A Little Something Extra for the Garden

by on July 1, 2011

Check out This Eye-Popping

Bloom for Shade

fuchsiaIf that same dark, shady, nothing-will-grow-here spot is staring back at you again this spring, we’ve got an idea on how to make it pop with color.

Fuchsia blooms well in the shade. It comes in thousands of cultivars, many of which are bi-colored, in hues of pink, purple, white, and red, so you’re sure to find the perfect color for the shady spots in your garden. Give fuchsia a try—here’s what you need to know:

Common name: Ladies’ eardrops
Botanical name: Fuchsia x hybrida
Plant type: Deciduous tree, shrub, or perennial, but mostly used as an annual
Height: Varies with cultivar
Zones: 9 and higher
Family: Onagraceae (Evening primrose)

Growing conditions
Sun: Morning sun and afternoon shade
Soil: Well-drained, peat-based potting mix
Moisture: Consistently moist soil; plants wilt quickly without enough moisture.

Say Goodbye to Ugly Marks

Left by Containers

SurfacesaversContainers overflowing with colorful flowers look great on your porch, patio, or deck. But the ugly, damp rings they leave behind sure don’t.

That’s why we like SurfaceSavers so much. They fit snugly under your pots to prevent water from collecting and damaging your brand new wooden deck. Forget about those ugly bricks you’ve used to prop up containers in the past—these simple recycled-plastic rings tuck underneath the pot so neatly that they’re nearly invisible.

They’re available in two styles: rings or feet. The feet come in handy packs of four, and the rings range in size so it’s easy to find one to fit most pots. Both styles can hold up to 150 pounds—perfect for that giant hydrangea on your front porch.

Expert Tips on Creating an Outdoor Space

Outdoor LivingYour garden is not just a place where you work hard to grow all your favorites—it’s also a spot where you sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty you’ve created.

Garden designer and author P. Allen Smith offers these tips on how to use your gardening skills to create an outdoor living area:

Survey the surroundings. Size up the location. Is the spot burdened with unsightly views, noisy streets, prevailing winds, or too much sun? By noticing and solving these potential problems, you’ll enjoy a more livable location.

Follow the leader. When choosing chairs, tables, trellises, and accessories for fresh-air spaces, let your home’s architecture be the guide. Look for furnishings that complement its style, whether that’s colonial, cottage, or contemporary.

Find color cues. A garden’s color theme is an important part of its design, and the same is true in outdoor furnishings. Take note of the colors in the immediate surroundings. For instance, if you have a brick patio, select furniture in colors that go well with brick-red, such as rich brown, taupe, and green. Enliven concrete surfaces with blue, pink, and purple, all of which complement gray. Remember that cool colors such as blue visually enlarge a space, while warm colors such as red and yellow make an area seem smaller.

Accessorize with interior elements. The more comfortable the setting, the longer you’ll stay. Pile on the pillows, add cushions to chairs and benches, and dress tables with colorful fabrics. When you’re outside, the eye has more things competing for its attention, so bolder patterns and colors get more notice. On the other hand, if you want your garden to take center stage, fabrics in a neutral palette play a supporting role.

Lamps, rugs, and candelabras are now made in outdoor materials to weather the elements. You’ll find outdoor wall sconces, decorative lanterns, mirrors, and more. Make the setting uniquely yours by adding things that have meaning to you, like souvenirs from trips or gifts from friends. And bring the garden even closer with planted containers and cut flower arrangements.

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