Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Touch of Fall

   Labor Day always marks the beginning of seasonal change; the evenings feel slightly cooler, the breeze picks up a bit and with the sun setting a bit earlier, autumn has arrived.  The greenery that we enjoy throughout the spring and summer continues to thrive.  One thing I especially enjoy with the wide varieties of tropical plants in my area is that they don’t lose their leaves with the change of season but the autumn does bring some relief from the intense heat of summer that can drain vibrant color from plants and vegetation.  And for northern visitors and seasonal residents who enjoy the change of seasons, the tropical croton plant featured here with its brilliant red, orange and yellow colors are hard not to notice.  Although these beautiful plants add color to any garden all year round, they evoke the special feelings of autumn for those who may need a little connection with ‘back home.’  Add a birdbath or birdfeeder and a variety of migrating birds are sure to join you and add even more pleasure to your outdoor experience.
   With the cooler weather more of us will gather around the fire pits in the evening hours.  Patio chairs made from weather resistant materials provide the perfect condition for this outdoor garden and the seating arrangement around the fire pit invites conversation and relaxation with family and friends.  Framed with colorful plants, the space is defined yet its openness creates the feel of endless possibilities and freedom.  The open side allows plenty of space for additional chairs making visitors or guests welcome.  So whether it’s relaxing in the shade for cocktails and conversation during the day or gathering around the fire pit or grill with family and friends in the evening, backyard gardens are where we develop meaningful connections and expand entertainment; these are among the reasons free time is spent in my outdoor garden!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Simple and Purposeful

   Whether large or small, simple or elaborate and outdoor gardens are beautiful places that are meant to be enjoyed.  The picture featured this time from my own back yard and shows one of my favorite places, a corner of the patio where I can be found outside in my quiet place relaxing after a long day. 
   The simple garden items are what you might expect; a comfortable chair, a plant shelf displaying some plants and pots along with a few garden ornaments, and a lamp so I can enjoy day or night. These items have been chosen purposefully because they are meaningful: The beautiful yellow pot was hand made by my daughter, the happy turtle was a gift from my sister and the Adirondack chair was constructed by my dad; so these items have special meaning and evoke happy feelings.  
   The plants themselves were chosen because they are low maintenance requiring infrequent watering and little nurturing.  A garden should provide pleasure and enjoyment and although it is something that needs to be maintained, my goal is always to design an area, choose plants and arrange the pots and decor in a pretty yet practical way.   For example, the hibiscus planted outside along the screening provides shade yet allows just enough sunlight to shine through.  A proper watering every couple of weeks and these plant remain happy and healthy!
   I have purposely allowed this hibiscus plant to grow wildly. To me this is one of the most beautiful varieties of hibiscus, called the Snow Queen or Chinese Hibiscus, it grows tall and wide drooping over with numerous flowers budding and blooming at its tips thus creating a natural barrier that provides some privacy from the neighbors.  It is mildly fragrant and so its welcoming perfume attracts butterflies and hummingbirds as well.  What can be more delightful!

   A quiet place, meaningful things, purposefully arranged, wonderfully enjoyed; this is a happy place, this is just one of my ‘gardens beside.’


Friday, August 5, 2016

Bring the Indoors Out

   An outdoor garden is a vital part of any home and nothing is more rewarding than creating a ‘special place’ in your garden where peace and relaxation reside.  I choose this picture from gardenoholic because of the way it brings the indoors out onto the patio or lanai.  With the way the cushioned chairs with pillows and the coffee table are situated with the lamp nearby and chandelier overhead, this space has the look and feel of a warm, cozy family room but the openness all around makes it fresh and airy.  I love the way they have captured the ambience of both. 
   So when creating your garden space, choose items that have meaning but remember that the items you choose will affect how you feel as you spend time in your special place, so choose those that evoke positive emotions and pleasant memories; visual inspiration and reflection has a calming sense that helps develop serenity.  In addition, those items strategically placed around your garden provide opportunity for conversation or contemplation.   

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Fresh New Look

   Small changes in your backyard garden can create a fresh new look and have big impact. Simply update any outdoor space by changing or rearranging the patio furniture, adding garden décor or updating the potted plants. Now that it’s summer, add some colorful décor as well. Be sure to add generous amounts of blue and green hues to convey a cool refreshing atmosphere. There are many different ways to add color and variety to outdoor garden spaces. 
   This beautiful patio garden, photo by EasyIdea, is the perfect example of cool colors and bright contrasts. I love the decorative pots with the contrasting blue and orange and then several clay pots in varieties of shapes and styles; the flowers and pillows bring in other contrasting colors.  This garden patio communicates warmth and relaxation as it looks so cohesive that even the rocks that make up the pathway lend themselves to the color scheme.  The lovely area rug ties it all together and completes the look.  What a great example of how to put together an outdoor space that is both refreshing and inviting!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Favorite Things

When I think about my backyard garden, it is my quiet place, a place where I relax and can enjoy the beauty that is all around.  Everywhere I look, I see a tree, a lovely plant, a bird; the outdoors has sights and sounds that bring peace and contentment.  So when I think about the items, the garden decor, I would like in my garden, here are a few of my favorite things which can be found at The Terra Cotta and Aqua Blue Mosaic tile tables with the matching chairs are skillfully designed and so colorful, they would bring vibrancy to any garden space. The blue tiles are brilliant like the deep blue sea and the orange reminds me of the sun. These bistro conversation sets are the perfect place to have a breakfast snack and coffee in the morning or cocktails by the pool in the afternoon.  So when you have some time for relaxation and enjoyment take in a bit of nature while simply bask in the beauty of your own creative outdoor garden design.    

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Beauty and Harmony In All Seasons

Creating a garden so that all the features appear to belong together is on-going and constantly developing.  When selecting your favorite plants, pots and garden decor, harmony can certainly be achieved by following some basic gardening tips.  First, choose a color theme that complements the color and style of your house; color creates visual interest but too much color without unity can be distracting.  Next, plants with similar color, shape, or style can be arranged in repeating patterns to increase visual interest. Grouping similar plants and colors together also helps display uniformity.  Be sure to choose shape, height and style of plant that works well with the designated area of the garden; this will reduce the amount of care required as the plants mature.  Finally, choose a variety that work will in spring, summer and fall.  Robust colorful variations will ensure your outdoor space is appealing and has a nice harmonious look throughout the seasons.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Your Garden from the Window!

As summer approaches there may be days in which we can only gaze outside to take in the beauty of our backyard garden from the comfort of the air conditioning, so your outdoor space must be visually interesting and strategically located.  Make those things that are most colorful and inviting, your favorite outdoor pieces, the focal point from a rear window or sliding door.  Beauty is define differently by each individual, but your garden is defined by you, so identify what you want to communicate or what you may want to use to create a mood or initiate conversation.  Is it the rustic look with vintage decor or the bright vibrant colors that contrast the natural hues that are your personal touch?  Enhance the beauty of what nature has already provided whether you are right inside looking out or actually relaxing outdoors.  Look at these beautiful examples of what others see as they gaze out their backdoor or rear windows!