California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Garden Projects * Ideas to improve you yard

Benches, fountains, birdbaths, statuary: The design goal of objects in a garden is to draw attention to the space where that piece resides. This can be thought of as an invitation to use the space around this object. To a certain extent it does not matter if the invitation is acted upon. It will be there in the mind's eye regardless. A garden bench can be seen as an imagined viewpoint. The mind's eye walks out the pathway to that bench and rests for a moment even if you never go there. A Tibetan Window frames a view and gives a touch of whimsey to a garden. Fragrant flowers weren't really made for us, we don't do the pollinating, but a fragrant garden is truly one of life's pleasures.

Recycling something beautiful is always a cool thing. In this case it was a couple of collectable pieces of pottery from the 50's. The house cleaners had knocked them off their perch. They were repurposed to make a walkway safer. The pot shards were broken further to provide a visual cue for an impending step.

A birdhouse or bat-house can attract wildlife that will encourage some winged garden helpers to help keep the insects at bay and fertilize the garden at the same time. I had the fortune to have a power pole with an acorn woodpecker cavity. I was able to rescue the portion that contained the cavity. The woodpeckers took a couple of days but they found it grainery intact. They checked every acorn to make sure it had not been movved. It seems like almost every time a bird takes flight it leaves a calling card behind. My birdhouses often get several sets of tenants each year. Titmice, violet green swallows, and house wrens are regularly nest here. Nuttal's woodpeckers have been regular winter residents. Choose plants for your garden that attract hummingbirds. I set up a double bird feeder stand so I could put out both nyjer seed and sunflower seed.

Build your garden around a theme such as butterflies. A butterfly garden design can include garden art as well as a variety of plant to feed the local butterfly population. As a result you might get some "flying flowers" in your garden.

An early Spring Vegetable Garden is not only timely with a Stay at Home Order it is a healthy way to spend time outdoors and to get the greatest benefit of all, the freshest of food. Make a raised bed planter, line the bottom to protect it from gophers. Check out our Armored Artichoke Bed

Plant a container garden to speed up ripinging rates and to utilize soil free spaces like balconies, decks and patios.

An arbor can be a place to inspire memories or a spot of shade on a hot day, or just a quiet escape. A sense of solitude in a chaotic world is immensely important for our sanity. Your yard will seem much bigger if you look at it from a variety of vantages. Having destinations away from the house will encourage you to use those viewpoints. Framing a view with a rose covered arbor can make that view much more interesting.

So you have some ideas about how you want the garden to grow but you want to water it and don't know where to start. Here are some thoughts on how to organize a garden around the water requirements of the plants. It should provide some help in picking an irrigation timer.

With a young landscape the greatest difficulty is to achieve three dimensionality. Large plants are very expensive. A tuteur can provide a vertical accent while all of the plants are young and short. The tuteur can provide support for fast growing annual vines such as Hyacinth Beans or Sweet Peas or any number of perennial vines. I regularly try to keep some elements of a prior garden when I rework a landscape. It makes the new garden seem more established. In only a couple of years a Belgian Fence can be trained to enclose a special section of the garden.

Create a water garden. The presence of water is both a fascinating element as well as a calming one. The movement of the water with its splash and sparkle and the noise that ensues are a great calming element for the healing garden. Calm water and the reflections or the movement of fish and other living things drawn to the water bring activity to what could be a static landscape.

Plant an organic lawn. Proper installation techniques will make the result much more successful. And it will be much easier to care for that lawn organically.

Cut to the essentials, what tools do you really need? With a limited amount of truck space what gets to go along for the ride day after day with a profesional gardener? These are the tools in the truck.

Wood and Stone Arbor

A wooden arbor with stone pillars give a hidden garden a destination