How to Grow English Roses

English roses are perhaps the perfect compliment to any garden, but to a garden with cottage style most of all. By many gardeners' accounts the "perfect" rose, these roses were bred by Englishman David Austin (they are also called David Austin Roses) to combine the positive re-blooming attribute of the modern tea rose with the vigor, form and intense fragrance of the old world roses. And did he … [Read more...]

Wonderful Windows and Doors in the Garden

If you are looking for a way to add some whimsy or character to your garden, you have a pretty safe bet if you use windows and doors to amp up the pretty. Windows and doors both add a sense of mystery to a garden, a wonder of what surprises lie just beyond where the eye can see. Add some vintage age, and you have a recipe for a delightful space that lures in even the most cynical garden visitor. … [Read more...]

DIY Garden Topiary Projects

Formal, fanciful or modern, garden topiaries make one take notice. They do have a bad rap though, for being high maintenance.  You don't need a team of well paid gardeners and a palatial estate to have these in your yard. In fact, you can make them yourself! We won't lie, you do have to keep them up. But a little bit of trimming and clipping is nothing compared to what they give back. So check out … [Read more...]

Privacy with Plants

Privacy is a big concern in our gardens. While we love our neighbors (ok, we hope to be lucky enough to love our neighbors), having that private space when you are outside is important to what a garden is all about. None of us want to build a ten foot wall all around our property, but fortunately, there is a better way. Using plants to create privacy is not only a friendly way to keep out prying … [Read more...]

10 No Fail Perennials for Low Water Gardens

No matter where you live, being water wise is the smart way to garden. And if you live in drought stricken or prone areas, it's a must. While I love a gorgeous hydrangea, and roses are amazing, there are plenty of flowering plants that don't suck down our water resources. These ten no fail perennials for low water gardens fit the bill, are gorgeous as stand alone plants, and come back every year! … [Read more...]

Hardy Tropicals You Can Grow!

Tropical plants are an amazing statement to add to any garden, offering exotic design sense and wonderful texture and color. Ok, we love 'em 'cause we can pretend to be on a beach in Fiji, or wandering around the rain forests in Hawaii, or pretty much any other place in the world where tropicals thrive. The trouble is, tropical plants are just that... tropical. And most of us don't live in such … [Read more...]

15 Creative Garden Fence Spruce-Ups

We don't always think of our outdoor spaces like rooms, but we should! There should be design elements in every garden that make us smile, and that shouldn't be limited to just plants. Garden fences are like our virtual "walls" in a garden, and if you think of them that way, you know they need some sprucing! As you would hang photos and art on your interior walls, don't be afraid to try these 15 … [Read more...]

7 Gorgeous Shade Loving Plants

A lot of gardeners hate the word "shade". It keeps them awake at night wondering how to get anything to bloom or grow. For so long we have been conditioned to believe that pretty things only grow in the bright sunshine. It just isn't true! Some of the most beautiful and enduring gardens in the world thrive in partial to deep shady conditions, and yours can too. The secret is easy... simply choose … [Read more...]

How to Add Whimsy to Your Garden

Ok, so you have the plants picked out, the hardscape in place, and even some evening lighting, but you still feel something is missing from your garden. Chances are, it's a little bit o' character, and a smile! The garden is meant to be a soothing place, but we must never forget, it's also about affirming life. And what is life without laughter and fun? Learn how to add whimsy to your garden to … [Read more...]

Easy to Grow : Delightful Daylilies

There aren't very many plants that I will call fool proof, but the daylily comes pretty close. Tolerant of drought, tough soils, even partial shade, these beauties' blooms last only one day. The good news is that there are always more buds to follow the ones that fade! A lot of gardeners gave up on daylilies the last few years because their characteristic yellow blooms and strappy leaves just … [Read more...]

How to Grow a Wildflower Garden

Most of us who garden have at one time or another dreamed of the charm and whimsy of a wildflower garden. Come on, admit it... you too have longed for a garden that seems to be one with Mother Nature, and sings the virtue floral fantasies that appears to have no maintenance needs whatsoever. On board so far? Whether you just wanted to scatter seeds along a back fence, or plant an entire pasture … [Read more...]

Our Trip to a Desert Nursery

  Steve and I recently took a trip down to Palm Springs, California to check out the area that has recently been named the "Most Stylish City in America"... While much of this is attributed to the amazing modern and mid century designed homes in this area, the gardens deserve a nod too. Why? Glad you asked! Well, first, because we can all learn a little from this area, with the ongoing … [Read more...]

Perfect Pond Plants

If you have  pond or a water garden, choosing your plants is the best, and sometimes most intimidating part of the process! Adding plants gives your pond life, helps it blend into the rest of the garden, and feeds a healthy bio-system within you pond. But let's face it, most of us want it easy. The last thing we need are a bunch of finicky plants that die when we look at them wrong. Here are the … [Read more...]

Showy Shade Gardens

When I first started gardening, I felt like all I wanted to do was plant bright, happy flowers. Shade gardens seemed a little too sleepy to me. With a little more garden experience, (we won't talk about how much) I have come to absolutely LOVE a shade garden. They can be just as showy as a flower bed, albeit in a subtler way. At least, from a distance. Get up close to a shade garden, and see the … [Read more...]

Fantastic Flower Beds!

We love good garden inspiration. And we love flowers. Put 'em together, and you have fantastic flower beds, ready to make you run to the nursery or pull out those catalogs! So salivate over these photos, take some tips from design pros, and start designing that next flower bed. In this flower garden above,  from 'HGTV', you can see that while the plants themselves seem a cottage garden jumble, … [Read more...]

Great Groundcovers!

Groundcovers are great for covering larger areas of soil quickly, and with low maintenance. They control soil erosion, suppress weeds, act as a natural mulch under shrubs and trees, and make a pretty carpet of planting to boot! Groundcovers are available for hot, dry sites, shady situations, poor soil and areas that are always wet. Some flower, some don't. Some have a strong fragrance, and some … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Use Cinder Blocks in the Garden

Concrete, or cinder block, is an inexpensive and organic building material for the garden. Easily picked up at your local home improvement store, with a little creativity you can use it to create garden hardscaping that will last. It combines well with other elements such as wood, and is easy for even the beginning DIY'er to work with. What are five ways to use it in the garden? Planters … [Read more...]

Make Your Garden Lush!

Want a lush garden? Join the club, who doesn't! You can have a lush feel to your garden space, if you follow a few guidelines, show a little bit of patience, and take care of your plants needs the right way. Here's how... (Our featured photo above, is from Next Generation Gardener, and is a shot of a garden on Vashon Island, Washington.) Soil comes first. If you want your plants to grow lush … [Read more...]

Creative Outdoor Herb Gardens

Herb gardens are my favorite type of garden. There is something really satisfying about plants that do it all -  they are pretty, fragrant, tasty and even medicinal! They can be grown in a formal style, or rock an old boot! They are practical plants full of nostalgia and charm, and can grace the finest table while tantalizing virtually all the senses. And they have a quality about them they makes … [Read more...]

Using Architectural Plants in the Garden

I'm a big fan of good garden design, and architectural plants can go a long way towards curing any design flaws your garden is suffering from. Why? Because one of the major mistakes most gardeners make is lack of focus in the garden. When your beds start to look flat, or too busy, or not connected...chances are you really need some good focal points. It's just like decorating a room. You need a … [Read more...]

Design an Island Bed

Island beds are a great solution for a garden that lacks a focal point, and an easy way to add color and texture to a large expanse of boring lawn. Because they are accessible from all sides, they are easier to plant and maintain. They provide an attractive feature from all different points of the yard, and can add depth and balance. They do, however, have to be designed in way that makes the most … [Read more...]

Foliage not Flowers!

Your garden doesn't have to be a flamboyant display of bright blooms to be a "garden". In fact, some of the most interesting gardens in the world rely on foliage to supply color and interest. Green is not the only color of leaves, either. The plant world is full of varied choices full of color, texture and form that can carry off a fun, whimsical space, or the most formal and elegant of gardens. … [Read more...]

Pretty In Pink!

Most of us grow gardens because we love the feeling they give us. Whether that feeling is calm or energetic, color is one of the main ways we can affect and change the feeling of a garden. Rather than going for the same old green garden with splashes of yellow or red, how about go a little bolder, but soft at the same time... Make your garden Pretty in Pink! Whether it's with pink flowers, or pink … [Read more...]

Using Texture in the Garden

Garden a little boring? Have no idea why? Chances are that it needs a design shake up. The basic principles of design should come into play when designing your garden,  and using texture in the garden is one of the quickest ways to add interest and give it that "designed" feel. What do I mean when I talk about texture in the garden, and how do you use it? There are three easy ways to utilize … [Read more...]

Small Garden Design – Tips and Tricks

Anyone who has a small garden realizes their small garden space can be both a blessing and a curse. Cursed because you just will not have all the room to plant every garden bloom and blossom you have ever admired. Blessed because, from a design perspective, a small space is easier to design, maintain and even harvest! But if you are looking at your small garden space and are confused as to where … [Read more...]

Fall Container Wow in 3 Easy Steps

Fall is one of the best times to up your curb appeal and create a welcoming yard and garden for all your family and friends. Updating your planters and containers for fall is easy, can be done in an afternoon, and can last well into the holiday season. Fall creates a whole new gardening personality... one that is more laid back and sleepy, but also electrified with color and texture. It's almost … [Read more...]

Beautiful Backyards: Inspiration for Garden Lovers!

We all would love to have a magazine worthy beautiful backyard! It’s possible for a DIY'er, if you tackle it one project at a time. Use these photos to inspire you to find the garden style and projects that are right for you and your family. Take just one idea, or copy an entire look.   How to Use DIY Backyard Inspirational Photos 1. Look for ways to use your yard that you hadn't … [Read more...]

Modernize Your Garden With Bamboo

Bamboo is a great choice for specimen planting or for screening, and it can be easy to grow if you know how to manage it. It fits in with most garden styles, and there are varieties of nearly every size and for every hardiness zone. Here are the basics on how to grow bamboo in your garden! Types of Bamboo There are basically two types of bamboo. Running bamboo is the type you have been … [Read more...]

Ornamental Grasses: Update Your Curb Appeal with Just One Plant

If your garden is getting a little tired, or just has never had any pizzazz, take a design trick from the pros. Add ornamental grasses! They contemporize any garden style, are easy to maintain and offer interest over several seasons. They also offer great form, focal points and texture if your garden has been missing those important design elements. Here's how to use ornamental grasses in your … [Read more...]

Got Ugly Metal Fence Posts? DIY Garden Project Cure!

Many areas of the country use metal fence posts in building back yard fences to provide a strong, long lasting barrier that stands up to wind and sun rot. The only problem with that solution is that they are just, plain, ugly. Here at TGG, we have a great yard and garden, but I couldn’t stand to look out of the window each day at those ugly metal fence posts! So if you have this problem, here is … [Read more...]

Gardening Inspiration: What Simple and Extreme Gardens Can Teach Us

This is not a how to article, TGG readers... it is an inspirational post about learning to open our eyes, and remember that the reason we garden isn't just to create good curb appeal, or to impress the neighbor across the street. We garden because it is our opportunity to nurture our own little creation of nature. To help it grow and prosper, to learn from its ability to adapt, and to adjust our … [Read more...]

Garden Edging: 5 Ways to Edge Your Landscape with Recycled Materials

One of the most overlooked elements of garden design for the average DIY gardener is garden edging. It can be laborious to install, expensive, and lets face it...just plain boring. Landscape edging can create a solid hard-scaping base for your garden design to improve curb appeal, and add structure to your garden and yard during the winter months. Here are 5 great ways to make your garden edging … [Read more...]

Solar Lights – Transform Your Outdoor Spaces

Let’s assume you’ve just completed an extensive landscaping project. You spent a lot of time planning and now its finished and you want to just sit back and enjoy. But, as the daylight fades, you start to lose sight of it all. You think, wow, there’s got to be a way to enjoy this after dark. You think, maybe some type of lighting, but what. You think that you hate to have wires hanging over your … [Read more...]

Small Garden Design – Creating Illusions Of More Space

While designing small area gardens does have some of its own special challenges, the opportunity for creativity is multiplied within these small spaces. It is possible to create more atmosphere and impact with less. And while most people do a great job of creating beautiful gardens within confined areas, balconies, rooftops, and courtyards, the greatest challenge is still in making small … [Read more...]

7 Guidelines: Creativity With Your Garden Designs

Your garden can be a manifestation of your own creativity. It is no longer a place where you plant fruits and vegetables. If you would like to add a little more life and enhance the look of your garden opt for interesting garden designs. Before you go ahead with some garden designs, you may like to keep some guidelines in mind to for better synchrony of your surroundings: The Golden … [Read more...]

Designing Your Garden – Focusing On Focal Points

Gardening time is here again! You have grandiose visions of a lush green paradise, picturesque flower beds and picture perfect tomatoes and other vegetables. You see yourself lazing in a hammock with a good book, and breezy summer nights with neighbors jealous of your good fortune. Right? Well, something like that, I'm sure. However, the reality is that patch of dirt staring back at you is … [Read more...]