Creative Gardening

Artful Gardening Ideas from “living artfully” by Sandra Magsamen

  • Instead of potted plants, make little herb gardens to serve as dining table centerpieces.  Or use glass bell jars as terrariums.

  • Cut a heart shape in the lawn using a mower.

  • Plant a garden with butterfly bushes and enjoy the visits of hundreds of butterflies.

  • Make a garden pathway using stones you craft with cement.  Pour the cement in a box of the size of the desired stone and place objects, like shells, sea glass and mosaics in the wet thick mortar.  Carve your name with a stick or even stick in your bare foot to make an imprint before it dries.

  • Plant lots of red tulip bulbs in the shape of hearts in your garden so that in the spring, your garden will blossom with love.  Secretly plant a heart tulip bed in your neighbor’s garden.

  • Pick a handful of pansies from your garden and tie together with a velvety purple ribbon to give to a neighbor.

  • Hang several hummingbird feeders outside of a main window and watch as the birds joyously flit back and forth.

  • Build a koi pond and fill it with colorful fish.

  • Make feeding balls for birds.  Simply spread peanut butter on an orange and then roll it in birdseed.  Hang these beautiful balls from branches and watch as the birds enjoy the bounty.

  • Learn to build (or have built) a water garden and transform your yard into a babbling brook.

  • Add elegant and colorful pinwheels or figurines to your garden.

  • Plant a mini forest of large sunflowers and when their stalks grow tall, walk into the magical thicket.  Allow the flowers to dry in the sun and hang as bird feeders from the trees in the late fall.

Early Spring

As the blog writer, I am writing this disclaimer that I do not fully agree with some of these ideas, but printed them verbatim from the book.  I don’t think it a good idea to surprise any neighbor by planting things secretly in their yard, depending on the items and the neighbor.  You want to be careful mixing cement for the garden stones and wear proper equipment to protect skin, lungs and eyes, so I am not sure you want to put your bare feet into the cement, unless you wash off right away.  I am not a fan of ponds.  My home had one when I moved in and I would find small animals and birds drowned in it occasionally when I came home from work.  Found that too upsetting and had it dug out and replaced it with a small herb garden.

I also have a problem with the suggestion to walk into any thicket of sunflowers.  Bees and hornets love them!  As beautiful as they are, you may want to keep your distance, especially if you have allergies.  Unless I was planning to eat some of the sunflower seeds, I let them dry on the plant and the birds and squirrels help themselves.  I am not into super-cleaning up my garden at the end of the season.  There have been things written by so-called experts that this reduces plant disease.  This is not true unless you know you have diseased plants, in which case you will want to take care of them at the time you find this out.  Leaving the plants be at season’s end, makes your garden more attractive & interesting.  It also makes it bird and animal friendly.  They make use of all kinds of plant substances by eating it or using it for bedding or nesting.  Some left over plants make nice perches.  I usually do my major bed cleaning in early spring but make sure all plants and leaves are kept off the lawns and ground cover year round.

Parsley is also a shrub!

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