A garden can be any space, a container on the porch, or a plot in the backyard. Home landscapes or public spaces also function as living spaces. Whether designated a “garden” or not, open and public green spaces are valuable resources for us all. As the weather cools, it is a great time to get out and enjoy the lovely landscape around us; play in your garden and outside spaces.
Don’t just enjoy the benefits of regular exercise, the shade of a well-placed and cared-for tree, or the bounty of a salad garden on the porch. Make the garden fun to visit and spend time in it for you, your family, and friends. Make an area to live, entertain, and play in your outside space. Add a bench, table, and/or chairs. Wind chimes and art make the space inviting.
Choose plants that make you smile, colors that soothe your soul, let your imagination free. Bits of garden whimsy can be the surprise around the corner that delights you. Use unusual items such as an old bathtub, milk crate, hardhat, or wheelbarrow as pots, hang a child’s homemade mobile, or invite a Garden Gnome to take up residence.
Plant to invite the birds, bees, and other critters to join you. Highly manicured landscapes are fading fast in popularity, reducing higher maintenance areas. More carefree plantings with native plants are installed with low-maintenance plants that take care of themselves and give you time to enjoy your life and garden.
Use plants in unusual ways. Dill and Rosemary are beautiful and valuable additions to ornamental and kitchen gardens. Both originate from the Mediterranean and have been mentioned in horticultural writings and herbals for centuries. Plant dill in full sun and well-drained soil, and Rosemary makes a great small hedge.
Try a bed or garden that isn’t well-behaved. Wildflower gardening is a great way to involve kids in green growing things. Natural gardens open up a window to the world and tend to be less formal and friendlier to children. Wildflower gardening offers lessons in science, the process of growing plants, entomology from the butterflies attracted, literature in journaling by the student, and a multitude of arts and crafts projects they inspire.
Plan for a night garden too. Gorgeous, cool nights invite even the staunchest couch potato outside for an evening stroll. Plant a few species of night-bloomers in the garden to delight the senses with exotic perfumes. Some of the best plants for evening scents include Angels Trumpet, Moonflower, Flowering Tobacco, and Four O’clock.
Make your space inviting and fun. It will provide refuge in busy times, joy in discovery and accomplishment, and a place for gathering with families and friends. Make time to play in your garden and outside spaces.
This article first appeared in the Treasure Coast Newspapers.