Small Spaces

DIY Retaining Wall Makeover

DIY Retaining Wall Makeover

Its been a crazy busy time for us– there seem to be an unending number of projects and tasks for us to take on in our new home. Nonetheless, this DIY retaining wall project has been one of my favorites!  We spent about two hours working on this and I couldn’t be more please with the results. Just see for yourself… We were lucky to have a pile of this limestone already on site. Before starting we decided to use what we had, not to buy any more, but hopefully to get the height we needed. The old railroad ties originally used for this retaining wall have seen better days. This is on the backside of our house, and the saying “out of sight, out of mind” was probably never more true than here.… Read Full Post
Grow Up!  DIY trellis structures. 

Grow Up!  DIY trellis structures. 

Short on space? Trying to block the neighbor’s view?  Adding a trellis may be the solution you need.  From edible vegetables to beautiful flowering vines, trellises can contain plants and keep them growing well in small spaces. Creating Privacy A trellis is a simple way to add a visual barrier for unwanted views. Providing instant privacy, ornamental panels may not even require plants to do their job. I prefer to use premade panels with wide lattice in this situation, blocking views without much effort. You can find more on this project installing privacy panels here.   Existing chain link fences can also work to your advantage. Consider a fast growing vine to weave throughout and keep a green barrier intact. Good plants for this include passionvine, sky vine and confederate jasmine.… Read Full Post
Create Your Own Orchid Green Wall

Create Your Own Orchid Green Wall

As part of our garden renovations a big change was taking down the large sweet viburnum on the corner of our shed.  I completely understand that this plant is in the wrong place. While many people try to keep Viburnum obovatum as a 3 foot tall shrub, it truly wants to be a 30 foot tall tree. I knew for a long time that this needed to come out, but it has been the place for me to plant orchids in trees as a fail safe way to grow my orchids. So finally this tree has been removed. Right plant, right place never rang more true.   This has left me with the very predictable issues of now both having many orchids that need a new home and a now very visible garden shed.… Read Full Post
Installing a Disappearing Fountain

Installing a Disappearing Fountain

This has by far and away been one of my most rewarding projects. Installing a disappearing fountain has been a wish list project for a really long time. I go to trade shows and see all of these beautiful fountains but never actually purchase or move forward until now. As I was shopping for the containers for my new privacy panels, I came across this beauty. Just look at the color! Waiting for this perfect fountain is exactly the reason I’ve been holding off on installing a disappearing fountain!  And, I am happy that it has a little chip in the bottom so it was 40% off. I knew we wanted to place our fountain directly in the site line from our kitchen.… Read Full Post
Installing Privacy Panels

Installing Privacy Panels

Our yard renovations continue! One of the first projects I wanted to complete first was installing these privacy panels. Simple materials with a very design forward feel and I was instantly in love. Our privacy panels project shows care and thought while also providing a beautiful place to show off specimen plants. When we first started meeting, one point I mentioned is really important to us is to maintain privacy. Our small yard means our neighbors are very close by and we want to have a visual barrier between us (two cheers for bamboo!). But a bamboo enclosure probably doesn’t make complete sense, even though tempting. On the plan from landscape architect Joe Brooks you can see how this looks. We already have some of these panels in our yard to keep the chickens from tearing up our yard and/or escaping.… Read Full Post
Adding a Garden Mirror

Adding a Garden Mirror

When I visit other gardens I am always looking for “take away” ideas. These are the ideas and things I can see myself adding to my own garden. It is one thing to visit an elaborate home or public garden and see ideas you know you will never be able to afford or have the space to complete, but it is another thing to look for small pieces for your own private space. In this case, adding a garden mirror was my take away from a recent trip. Why Add a Garden Mirror? In the case of my aunt and uncle, they added their garden mirror because it both held sentimental value and made their space look larger. This divided mirror was originally in the home of my aunt’s family cabin.… Read Full Post
Narrow Strip Irrigation

Narrow Strip Irrigation

Learning how to garden in the narrow strip between your sidewalk and the street can be a challenge. For my project, the most important step was installing narrow strip irrigation in this area (you can see the rest of the process here). I am happy to say this was one of the easiest parts!   Narrow strip irrigation is most efficient with micro-irrigation and it worked perfectly in this scenario. Read on to learn how this project was done: Why Micro Irrigation? Very narrow strips are hard to water with spray heads. They tend to overspray, wasting water on the sidewalk and street rather than the soil. Even the most fine-tuned system is going to have a hard time on our 22″ wide strip, almost 35′ in length.  … Read Full Post
My Sidewalk Strip Project

My Sidewalk Strip Project

Ugh. The dreaded sidewalk strip between the road and the walkway. Otherwise known as the “stupid strip,” the “hell strip” or even the “zone of death.” Okay, I made up zone of death, but maybe it is fitting? This pitiful area is usually not a gardener’s friend. In my case our sidewalk strip is 22″ wide. What in the world are you supposed to grow in here? Not turfgrass, most likely weeds, maybe some mulch?  This sidewalk strip has brought so much dismay to gardeners and homeowners that it even has its own book!  Author Evelyn Hadden recently wrote, “Hellstrip Gardening: Create a Paradise between the Sidewalk and the Curb.”  The description of the book reads “The hellstrip — the space between a street and a public sidewalk, also known as a tree park, boulevard, meridian, and planting strip — is finally getting the attention it deserves!” Well it was deserving some attention at our house, that’s for sure.… Read Full Post
Stepping Stone Path

Stepping Stone Path

High on the top of my to-do list has been to remove an area of crappy grass and replace it with stepping stones. I’ve managed to put this off for several years, but recently I saw a neighbor’s beautiful stepping stone path and decided it was time. Do you ever have those projects where you know in your mind exactly how you want it to look, but you can’t exactly find a photo to show it or lay it out? That was this project for me. I looked through all kinds of books and magazines to see if I could find a visual to match my vision. Nothing. The closest I came was a stone patio featured on page 136 of Rochelle Greyer’s Cultivating Garden Style (fyi- I am Organic Modern!).… Read Full Post
Wall and Plant Color Combinations

Wall and Plant Color Combinations

You know those scenes that just stop you in your tracks? Coming across this beautiful wall and plant color combination was one of those moments for me!  It seemed like one of those scenes that would appear in a glossy magazine but it was just along a street on a quiet Sunday morning in Tampa. The beautiful silver blue foliage of this Bismark Palm looks perfectly selected for this peach wall. Or was it the other way around? Do we pick our plants based on wall color or do the walls dictate our plants?   The largest container with the Bismark palm (Bismarkia nobilis) also contained two copperleaf plants (Acalypha sp.), a small orange lantana and several small blue salvias that weren’t in flower.… Read Full Post

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My name is Keri and I am as comfortable speaking to a group about color in the garden as I am covered in dirt.

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