Salvaged Items Become Garden Ornaments

If you’ve ever doubted that gardeners are the most innovative people under the sun, just look at the photos below. I shot these on a summer garden tour for inspiration.


I took this shot at the home of Atlanta landscape designer Paula Refi — that’s the side of her garage you’re looking at! A salvaged mantel piece was painted, outfitted with mirrors, and bolted to the outside wall. A stone “hearth” completes the illusion.

This next idea is also clever: Continue reading

Product Spotlight: Build a Raised Bed in a Snap Without Tools

M-brace product shotThere’s a product on BluestoneGarden that’s caught my fancy, even though I’ve never personally used it. It’s called the M-brace, and it’s a set of four corner brackets that can be used to build a raised garden bed of any size in just minutes. I not only love the ease and functionality of this product, but I but absolutely adore the way it turns a raised bed into garden art, with whimsical cut-out designs. I know that raised beds are often used for functional areas of the yard, like vegetable gardens and cutting gardens, but I’m always a fan of yard art.

It also occurs to me that the M-brace is a great way to give a raised bed as a gift this holiday season. The four corner brackets come in a square box that would wrap up nicely with paper and ribbon, and the recipient wouldn’t have to work very hard at all to assemble a raised bed that will be a beautiful addition to the garden in spring. Continue reading

Dreaming of the Perfect Potting Bench…

Fotolia_37834181_XSWhat is it about potting benches that makes them a universal dream among gardeners? It seems like everyone wants this perfect place to putter, to organize tools and flowerpots, and to work a little horticultural magic. When you don’t yet have a spot like this, a potting bench at least seems within your reach, unlike a greenhouse or potting shed, which can turn out to be very complicated dreams (and expensive ones!)

I saw the potting bench in the photo below during a garden tour last summer, and it really caught my fancy. I love the way it fits into this little nook that’s formed by the angles of the house, and the fact it’s sheltered by the overhang so that tools stay dry. It’s close to the back door, and there’s a water spigot right around the corner. It looks like there may even be an electrical outlet right there — what more could you ask for? Continue reading

Halloween: How to Plant a Succulent-Topped Pumpkin

Today’s Halloween decorating idea comes from the YouTube channel of talented garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin, who is an expert on succulent plants.

Take a look for yourself, and then go out and create an amazingly beautiful Halloween pumpkin for your own front porch!

There’s also a beautifully photographed, step-by-step tutorial on creating such arrangements on the Gossip in the Garden blog, written by garden designer and author Rebecca Sweet — please click through to visit this page!

Creating Architectural Effects with Evergreen Vines

Vines are probably the most versatile landscape plants around. No other plants can be used to create such a wide variety of effects.

Vines can soften and link architectural structures like arbors, fences, arches, and walls to the yards or gardens around them. They can also be used creatively to provide shade, privacy, flowers, ground cover, or fragrance.

I’ve seen vines described as lazy plants, because they have to rely on other plants or structures for support — but I’ve always thought of them as ambitious plants that will aim for the sky.

Here are a few creative uses of vines that caught my eye on a recent garden tour. Continue reading