Every year, my grandmother would have the most beautiful garden in the world. Flowers, vegetables, you name it, she had it.
People knew that Marg's garden was the best one around. If they had a question, she was the one to go to. Everything seemed so effortless to her.
When I got my own place, I wanted to recreate her garden as much as possible. The thing is...it's not as easy as it looks!!
Even though I don't think my garden could ever be as beautiful as my grandmother's, these tips will certainly help me out!!
1. Height Matters
If you have a smaller yard, you'll want to make the most of your space. Find plants of different heights and layer them from tallest to shortest in horizontal rows. This will make your garden look deeper, and also allow you to maximize your space!
Low shrubs are a great option for up front, while taller-stemmed flowers are perfect for the back.
2. Attract Butterflies
Bringing butterflies to your garden is a surefire way to make it seem more inviting to others! These may be the only bugs that people like, and for good reason...they're so gorgeous!
Hollylocks, coneflowers, nasturtiums, sunflowers, and even certain blossoming weeds all attract butterflies, so try and plant them in your garden!
3. Color Block
Some people like dispersing their flowers all over, but my grandmother also told me that organizing your flowers by color is way more appealing. It creates a pattern, and allows you to move through the garden almost like a rainbow.
By keeping similar colors close to each other, you can appreciate each plant easier because you're not missing something that has gotten hidden in between more vibrant hues.
4. Spice It Up!
Yes, flowers are amazing, but what about adding in a little more variety. Vegetables, berry plants, even herbs can add not only a different look to your garden, but also extremely pleasant smells.
5. Know Where To Grow
Certain plants need less sun, some need deeper soil, it's all dependent on how they grow. Planning out your garden in advance means you can make sure each plant is being put in the right spot for it to prosper.
You may have noticed that some areas of your yard just aren't conducive to growing any type of plant, and that's okay! This can be where you add in yard decorations or even a small path.
6. Bird Baths
It may sound strange, but I absolutely loved the bird bath that my grandmother had in her garden. I can still see the white stone filled to the brim with water, and all the little birds who came to cool down.
In order to make your garden welcoming, you need to make sure there are other features besides plants! Small additions like a bird bath, or even a bird feeder, really can make all the difference.
TIP: Put a few drops of salad oil into your birdbath water. This will keep insects from breeding in the water, but won't harm birds at all!
7. Pick Perennials
Perennials are a flower that blooms multiple times throughout the summer months, which mean you can enjoy them for the whole season!
By picking flowers that will bloom more than once, you are making less work for yourself because they don't need to be replaced.
Woodland sage and climbing rose are just a couple of perennial options for your garden.
8. Water The Lawn
I know, I know. It sounds so simple. But your lawn is part of your garden, too. You'd be hard pressed to find someone whose yard is completely made up of flowers, mainly because there's no way to get to the back section without walking all over them!
Your lawn needs about an inch of water per week, depending on the humidity, temperature, rain levels, etc. Try and view your grass as another plant in the garden. You wouldn't let your tulips just waste away, would you?
One of the best accessories to your garden will be a fresh, green lawn.
9. Set Up Seating
Our family gatherings always revolved around my grandmother's garden. We'd sit in the backyard, facing her beautiful flowers, and and just spend the day chatting and enjoying the space.
If you're going to be working hard to keep your garden beautiful, you want to be able to enjoy it as well. Set up some comfy seats that allow your guests (or just you!) to see the fruits of your labor. An umbrella or canopy to block the sun is also a great idea.
10. Avoid Chemicals
It's easy to want to spray your garden or yard to keep pests away, but it's only going to hurt your flowers, yourself, and the environment.
There are certain flowers that will naturally repel insects, like how spearmint, peppermint, and pennyroyal will keep ants away.
Similarly, mosquitoes hate the smell of marigolds, so keeping the potted plant in areas where people will be sitting is a great idea.
Find out which insects are most common in your area, and see if there are natural ways to keep them out of your garden.
11. Naturally Fertilize
You'll already be spending money on the flowers, soil, and whatever else you need, so why spend money on fertilizer when you already have it in your kitchen?
Banana peels, egg shells, and even coffee grounds can all be used as fertilizers in your garden, meaning you not only get beautiful plants, but also some extra money in your pocket!
12. Avoid Toxic Plants
You may not know this, but plants like rhododendrons, azaleas, and oleander are extremely toxic if any part of them are ingested. This goes for both humans and animals.
If you are going to have children or pets around your garden, avoid toxic plants at all costs. They may look lovely, but do you really want to take that risk?
13. Use Vines
To me, vines are for ivy league schools. But they can actually be a stunning addition to a garden.
Some climbers, like coral honeysuckle, can grow to about 30 feet tall in one summer season. Arranging them to cover a bare wall of a house or shed, or even to grow along a fence, can add a wall of color to your garden with minimal effort.