is simply in the designer’s emotion.

The important thing when decorating a garden is to remember that when you buy a plant it is not going to stay the same size as when you bought it, unlike the couch you bought for your living room. It’s probably the same size now as when you bought it, right?  I see this mistake all over the place.  Someone buys a Blue Spruce and plants it 4 feet from the corner of their house.  You’ve seen that right?  Ten years later it looks like someone has hung a house on that tree.  Realize that thinning even removing plants from your garden may be necessary to maintain your balance of space and stuff.  If your goal is to create a coziness within an outdoor living space plants that end up bumping into each other may not be such a bad thing.  But if it’s formality you’re after, carefully plot, plan, and ponder how large each of those hedge plants are going to grow and how close to the checkerboard walkway you want them to encroach.

Beginning with the larger picture of the space you will need/want is probably the easiest place to begin when planning the architectural design of your yard.  The geometry, the lines, the curves, the hard elements (garden curbing, patio, pool, deck, etc.) is the necessary skeleton from which to add the rest of the stuff.

And for Heaven’s sake, don’t be afraid to remove a shrub that has outgrown itself!  If you planted it 12 years ago and it looked good for 11 years, you’ve probably gotten your money’s worth.  Rip it out, I say!  Leaving everything as it is forever is way too boring for me.  It’s like never being able to rearrange your living room furniture.  Changing things up a bit keeps life interesting and fun, right?

space vs stuff- Gardening and Home Decor Tips space vs stuff pathway

stuff vs space formal garden

Beautiful Gate Options

Beautiful Gate Options

Gates can either say “welcome” or “keep out”!  I love the gates that say “welcome”.

Now just because you may have a gate to keep intruders out of your yard, or to protect the wonderful recreation vehicle parked inside doesn’t mean your gate screams “keep out”.  BUT, it’s the gates that have a warm and welcoming feeling that I am thinking of now.

  • The gate that begs for you to enter under the arbor and into a garden.
  • The gate that is always left ajar so as not to discourage a visitor.
  • The gate that is nothing less than an artistic masterpiece.
  • The gate that invites the question, “I wonder what’s inside there?”
  • The secret garden gate.
  • The gate from re-purposed materials.
  • The whimsical gate.

As in most decorating whether inside or out, it seems the only hindrance we bear is our imagination.  The most beautiful gates I have ever seen are in Hawaii.  I love to drive around the island we are visiting and see these beautiful masterpieces. Dolphins, orchids, turtles, birds, suns, waves….wow!  I so wish I was there!  I dream about having a gate like that, even though my dream would need to shrink in size about two thirds.

I would really like two gates; one to say “welcome”, the other to say, “I would rather you use the other gate.”  That’s ok, right?

gate st. george Gate cool design Gate out of garden tools Gate Hawaii dolphins gate out of old door Gate wooden