The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.
— Alfred Austin
What is an Inspired Garden?
An Inspired Garden makes you smile. It’s filled with the colors, scents and flowers you love—colors that might resemble your wedding bouquet, scents that evoke memories of your favorite vacation spot, flowers that remind you of a garden you once loved to play in. An Inspired Garden will reflect your personality and style, and whether you choose a cottage garden with a soft and dreamy palette, or a bold and bright design with a dramatic flair…If it’s true to who you are, it will make you feel happy and peaceful for many years to come.
In my Get Inspired newsletter, I will share my philosophies, ideas, and how-to’s on creating gardens, window boxes, and containers, as well as tips on caring for your indoor plants. I’ll fill you in on what plants are easy and dependable and teach you how to get a layered garden with blooms going all season. As I share my approach to gardening, I’ll let you in on a few secrets for capturing the look I am known for.
So let’s begin! With this first edition, I am excited to offer four key pieces of advice that I have shared hundreds of times with my clients:
1. Don’t waste time on plants you don’t love.
Over and over I hear from clients, “I absolutely hate that plant!” to which I respond,“Why is it still here?” There’s no obligation to care for the plants you inherit when you purchase a home. Filling the garden with your personality can be the final step in making your home fully yours. If something is overgrown or you just plain don’t like it, then get rid of it. Get over the guilt and let it compost back to the earth.
2. Do your research.
Search on Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz for flowers that speak to you, but make sure they are suitable for your zone. Many clients fall in love with the image of a cottage garden with delphiniums and hollyhocks, but don’t realize that those don’t do well in hot and humid areas. Be aware of the kind of light you have. A wildflower garden will not work in a shaded area. A garden full of ferns for a zen feel will burn in the hot sun. To know what is working well and thriving around you, take pictures of gardens you admire in your area. Don’t be fooled by what you see at nurseries—they often sell plants that won’t do well in your climate. Save yourself the frustration of plants that won’t grow well and do your research first.
3. Set realistic expectations.
Many of the gorgeous pictures you see on social media are snapshots of the peak bloom time of a garden that has matured over years. Even the images on a plant’s tags can be misleading— they show what a perennial will look like when it matures and is in full bloom. When you plant in early spring, it may be two months before the plant resembles the picture. It could take years for some perennials to really get going.
4. Just jump in!
It’s normal to be nervous about starting a garden, but all you need to begin is a desire. As long as you are willing to water regularly that takes care of about 90% of the necessary maintenance. You’ll run into a few bumps along the way, but trial and error is how most gardeners learn!
An Inspired Garden is a place of joy. We’re living in a world of uncertainty, and now more than ever we need our happy places. I’ve found that planning and caring for a garden can be extremely therapeutic, even for those who have never gardened before. I never tire of hearing clients talk about the peace their gardens have brought them and their families.
Looking forward to next time…
If you would like to read more information on gardens and indoor plants check out our Get Inspired newsletter.