Have Fun Personalizing Your Garden

Carolyn Black
Adams County Master Gardener

Gardens reflect the personalities of the gardeners who tend them. A garden that makes you happy is one that celebrates your life and gives you meaning. Wonderful memories can be made and recaptured in your garden.

The design of your garden should ultimately be very personal and express the way that you live each day. Once you capture the right atmosphere, your garden becomes one of relaxation and comfort. A personal garden design should provide daily nutrients for your soul in the same manner that rich, black soil provides nutrients for your plants.

Providing a comfortable place to relax can create an atmosphere conducive to meditation and respite. A well-placed, well-designed bench or swing might be the most appealing amenity in a garden. We have a glider swing strategically located to provide optimal sensual enjoyment from our garden. It is within hearing distance of the trickling water in the aquatic garden, and it is placed so that the main view focuses on our bird garden. We have the swing tucked under a tree to provide shade while we are enjoying the beauty of nature. As we relax there, we receive sweet wafts from the nearby hybrid tea rose garden.

A hanging basket containing a fuchsia plant is positioned on the side of the swing so that we can be mesmerized by the visiting hummingbirds coming to the plant for nectar. Butterflies can be viewed as they dance around the flowers. Our swing is located near the swings of the grandchildren so that we can hear their laughter and see their antics.

Objects that add ornamental interest are excellent accents to a garden. This is an area of interest that allows the gardener to be creative. There are no wrong techniques to personalize your garden. It should reflect your personality and your interests. We have a plow that was given to me by my father. It provides a focal point with daffodils in the spring, and also serves as a climbing mechanism for clematis in the summer. The plow reminds me of the love that my father had for Godís beauty and also recalls his strong work ethic that I so admired.

Urns and planters provide personality and character to a garden. I use some crocks that were gifts to me as container plantings to accent the gardens. Decorative garden flags are another way to personalize a garden. We enjoy shopping for garden items when we are traveling and at later times, reminiscing about a particular life experience surrounding a specific purchase

Stepping stones with meditative sayings are a great way to accent your garden. One of my favorites is a stone my son insisted I buy for my husband. It reads, "Grow Old with Me, the Best Is Yet to Be." If you are creative and artistic, you can also make your own stepping stones.

Personal decorative items add personality to your garden. I have many decorative items that say "Hope" to remind me of my Grandma Hope. I always think of her love and patience when I see them in my garden. A lantern from my father is near the water garden on a wrought-iron hanger to remind me of him and the light that he has shown to others.

With some well-chosen decorative and personal items, you can have fun transforming your garden into a celebration of your life and the memories you made along the way.

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