Lovely Bones are GardenWise

Late spring is a great time to take a close look at your garden to decide where you need to make some changes.  Truly memorable gardens get their character from lovely bones — benches, water features, garden accents,  sculptures, containers and planters,  stone work, arbors/pergolas, custom fences and gates, terraces, patios,  garden  lighting, and edging around  your plant beds.
 
Many first time gardeners are often surprised and discouraged when they find their  lovely  and very expensive collection of plants are nothing more than too many random plants piled together in a forgetable outdoor space.  Take the time out now to think about your garden’s bone structure.  
 
When you add architectural elements to your garden spaces that can include a bench, stone accents, an arbor, landscape lighting, a patio of flagstone, and a curving stone path to lead to your large grouping of beautiful plants, your  garden will come to life, and you’ll forever change your home life.

GardenWise project in McLean, VA

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.

Vines and Climbers

A GardenWise Adventure 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.

GardenWise on Your Garden’s Lovely Bones

Does Your Garden Have Lovely Bones?

Mid-Winter is a great time to take a close look at your garden to decide where you need to make some changes.  The most memorable garden spaces get character from their Lovely Bones — benches, containers and planters, water features, garden accents,  stone work, sculptures, custom fences and gates, arbors/pergolas,  terraces, patios,  garden  lighting, and edging around your plant beds.

Many first time gardeners are often surprised (and discouraged) when they find their  lovely and  very expensive collection of plants are nothing more than too many lovely and expensive plants in a forgetable  outdoor space.   When you add a  bench, some accents, a large rock, or a curving stone path to a large grouping of your beautiful plants, and some lighting, your garden will come to life!   
 
Spring is still far off, but if you take some time now to think about your garden’s bone structure now, your garden spaces will be truly memorable for spring and summer..
 
(GardenWise project in McLean, VA — photo credit: Lydia Cutter)

Architectural Elements are Garden Wise

From Garden to Landscape

For those creating a master garden plan, think seriously about enhancing your landscape with architectural design elements. Earlier we talked about how these types of elements, patios, arbors, walkways, etc. will serve as much needed bone structure for any garden space. By adding a garden gate and some fencing that can be modern, Asian inspired, or whimsical, your garden will have the structure it needs while showing your own personality in the space.

Also think about water and how you can add it to your space. I can’t say enough about water and the importance it will play in your garden space. Water features come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t think because you have a smaller space you don’t have the luxury of a water fountain. By adding water to your garden you will create a wonderful visual while adding the relaxing sounds of gurgling water, something we all can look forward to after a long day in the world outside our front door.

Another favorite garden structure is the pergola, which can serve as a doorway or shelter in your space while adding a dramatic effect and appealing focal point. I designed and installed this D.C. roofdeck garden and I think about it often. It’s a cozy roofdeck oasis that delivered big results, leaving its guests, and designer, with total roof garden envy.

All Above Photos are GardenWise, Inc. Gardens Photo Credit: Lydia Cutter