Small Garden Designs

Small garden designs. If you have a fence, back porch, windowsill, patio or steps, you too can create a beautiful garden!

If you have six inches of space, you, too, can have a garden.

It's very simple. Plants are versatile creatures. They want to grow and will grow in very little dirt, with very little sunlight, and with little cultivation. All you really have to do is stick it into some dirt and water it once in a while.

So, you only have a window ledge? That's great! Window boxes are charming and so, so easy. Geraniums love window boxes. I prefer the smaller versions, and pink, but don't limit yourself to my likes. If you love red, use red. Add vinca vine or asparagus fern for a bit of trailing grandeur, and pansies, or violas. Yes, definitely, violas! Their smiling little faces are perfect for window boxes. Alyssum in purple or white, or yellow, are nice additions. The yellow matches the viola faces and brings the whole color scheme together nicely. But, use your own colors, your own ideas. Window boxes can be purchased at any gardening shop, or can be built in your basement during the winter and ready for spring planting.

Steps are wonderful places to plant. Tomatoes can be harvested in eight inch pots alternated on porch steps. Chives grow very well in a cowboy boot, and rosemary has no qualms about taking root in a rubber boot. The back steps are usually wider, and will accommodate a larger wooden box, say from Root Beer or Tools, and will hold a dozen or more colorful flowers including daisies, snapdragon, and marigolds to keep the bugs at a minimum. Add some lobelia for a softer, trailing look.

If you've been blessed with a fence, use it to its full advantage. A little chicken wire nailed in strategic places will house a package of morning glory or sweet pea for the entire summer. Hanging pots thrive on fence posts, as do small bird baths and bird houses. A butterfly feeder will hoover in the corner with very little support. Check out your local garden nursery for the latest in pot holders. They come in white, black and green and in a variety of sizes. Old mailboxes, the ones that are flat on one side and have a flap that comes down, are excellent fence planters. Usually there already is a hole or two in the base, but if there isn't, drill one for drainage. Fill with dirt, and plant your favorite flowers. If there is a newspaper hook on the bottom, hang a couple of your favorite smaller pots. Tack the top flap in the open position and water frequently as they dry out easily.

Cement patios can be turned into lush, peaceful gardens overnight. Half barrels seem to be popular on patios, but instead of planting flowers, try adding water, a couple of gold fish and a colorful lily. Tall roses, such as Joseph's Colorful Coat, are excellent patio plants. So are bogenvillea, hibiscus, geranium, and dahlia.

If it's a vegetable garden you require, that's doable, too. The key to the garden is to try and be less than perfect. Patios with all the same size pots, same plant in every one, can be predictable and boring, patios with different sized pots and different colored flowers create a charming atmosphere. One you and your family will return to time and time again.

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