The pupsters look pretty comfy. Abi is her regular diva self. And Charlie is looking around for cats that might be hiding in trees. He is not accustomed to cats.
This is the corner just left of the seating area. When I begin to develop my outdoor space, I first locate a seating area. Because that is a simple focal point that is easy to establish. How did I establish this one?
Two reasons I chose this particular spot: One, it is in the shade part of the day, and two, I can see it from the patio doors. Which gives me much pleasure.
And why did I choose the plants that are there? A lot of shade, so I put ferns and hostas in this corner.
Here you see the continuation. I begin my garden areas. There is more sun here, so I put the plants that will grow best in this location for the best possible outcome.
This is the length of the patio. I hate to have so many plants just lined up like soldiers. But many of them will grow vines that need the support of the fence.
Now we shift slightly to the right. Sorry about the rolled up fencing. That is left over from fixing spots to keep the pupsters inside the fence.
You can see here that I've brought in an alternate element to the equation. This container garden.
Here you can see it better. I "built" this area by first putting two galvanized tubs not very far apart. Then I overlapped the old washer tub three or four inches on each side. Then I put another tub in front. This creates a "garden" effect.
(See the sturdy little tree in the background. I followed the advice of a commenter to trim the top 3-4 inches and it has indeed started filling out!)
Here is how it started...
In these tubs are many plants. Herbs, daisies, pin cushion, columbine, plants that attract butterflies, ornamental grasses to give height and texture. Geraniums, marigolds. All plants that do well in sun. I am trying the herb stevia for the first time. You know, like the sweetener you can buy?
I have placed a few plates on the inside edges of the tubs for a touch of whimsy and color.
I planted most of this yesterday, so it hasn't started to "perk up" yet. This is the time of day it gets some shade. But it will get six hours of sun, which is often suggested.
Many I brought from the other house, some I bought. Home Depot this week had a big sale on perennials (love those because you're planting things that will come back year after year!) and also herbs.
I could not find rosemary, which I always have in my gardens. And apparently the harsh winter here killed the one at the little blue house.
Another thing I like to do is to stick solar lights in my containers. They look beautiful at night.
I began here, added the chairs, and worked outward. You want to situate pots together for that "garden" feeling. And because it is more pleasing to the eye.
Here is the colorful sun you all love. It is adjacent to my patio door. There will be climbing morning glories and hyacinth bean vines growing here. Remember the passion vine covered the sun last year.
I think I may have brought a few seeds from that vine, but haven't located them yet. It became very invasive.
A problem I have: Over toward the far end, where the two trees are, I hung a bird feeder with black oil sunflower seeds about a week or so ago. And I have no takers! I have two bird baths. And no takers!
I hear the birds. But I can't figure out why they aren't coming to eat the sunflower seeds. Thoughts? It is not too close to anything where a cat might lurk.
People ask me how to create settings outside. Just use your gut. Believe me, I do a lot of moving and shifting around. And I will continue to as I add more things out here.
You can have color-themed gardens or just a blast of color. In some of the containers against the fence, I have a white-themed and a purple-themed container.
Occasionally a breeze brings the scent of the white and purple alyssum drifting in the air. Oh, I love that scent!
Your aim in your garden/outdoor space is to fill all the senses: sight, scent, sound. Often birdsong and water fountains bring sound. (Which I hope to be able to also do, but I have no electrical outlet outdoors, so may have to go the solar route.)
Each plant or decorative object you bring to your garden often has symbolism attached. I have one house-shaped metal sign I had made when I lost my best friend in 2006. She died eight years ago yesterday. I also have the Pepper dog sign, the dog I lost just six weeks prior to her death.
I had these made by the Garden Deva, who happens to be right here in Tulsa. She shipped them to Texas for me. They were custom made.
When you create gardens and spaces in honor of a loved one you have lost, it is cathartic to create a garden, something alive and growing, to remember them by.
You can look up Victorian meanings of flowers and herbs and create a garden or container garden around what feelings they evoked in you. Such as rosemary for remembrance.
I find that this gives me a measure of peace and a place to remember them.
Next I plan to start tackling a few fairy gardens. I have all the little miniatures from other fairy gardens. But just have to carve out time to work on them.
Right now I've got to carve out a space in here to accommodate my washer that has already shipped! And I'm having to work the kitchen decorating around that. So I haven't done much there yet. And I need to finish the bedroom too!
Get out in the sunshine and smell the roses today! It's gorgeous outside here. And I plan to enjoy it.
If you'd like to see and perhaps vote on my lampshade in the Lamps.com lampshade decorating contest, you can go here to vote.