A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How Big is Your Garden?

This is my small garden by the drive. I have almost an acre, but the flower gardens follow around the perimeter of the house. If I was younger...I would change this and have a large perennial garden all the way down the back yard. I would also have a huge perennial border across the front of the property, which would include the mailbox. At this stage of my life...I have to be happy with what I have. I have written about small gardens before, but here is some other info on them. It made me feel better about what I have and is what gave me the idea for planting in pots this year and moving them around. My tiny gardens are pretty full right now, so plopping a few pots in will give color.
This is part of a Chicago Tribune article.
The tiny dooryard of a townhouse. A balcony on the 12th floor. Or the 20-foot space between deck and garage behind a cottage.No question, small gardens have different challenges than a sunny half-acre. There's no space to waste, Every square inch is important. That doesn't mean every square inch should be packed with plants. In tight quarters you have to edit, to focus the experience of the garden, to make space for people and to rest the eye.Like any garden, a small plot needs layers: the lowest layer of perennials, annuals, ground covers; the middle layer of knee- to head-high shrubs, vines and tall grasses; and the high, often overhead layer of trees.The walls that define many small gardens offer vertical space to create the mid-layer. Clematis and other vines also can climb a trellis or wires along a wall or scramble over a screen or fence between gardens.Those walls or screens serve another purpose: Creating the sense of enclosure that lets us feel like our gardens buffer us from the world. Begin by examining the garden from all angles, including inside the house. How much of your neighbor's yard are you seeing?How much does it impinge on how you feel when you are inside your house as well as outside? Harmony matters. If the home and garden hang together, both feel larger. So choose every piece of furniture and pot, as well as the overall style of the garden, in light of your architecture. Too much harmony is boring. There's always room in a garden for surprise, for a sense of a destination, A small garden requires careful choices. Too many different colors, textures and shapes are overwhelming and cluttered. You have to be much more selective, Avoid plants that will burgeon beyond bounds. The wide range of plants available includes many smaller species and cultivars that have been bred to stay compact.No matter which plants you choose, there will be pinching and pruning. It's almost easier to have a large landscape,It's harder to have something small and keep it in line.Containers provide wiggle room. They can create a whole balcony or roof garden of pots. You can move them around to escape migrating shadows or switch out the plants during the season. You can tuck pots away to make room for a dinner party or use them to fill spots in beds where a plant didn't work out.It may require a bit more thought and discipline, but you can still have a full landscape even though you have a tiny garden.
Oprah had a program about neighbors last year. She said that she didn't know her neighbors at Harpo. She took the camera men and went to visit and told her neighbors that she wanted to fix up their balconies for them with plants and furniture etc. They were all suited to the tenants. It was amazing what could be done with a very small space. I don't have a balcony, but would like to spruce up my tiny gardens. So, I will get to work and see what I can do.


Anonymous said...

It's not the size of the garden that matters but the love that goes into it. When I lived in an apartment years ago I had to make do with pots, but it kept my greenthumbs happy. :) Great article, thanks for sharing.

Margie's Musings said...

I agree. If I were ten or twenty years younger, I would have more flower gardens myself.

Lynn said...

For tight places I love my tipsy pots. Check them out

have a great day!!!

Balisha said...

Hi you three,
I have been planning where to place my pots this morning. Nice day to work out in the yard. Lynn...I love your tipsy pots...It may be something I will do. Your flowers are so lush.

Frances said...

Hi Balisha, you are very wise. The large garden we have is getting harder and harder to maintain. Because it is on a steep slope, the climbing up and down stones as steps can be dangerous too. Being smart about the editing, using pots and thinking more about design than trying to collect one of every plant you see will form a beautiful serene space over time. As an artist, you have an advantage with the design process too. How lovely it looks already.

Balisha said...

Hi Frances,
Your garden appears to be huge. Do you do it all? I worked out off and on all day...just doing my little bit. You must be full of energy.Your flowers are so beautiful. I love the natural look of it all.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Hi Balisha...I came visiting you and found "perennialgardener" and sent her off to a friend of mine. I also gave her your blog. She does not have one...but I think one day soon she just may.
I ...dug weeds today...and it was freezing outside. Did it anyway. It was..crabgrass...no..wait bermuda? yes...it goes SO deep that I had to use a sort of hand type sharp hoe. Some sort of tool I have never owned before. Then had to cut all the flowers back..and right now they look terrible but by mid May or June they will be just like my front porch flower bed.
Yep...I do have a lot of stuff..but...I have LOTS of kids too. :) And...I am a bit of a shopoholic when it comes to garage sales and thrift stores...yes...and the expensive kind too when I can afford it. Which I really can't.
Also... :) I have been married THREE times. I accumulated a lot...as I fixed up each home.
Sorry...I am writing a book here...DARN it!!

Balisha said...

Hi Mona,
Sounds like you worked hard.I really enjoy reading what you write...keep up the good work.