Before and After in Georgetown

A Smaller Urban Garden Challenge in D.C.

When transforming a small empty area into a usable space, select a theme or style as you would for any garden, but think small scale in its development.  When buying plants, shrubs and trees, look for the words “dwarf”, “compact” and  “miniture”  attached to your favorites.  Less  is  more,  and  a  theme provides a single focus which allows you to enjoy the landscape as a whole instead of being distracted by out–of–place  details.  Click here  to  see a  before  and  after  of  a  “zen”  garden  I  designed  and  installed  which  introduces peace, tranquility and intimacy  to a previously unused, small and barren space. The water feature we installed surrounded by river rock serves as a  great  focal  point which introduces you to the space before leading you in a counter clockwise direction through the garden and the intimate seating and entertaining areas.    

vines, Vines, VINES!

GardenWise on Adventures with Vines

Vines can play a key role in a garden space.   These  wonderful and adventurous climbing plants create vertical interest as they wrap themselves around garden elements, such as  gazebos, arbors and trellises, adding new dimensions and important focal points. They can also soften architecture and disguise areas that aren’t fully developed.  Strategically placed, vines can also hide areas that are out of our control, such as a  neighbor’s unsightly yard!
One of my favorites, clematis had large and showy flowers, and is a real show stopper.  Another favorite is trumpet vine with its red and orange tubular flowers, which is also native to the greater DC area.  An added bonus?  Trumpet Vine  attracts hummingbirds, always  awelcome guest in my garden areas.   They prefer full sun and fertile, well-drained soil.
If  there are no architectural elements in your garden, vines, such as clematis, can also be used as ground cover, which can replace some lawn areas, giving you an additional “green” garden step that will help you save money on watering.