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Archive | Bloomin’ Summer

Creative ways to take your raised bed and planter gardening to new heights

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(BPT) – Generations of space-challenged gardeners have relied on raised beds and planting boxes to grow a harvest of vegetables, fruits and herbs – even in the tightest spaces. Vertical gardening gave us a whole new way to garden in tight spots, by encouraging plants to grow up, rather than spread out. Now, by marrying the two techniques, you can create a visually stunning, artistic display of gardening prowess that will keep your table full of fresh produce throughout the summer.

Building the foundation

A well-built, durable planting foundation, such as a raised bed or planting box made from Western Red Cedar, is an essential starting point. Decide where yours will go and start building. You can find free project plans online to help you build the frame for a raised bed or a planting box.

Whatever style of planter you build, it’s important to choose a quality construction material. Western Red Cedar is often the choice of savvy gardeners because it’s naturally rot resistant as well as durable and easy to work with. It needs no chemical finishes or paints to preserve or beautify it, and is harvested from sustainably managed forests. Learn more and find free project plans at Realcedar.com.

BLOOM-Creative2Simple steps onward and upward

With a good foundation in place, it’s time to consider all the ways you can turn your raised bed or planter into a vertical masterpiece.

Adding a simple trellis to your raised bed or planting box is an easy way to maximize your growing space. For example, you can plant shrub-type plants like peppers in a row in the front portion of the planter, then add a trellis in the back portion and encourage vining veggies like beans, peas and cucumbers to grow up the structure.

For larger raised beds, you can build a vineyard style pergola above the bed. A sturdy pergola made from Western Red Cedar can support a variety of substantial plants such as squash, but you don’t have to be limited to fruits and veggies that grow on vines. Affix small boxes or even burlap bags to allow for greater variety in your vertical garden.

Loftier ambitions

Is your raised bed nestled against a wall? Or perhaps your planting box perches on one side of your backyard deck. You can add a free-standing wall by building a cedar frame and stretching hex wire across the frame. Vines will readily climb the wire, but you can also attach terra cotta pots to the wire to hold herbs, small vegetables and even flowers.

In a variation on the trellis concept, you can build a framework with multiple rows of narrow cedar troughs above your raised bed or planting box; the troughs make a great growing spot for herbs. You can also create a stepped planter by building a series of boxes in graduated sizes and then stacking them atop each other widest to narrowest. Or, for a more modern look, build a contemporary ladder-style vertical garden with box-shaped removable planters.

Veteran gardeners who are also seasoned do-it-yourselfers can go all out by building a pergola. Western Red Cedar pergolas can go anywhere, take up far less ground space than a traditional garden and are wonderful vertical gardening pieces. Just plant your favorite vining fruit or vegetable at the base of each post and train the vines upward as they grow.

One out of every three American households gardens—36 million households—according to the National Gardening Association. With 9 million households in urban areas participating in gardening, it’s a great time to explore creative ways to bring vertical gardening and raised beds or planter boxes together.

 

 

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Save money and water while enjoying a beautiful garden

BLOOM-Rain-Barrel-photo-credit-Gardeners-Supply

Rain barrels are making a comeback as droughts, watering restrictions and storm water runoff are on the rise. There are now many attractive rain barrel options to choose from. Photo courtesy of Gardner’s Supply Company.

By Melinda Myers

Too much or not enough water and never when you need it seems to be a common lament of gardeners. Reduce the impact of these weather challenges while conserving water, saving money on water and sewer bills, and growing beautiful gardens with the help of rain barrels. These century old devices are making a comeback as droughts, watering restrictions and storm water runoff are on the rise.

Contact your local municipality before getting started. Some communities have regulations and guidelines for using rain barrels and many offer rebates to homeowners who install them.

Start your conversion to rain barrels one downspout at a time. You can capture as much as 623 gallons of water from 1,000 square feet of roof in a one-inch rainfall. This can be a lot to manage when first adapting to this change of habit. Taking little steps allows you to successfully match the use of rain barrels to your gardening style and schedule.

Make your own or purchase one of the many rain barrels on the market. Regardless of which vessel you choose there are some features to consider when adding a rain barrel to your landscape.

Make sure the top is covered to keep out debris and mosquitoes. Or select one with a solid lid and opening just large enough to accommodate the downspout.

Look for one with a spigot low on the barrel, so water does not stagnate at the bottom. Use the spigot to fill watering cans or attach a hose. Elevate the barrel on cinder blocks or a decorative stand for easier access and to increase water pressure.

Make sure there is an overflow outlet to direct excess water away from your home’s foundation. Or use it to link several barrels together, increasing your water collecting capacity.  A downspout diverter is another way to manage rain barrel overflows. When the rain barrels are full this device diverts the water back to the downspout where it is carried away from your home’s foundation.

And the good news is you don’t need to overlook beauty for function. You’ll find many attractive options in a variety of shapes and sizes in garden centers and online catalogs such as Gardener’s Supply (gardeners.com). Some include a recessed top for storing accessories or growing a potted plant. You’ll find ones with decorative finishes that mimic a basketweave, fine terra cotta, or wood. Those with a flat backside like the Madison rain barrel fit right next to the house, saving space.

Rain water is naturally softened and free of flouride and chlorine; great for plants. Do not use rain barrel water for drinking, cooking or your pets. Avoid concerns of contamination from roofing materials and debris by only using the water for ornamental plants.

Maintenance is easy. Check for and remove twigs and debris that may collect and block the flow of water. Clean the inside of the barrel at least once a year with an environmentally friendly detergent. Those in cold climates need to drain the rain barrel and cover the opening or turn it upside down for winter storage. Make sure to divert the water away from the house once the downspout is disconnected.

Don’t worry about mosquitoes. Covering the opening with a fine screen and using the water on a regular basis will minimize the risk. Or use the eco-friendly bacterial agent Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) that kills mosquito larvae, but is safe for pets, people and wildlife.

Now is the time to start putting rainwater to work for you and your garden. Look for convenient locations for collecting and using rainwater from the roof of your home, shed or garage. A little effort put in now will result in benefits for years to come.

Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books. Myers’ website is:  http://www.melindamyers.com/www.melindamyers.com.

 

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Simple summer home improvement: Upgrade your curb appeal

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(BPT) – Summer is a great time to complete your home improvement projects, but deciding which ones to tackle can be overwhelming. Here are a few simple curb appeal projects you can tackle this summer to welcome your family and friends into your home with style.

Start fresh with a new front door

For a dramatic refresh replace your front door. From single doors, to double-door options, to those accented with decorative glass or sidelights, it’s easy to find a door that fits your budget and your style. Once you have a panel design selected, pick a material such as wood, fiberglass or steel. Don’t forget to look for an ENERGY STAR qualified option to help keep your home comfortable.

Pick a standout color for your front door 

Nothing adds to your curb appeal like bold, vibrant color. Pick a front door color that shows your personality and makes your home different from your neighbors. From red to blue and green to orange, color can instantly refresh the front of your home. A good place to find inspiration and the perfect color is from the limited-edition Vibrancy Collection from Pella.

Sticking with your current door? A fresh coat of paint can do wonders. Pick a color that coordinates with your home’s exterior, but dare to be bold with color contrast to add eye appeal. Take a look at a Favorite Front Doors board on Pinterest for ideas.

Update your hardware

Refresh your existing front door with new hardware. New hardware can be a quick update and add beauty to the entrance to your home’s exterior design. Hardware is available in a variety of finishes including satin nickels as well as unique designs including modern and traditional. Look for inspiration at Baldwin Reserve board on Pinterest.

Replace broken or damaged items

Replace broken light fixtures, burned out bulbs, and worn out weather-stripping on exterior doors. Pitch that faded wreath, worn out mat, and dead plants, and instead, add a bright new welcome mat and eye-catching seasonal decorations.

Lay a new path

From the moment your guest step off the sidewalk, the path to your front door showcases your home. Flagstone, gravel, or pavers – any of these materials can be used to create a new, inviting walkway in a weekend or less.

Illuminate your walkway 

Make it easy for others to see the way to your front door at night. Transform and illuminate walkways with easy-to-install solar lights. Stake them in the ground positioned so solar cells get enough southern exposure for sunlight to recharge nightlights during the day.

Trim bushes, create great container gardens 

Landscaping should accent your home, not dominate it. Keep bushes below the bottom sill of your windows to improve your view. Trim or replace overgrown shrubs and trees. Keep plant material trimmed several feet away from your home to minimize damage from wind or insects. Fill decorative containers with plants that accent your home’s color scheme, front door, and landscape design.

Visit Pella on Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram for more design inspiration and Pella.com to connect with your local Pella representative for ideas on how to transform the look and comfort of your home inside and out.

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Protect gardens from invasive pests

By following USDA’s six easy tips, you can help protect your plants, trees and crops from invasive pests.

By following USDA’s six easy tips, you can help protect your plants, trees and crops from invasive pests.

(NAPS)—Nothing tastes better than fresh-picked fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, invasive pests threaten to devour the crops in our gardens and farms, and the flowers, trees and plants in our landscapes. They are a real threat, costing our nation approximately $120 billion each year.

These pests can spread quickly as they come from other countries and have few or no natural enemies here. In particular, the USDA cautions gardeners to be wary of 19 destructive, invasive species known as Hungry Pests, which include the emerald ash borer and Asian citrus psyllid. People need to be aware of these pests, because they are primarily spread in the things people move and pack.

Tips to Save Gardens

Fortunately, homeowners can follow six easy tips to protect their gardens and landscapes, and help keep Hungry Pests from spreading:

  • Only buy plants and seeds from reputable sources, such as established nurseries or online businesses. Ask where they buy their plants and if they comply with federal quarantine restrictions. Temporary, roadside vendors—and even non-established dealers online—may not be doing what is required to keep plants free of pests.
  • If you are in a quarantined area—check www.HungryPests. com/the-spread—don’t move plants or homegrown produce. And to be safe, don’t bring back plants from other areas, including abroad. That’s how the Mexican fruit fly—which threatens 50 types of fruits and vegetables—entered the United States.
  • When doing property clean-up, call your local USDA office to find out how to safely dispose of trees, branches and other yard debris. Moving such materials outside your property in quarantined areas could spread invasive pests. Make sure your contractors also follow the procedures.
  • Don’t move homegrown citrus or citrus plants outside your property. That’s how citrus greening, a disease that is killing America’s orange groves, has spread.
  • Look for round and D-shaped holes in trees. They could be the exit holes of Asian longhorned beetles or emerald ash borers. Also look for yellow, thin or wilted leaves, shoots growing from roots or tree trunks, sawdust-like material and unusual woodpecker activity. If something looks suspicious, be safe and report it using the “Report a Pest” button on the Hungry Pests’ website.
  • For those in the northeast quadrant of the country, inspect lawn furniture, fences and other outdoor items, and remove and immerse gypsy moth egg masses in soapy water. Gypsy moths eat more than 300 species of trees and shrubs, so early detection is key. Report findings to agricultural officials.

Go to HungryPests.com to learn more, or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

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“Light” up the grill: three creative tips for a leaner barbeque 

BLOOM-HealthyBBQC

(NewsUSA) – It’s time to dust off the grills, pile up the charcoal and break out the oversized spatula because grilling season is here! With school out for the summer, it’s time for families to gear up for barbecue parties filled with tasty grilled grub. If you’re looking to whip up barbecue favorites at your next family cookout but still want to keep the menu lean, follow these go-to tips for lightened up versions of classic dishes that don’t sacrifice an ounce of flavor.

*Ditch the Traditional Bun: If you’re looking to cut calories and pack in an extra serving of veggies for the kids, consider swapping your traditional hamburger and hot dog buns for creative and delicious veggie alternatives. Refrigerator staples from zucchini and romaine lettuce to sweet potato can quickly transform into slider and sausage buns. For added flavor and a meatier texture, cook your veggies on the grill with a brush of olive oil, salt and pepper.

*Grill Lean(er) Meat: Believe it or not, there is a way to eat clean and lean without sacrificing the taste you love from richer cuts of meat. Chicken breasts, skinless chicken thighs, pork loin and even flank steak are all excellent options for leaner cuts. Fewer calories aren’t the only bonus—the lack of excess fat will cause fewer flare-ups on the grill. If you’re a fan of hot dogs or bratwurst, consider looking for a leaner seasoned sausage to swap so flavor isn’t sacrificed. Simply Savory Smoked Sausages from Land O’Frost are available in a variety of bold flavors, including bacon and cheddar, chipotle and roasted red pepper, and Italian style with pepper and mozzarella. These sausages have 35 percent less fat and no artificial flavors, MSG and fillers often found in hot dogs and sausage products.

*Tangy Twist: Instead of dousing chicken and pork in store-bought barbeque sauces that are high in sugar, consider squeezing the juice of fresh lemon or limes over meat. If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous, swap out the tangy taste for a sweeter fruit. Adding pineapple or orange juice can offer the sweet flavors you’re craving without the added sugar. With these simple tricks in mind, fire up the grill and get ready to create a healthier barbecue for your family and friends. For coupons and more information about Land O’Frost’s Simply Savory Sausages, visit www.landofrost.com.

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Cherries

 

BLOOM-CherriesFrom the Michigan Ag Council

They’re red, they’re tasty, and they’re one of Michigan’s most prized specialty crops!

Fresh sweet Michigan cherries are in season from late June to August while Montmorency tart cherries are available throughout the year in dried,  frozen, canned, or as juices and concentrates.

Michigan cherry facts:

  • Michigan produces both tart (perfect for baked goods, entrees, snacks, smoothies, salads, and other recipes) and sweet (for fresh eating) cherries
  • Michigan ranks 1st in the nation in the production of Montmorency tart cherries
  • Michigan ranks 4th in the nation in the production of sweet cherries
  • 70-75% of Montmorency tart cherries and 20% of sweet cherries grown in the U.S. come from Michigan
  • The northwest counties of Michigan grow most of Michigan’s cherries
  • Traverse City, Michigan is home to the annual National Cherry Festival and is the Cherry Capital of the World

Nutrition:

  • Montmorency tart cherries are abundant in anthocyanins – a natural compound that contributes to the ruby-red color, distinctive sour-sweet taste, and has been linked to the potential health benefits of Montmorency tart cherries.
  • A growing number of elite athletes and everyday exercisers are incorporating Montmorency tart cherries in their training routines, as studies have shown that Montmorency tart cherry juice may help reduce strength loss and aid recovery after extensive exercise.
  • Research indicates that Montmorency tart cherry juice may help improve the quality and duration of sleep.
  • Cherries contain beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron and fiber

To learn more about cherries, visit The Cherry Marketing Institute at www.choosecherries.com.

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Pork Chops with cherry sauce

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From The Cherry Marketing Institute, choosecherries.com.

Total Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
  • 2 boneless pork loin chops, about 1-inch thick
  • Salt and black pepper, freshly ground, to taste (used 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Dried red pepper flakes, to taste (used 1/8 teaspoon pepper)

Directions

Season pork chops with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large skillet on high heat. Add pork chops; brown well, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to plate.

Add onions to skillet; cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, dried Montmorency tart cherries, orange marmalade, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil; boil rapidly on medium heat until broth is reduced by half. Reduce heat.

Add pork chops to pan to heat through, 5 to 6 minutes. (Cook pork chops longer on lower heat if pork chops are very thick or have a bone in them.) Internal temperature of the pork should be about 160 degrees F.

Add chicken broth or water, if needed.

Serve pork chops with cherry sauce spooned over them.

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Living landscapes bring surprising health benefits

Studies show that green spaces and landscaping contribute to health, happiness and intellect.

Studies show that green spaces and landscaping contribute to health, happiness and intellect.

(NAPS)—There’s a good—and surprising—reason you may pine for greenery. Living landscapes are an important part of the outdoor lifestyle that Americans enjoy but the benefits go beyond the barbecue and backyard baseball. Green spaces are necessary for your health.

“The advantages of grass and landscaping surpass the usual physical benefits that result from outdoor activity,” explained Kris Kiser, president and CEO, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). “Numerous studies have found that people who spend more time outside or who are exposed to living landscapes are happier, healthier and smarter.”

Researchers have studied the effect of nature on human well-being for years, but recent studies found a more direct correlation between human health, particularly related to stress, and the importance of access to nature and managed landscapes.

Here’s a look at a few:

  • Getting dirty is actually good for you, according to Dr. Christopher Lowery, a neuroscientist at the University of Bristol in England. Mycobacterium vaccae in soil stimulates serotonin production, which explains why people who spend time gardening and have direct contact with soil feel more relaxed and happier.
  • Living near living landscapes can improve your mental health. Researchers in England found that people moving to greener areas experienced an immediate improvement in mental health that was sustained for at least three years after they moved. The study also showed that people relocating to a more developed area suffered a drop in mental health.
  • Green spaces can make you healthier, too. People who live within a half mile of green space (such as parks, public gardens and greenways) were found to have a lower incidence of 15 diseases by Dutch researchers—including depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and migraines. A 2015 study found that people living on streets with more trees had a boost in heart and metabolic health.
  • Living landscapes can even reduce attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Children gain attention and working memory benefits when they are exposed to greenery, says a study led by the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona. In addition, exposure to natural settings may be widely effective in reducing ADHD symptoms in children.
  • Spending time around plants also improves concentration and memory in adults. Research shows that being around plants helps you concentrate better at home and at work. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture at Texas A&M University, believes that spending time in gardens can improve attention span and memory performance by as much as 20 percent.
  • Gardening is great for the body and the soul. People who gardened for at least 30 minutes a week had lower body mass indexes, a measure of body fat, as well as higher levels of self-esteem and better moods overall. They also reported lower levels of tension and stress.
  • Nature walks (or runs) are great for your brain and stress levels. A National Institutes of Health study found that adults demonstrate significant cognitive gains after going on a nature walk. A Stanford University study found that walking in nature, rather than in a concrete-oriented, urban environment, resulted in decreased anxiety, rumination, and negative affect, and produced cognitive benefits, such as increased working memory performance.
  • Living landscapes help you heal faster. Multiple studies have discovered that plants in hospital recovery rooms or views of aesthetically pleasing gardens help patients heal up to one day faster than those who are in more austere environments.
  • You might even be a nicer person when you spend time in nature, as it enhances social interactions, value for community and close relationships. A systematic research review concluded that “the balance of evidence indicates conclusively that knowing and experiencing nature makes us generally happier, healthier people.”

All these benefits reinforce the importance of maintaining yards, parks and other community green spaces. Trees, shrubs, grass and flowering plants are integral to human health. Not only do they provide a place for kids and pets to play, they directly contribute to mental and physical well-being.

Learn More

For tips on maintaining a living landscape, even in drought conditions, go to www.opei.org/stewardship.

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Creative ways to use fresh, summer ingredients

Summer’s flavors can be fleeting, so make culinary creations count by using the freshest ingredients in new ways.

Summer’s flavors can be fleeting, so make culinary creations count by using the freshest ingredients in new ways.

(StatePoint) In summer, the abundance of fresh ingredients can be overwhelming, especially if you stick to the same old recipes. Make more of the fresh produce available to you at the grocer, farmers market and even your own garden, by thinking creatively.

To help, the summer food experts at Betty Crocker are offering some great ideas for using fresh, seasonal produce.

1. Save the best berries for later.

Berry season is far too short. Make it last longer by freezing berries for the cooler months. Choose fruit at peak freshness, and then store it in high-quality freezer bags that seal tightly, removing as much excess air — fruit’s worst enemy — as possible before freezing. Label bags with the freeze date and remember: a full freezer is more efficient, so stock up!

2. Take advantage of fresh tomatoes.

If you have more fresh tomatoes than you know what to do with, consider these creative uses:

  • Caprese Salad. Layer sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella slices and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and a good balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and serve.
  • Bruschetta. Served on small slices of toasted bread, bruschetta is a perfect appetizer for any dinner party.
  • No-Cook Pasta Sauce. Marinara sauce can be too heavy for summer, but a raw sauce showcasing fresh tomatoes is perfect. Try Rigatoni and Tomatoes for a great introduction.

3. Add a touch of sweetness to zucchini.

Managing the bounty of garden-fresh zucchini is always a challenge, so think beyond the main course. You can make the most out of the humble summer squash with baked treats like pineapple zucchini bread, zucchini bars and chocolate zucchini snack cake.

4. Bake with fresh berries.

Baking with fresh berries is one of the highlights of summertime. Favorite desserts that call for freshly picked strawberries, raspberries and blueberries include classics like fresh strawberry pie, but also inventive creations like brownies and berries dessert pizza and blueberry cheesecake bars.

5. Make pickles easy.

Preserving the summer bounty of cucumbers doesn’t mean you need to spend days canning. For a tasty shortcut, layer cucumber slices, onions and carrots in a glass container. Mix with sugar, vinegar, salt and dill weed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, but no longer than two weeks.

6. Make berries last with freezer jam.

Freezer jam is a smart way to hold on to summer’s fresh berries without the hassle of traditional jam. Try this recipe for Strawberry Freezer Jam:

Mash 4 cups strawberries, until slightly chunky, to make 2 cups. Mix with 4 cups sugar in large bowl. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix 3/4 cup water and one package powdered fruit pectin in 1-quart saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute. Pour hot pectin mixture over strawberry mixture; stir constantly three minutes. Immediately spoon mixture into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe rims of containers; seal. Let stand at room temperature about 24 hours or until set. Store in freezer up to six months. Thaw and stir before serving.

More seasonal recipes and summer cooking tips can be found at BettyCrocker.com/summerfoods.

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Design an outdoor room for all to enjoy 

 

Creating an outdoor garden room can be accomplished even with limited space and budget. Photo credit: Gardener’s Supply Company

Creating an outdoor garden room can be accomplished even with limited space and budget. Photo credit: Gardener’s Supply Company

By Melinda Myers

No matter your budget, space or gardening experience, you can design an outdoor entertainment area for you, your family and friends to enjoy.

Start by gathering ideas from magazines, the internet and websites like Gardener’s Supply Company for examples of outdoor garden spaces.

Next, select an area that is convenient and suitable for your outdoor entertaining. Define the space using outdoor rugs and furniture or tall planters (gardeners.com) to serve as the walls for your garden room. A bistro set and a couple of chairs makes for an intimate space on a balcony. Those with more room may want to include an outdoor wicker and teak dining set. Fill the planters with ornamental grasses, papyrus, cannas and other flowering plants to create a living screen.

Add a splash of color and flavor to the space by growing herbs and vegetables combined with flowers in these and additional planters in your garden space. Include ingredients for your favorite drinks, appetizers and meals. Your guests will enjoy plucking a few mint leaves for their iced tea or mojito, harvesting fresh greens from a Salad Garden Bar and dressing up the meal with a few pesticide-free edible flowers like nasturtiums, calendula and daylilies.

Busy gardeners and those that travel may want to try self-watering pots. These containers have built-in water reservoirs to provide a constant flow of water to the plants. This means you need to water less often, while still enjoying healthy and productive plants.

Add some height and focal points with topiaries.  Purchase a sculpted evergreen or train vines up a twist topiary frame to create a bit of living art. And don’t forget to add some garden art and statuary.

Extend your enjoyment with outdoor lighting. A few votive candles in old punch cups are perfect for intimate gatherings in small spaces. Add a bit more illumination with the help of solar illuminated planters, solar deck lights, post caps, and solar cubes and spheres. No buried electric lines or extension cords needed. Use these lights to lead you down the path to your garden space or brighten the space for an evening of fun.

So get busy creating the garden room of your dreams. Once you get started, you will be looking for more opportunities for that quiet getaway, outdoor kitchen and more ways to enjoy your garden.

Gardening expert Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone” DVD set, and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers’ website is www.melindamyers.com.

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