• Sandi Manna

With Good Choices You Can Have Your Dream Garden. Part 3 Incorporate Personal Touches

Are you struggling with an awkward space? Did you inherit a messy design when you purchased your home? Does your garden miss the mark for your lifestyle? Maybe it requires too much maintenance for your schedule. If you answered yes to any of these, don't give up. The right changes can transform even the worst outdoor space into a dream garden. In this series you'll discover the key things it takes to transform a nightmare into a dream. You'll learn what to take into consideration and how to enhance the views from within, and beyond your garden. You'll get tips for creating a landscape that's colorful all year long (yes, even in the dead of winter), without overdoing it. In this 10 part series, we'll discuss the different points that professionals take into consideration to create the ideal landscape.

So stop stressing over your garden and start enjoying it!


• Your garden is unique. It should be a space that you enjoy and one that calls to you. Whether it's a space to relax, a place to play or a garden for food or cut flowers, make it your own by incorporating some things that are personally appealing to you. It can be a whimsical something you picked up at a yard sale, or something special you brought back from a vacation.

Bring Back Memories

Maybe there's a childhood memory of stopping by a roadside stand to pick up a fresh bouquet of flowers for mom, so you can incorporate a little sign. When I grew up as a kid I have fond memories of playing in my neighbor's yard. They had a sundial in their yard so that's something I've incorporated into my own garden. There are no "rules". Bringing in a man made object to contrast with the soft foliage can do wonders for creating a striking contrast in the garden. Whatever it is that makes your space personal to you is always a good idea to incorporate. This is your personal space so the only rule is that you give your space personal meaning that brings you joy when you're in it.

Incorporate Personal Touches

The best part of a design is something that makes it personal to you. It can be a favorite plant, something that brings back fond memories, a tribute like a tree to honor a loved one or pet, or even an accent piece that speaks to you. I'm a big fan of vintage, so I found this vintage well pump and turned it into a water feature. Beside it is an old vintage wheelbarrow I turned into a seasonal container garden. It's really anything that you find inspiring. Again, there are no rules, so use your imagination. If you have a significant item, give it prominence in your landscape. There's nothing to say you can't incorporate whimsy into even the most formal garden. I've seen formal gardens with whimsical statuary. Remember, this is your space so the only rule is to do what makes you happy. Don't be afraid to put your personal stamp on your garden, it's yours after all!

Turn Up The Heat

A fire pit can be a formal outdoor fireplace type of structure, a chiminea, a pre-fab metal fire-pit, or just some rocks placed together to hold a small fire. Regardless of what type of fire-pit you decide on, there's

something very soothing about quietly

sitting and gazing into a low burning

flame. A fire pit is a good way to disconnect from the world for awhile. We're all so

connected to our phones, tablets and other

electronic devices, creating a fire pit is a

good way for us to disconnect from the

outside world for just a little bit and reconnect with ourselves, our family and our friends. You'll

create a lifetime of memories just by adding a simple fire-pit to your backyard. It's amazing

what can happen when we all just disconnect for a little while and come together without our


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