Tag Archives: Garden Inspiration

Gardening with Dwarf Conifers for Mother’s Day

I celebrated my second Mother’s Day this year. Last year we spent the day on a five hour car ride, so this year my sweet Husband offered that we could do whatever I wanted. What I wanted was spend some time outside in my garden.

We decided to change up things in the front yard, so that meant these dwarf conifers were out of a home. We potted them up and then I went to work designing some color spots for the backyard patio.

Backyard Patio Container 2Backyard Container 1

Earlier this year I talked about garden inspirations. I posted that back when it was still just the beginning of winter. So many of us had such a long, cold winter that I could no longer imagine our space as crisp, green and white like I had envisioned. I want color. I want color now! What are some good ways to add color to your garden?

Perhaps we should cover a little color theory.

This is a color wheel:

Color Wheel

It shows all the colors- Primary: Red, Yellow and Blue. Secondary: Green, Violet and Orange. Tertiary: Blue-Violet, Violet-Red, Blue-Green, Yellow-Green, Orange-Yellow, Red-Orange.

How can looking a color wheel help with adding color to your garden? Consider the wheel when looking for pairings. There are a few tried and true schemes that always look great.

  • Monochromatic is when you choose all one color. For example, planting several different plants in one color- like green.
  • You can also go with one color family, like cool (Green, Blue, Violet) or warm(Yellow, Red, Orange).
  • You can pair one color with a neutral like yellow with white.

Or you can use a complementary scheme.

complementary-wheel

These are colors that are opposite on the wheel. They make each other look brighter and bolder when paired together.

So I considered these principles when I planted my pots on my special day!

Here are the final products:

IMG_0037

This pairs green and white with bright pink. White is a neutral that makes the pink and green pop. Pink is a tint of Red (Red mixed with White) and Red is a complement of Green. The dwarf juniper has a silvery color to it that pairs beautifully with this scheme and it works great in containers. I picked out some begonias, snapdragons and dahlias to complement it because they are my favorites.

IMG_0047

Here I planted a different dwarf juniper (‘Gold Cone’) with a yellow color on the leaves.  I added all red, orange and yellow color spots to create a pot that looked like it was on fire. There are more snapdragons, begonias and dahlias as well as a carnation. I can’t wait to see how this looks at the end of the summer.

Did anyone else get to spend some quality time in their garden this last weekend? How are you incorporating color into your outdoor spaces?

Saint Patrick’s Day Fairy Gardens

It is nearly time to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day! Whether you’re a lover of the color green or the Green Isle itself, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy. Most of all, it is a great time to plant and enjoy a Fairy Garden!

LeprechaunFairyDoor2geo520pg6p123

I pulled together a little history for you:

The Leprechaun – The original Irish name for these figures of folklore is “lobaircin,” meaning “small-bodied fellow.”

Belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Though only minor figures in Celtic folklore, leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure.

Long since medieval times, mystical fairies have flitted across gardens worldwide. Fairies are magical miniature creatures of good will that bring luck, prosperity, and good health to the chosen few whose garden they inhabit.

Fairy gardeners can surely expect to awaken to mysterious disarray in their gardens after a night of mischievous fairy dancing. Fairies are also symbols of good luck and prosperity. Fairies are often said to dwell in fragrant herb gardens to ensure that herbs will flourish and protect humans from illness, danger and stress. Herb gardens were essential in ancient times as they were sources of medicine and culinary delights.

What a great inspiration to get started on a Fairy Garden celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day! Here are two appropriately named miniature hinoki to get your creative juices flowing:

Cham obtusa ‘Leprechaun’

Chamaecyparis-obtusa-Leprachan-533x400

photo: American Conifer Society

Cham obtuse ‘Stoneham’

Cham Obtusa Stoneham

Consider adding some gold dust or glitter to make it extra special and leave something for all the leprechauns to play around in!

Before I sign off, I wanted to point out the cover of March 2014 Better Homes and Gardens, featuring ‘Wilma Goldcrest’. This dwarf cypress is bright yellow with a green tint and perfect for topiaries and patio containers. No wonder they used it on their cover, it is gorgeous!

BHG March 2014 Page 68

Cupressus macr Wilma Goldcrest

Have a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Fresh Start- Garden Inspirations and Weathering the Cold Spells

I always look forward to the beginning of a new year. There is something really exciting about a fresh start. I specifically find the month of January to be a great time to look forward and think about all the things I want to accomplish throughout the year. I know the thought of planning out the entire year can seem really daunting, but when it comes to setting goals it is really helpful!

Nothing brings me more joy than spending time outside with my family.  There is something magical about planning, planting and then finally enjoying our outdoor spaces.  Spending long summer days in the garden are my favorites and this year I cannot wait to introduce my daughter to joys of gardening and watching things grow.

There is no better place to collect ideas and dream a little bit than on Pinterest. So, here are some things that are inspiring me for 2014:

Playing ‘dress up’ with my yard. One big trend this year is incorporating everything from decorative throw pillows to decorative insect traps and shabby-chic mason jar humming bird feeders. Who wouldn’t want their yard to have a ‘personal stamp’ on it?

A sweet looking Fairy Garden, in a planter that my Mom and I love:

Image

Of course, we would have to fill it up with gorgeous and fun dwarf and miniature conifers. This set would be perfect and is a collection especially for Fairy Gardening!

Fairy Gardening Collection of Dwarf and Miniature Conifers

I love the Thuja occ`Amber Glow’ ( a mini arborvitae) and Cham lawsoniana `Ellwood’s Nymph’ (a mini Port Orford cedar)  that come in this box. Can’t wait to get started on this project!

A Fun DIY project for later this season:

Image

We are looking to work on expanding our deck and this is a beautiful example of planters incorporated into the deck.

Image

However, in order to get to warmer weather, many of us have to endure severe temperatures and bone-chilling conditions this week. Just a small reminder- don’t forget about your plants!

Here are some cold weather tips for your dwarf and miniature conifers:

–       Dehydration- This is a problem for plants too! They lose moisture and will need a good watering after the cold spell breaks.  Just tread lightly, if you think there may be root damage, don’t over do it. You don’t want  over watering to cause rotting.

–       Root Temperature- If you have dwarf or miniature conifers, consider bringing containers inside into a garage if possible. Light is not necessary, just aim to protect the roots from the cold. In some cases, when you bring plants indoors, you might also need to worry about critters getting into them too. Its amazing what creatures turn up when the weather turns nasty.

–       Wind Damage- Wind is drying and causes dehydration. It will also burn foliage up. If you can’t move things, consider trying to shield them.

What are some of your 2014 inspirations? Any tried and tested cold weather tips? I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying a Happy New Year!