Let’s face it; not everyone is born with a green thumb. In fact, some of us have thumbs so black that merely touching a plant causes the poor thing to immediately wither and die. For homeowners who long for a beautiful yard and garden this causes endless amounts of frustration, especially if every other yard on your street looks like it came straight from a magazine.
However, there is hope for the horticulturally challenged. For instance, it’s entirely possible that you’ve simply not become familiar with the types of plants that require minimal care, or you’re unsure as to when it’s right to hire a professional. In reality, it may not be you and your black thumb at all, but perhaps you’ve just been approaching gardening from the wrong perspective.
These are five ways that you can spruce up your garden, learn a bit about what plants crave, and create the lush and beautiful yard or garden of your dreams.
1. The Lawn Comes First
Even if you have planters full of gorgeous blooms or a thriving vegetable garden, if your lawn is dry and brown it’s difficult to look past that. While some may think that grass will simply grow on its own and only requires an occasional cutting, unfortunately that’s not the case.
Your lawn needs specific treatment to morph into a lush, green carpet and it’s often better to hire a professional for this. From lawn aeration services to fertilization, lawn care specialists have the proper tools and experience to expertly care for your grass and it’s often the better choice to hire them for this job.
2. Build a Trellis
For many home gardeners, creeping vines are the bane of their existences. However, for those who’d prefer a “plant it and forget it” gardening method, these types of vines can be your best friend. A trellis or other platform is easy to build or buy, and there are many types of plants that will be happy to cover that platform in lush greenery that can make your home look like it came from the English countryside.
Honeysuckle, clematis, morning glory, and various ivies grow quickly, provide brightly colored blooms and leaves, and look stunning. If you have more patience, creeping rose varieties also perform very well, but are slower growing. Consider building your trellis on the west side of your home, which will help block the sun’s rays and keep your home cooler in the summer.
3. Get Creative With Containers
Container gardening is very popular, and with a little beforehand knowledge it’s also quite easy. However, a row of plain terra cotta pot on your porch or stoop can look a bit boring. These days it’s not only trendy but clever and colorful to choose alternatives to traditional pots for your plants.
Used whiskey barrels are perfect for roses or tomatoes, old rain boots with a few holes poked in the bottom make excellent planters for herbs, and washtubs look amazing when they’re filled with flowering plants. Get creative and utilize containers from your own home, or hit the thrift stores to see what’s available. As long as it has adequate drainage just about anything can be repurposed as a planter and the more unique the better.
4. Find the Right Flowers
Everyone loves flowers but sometimes simply admiring them as they sit in their pots is simply not enough. You want to cut them so you can have a beautiful bouquet for your dining table or other surface in your home. While most flowers can be cut for bouquets, some are better than others and produce heavily throughout the season.
Long stemmed blooms are generally the best for bouquets. Most types of lilies, cosmos, zinnias, dahlias, and roses make excellent bouquets and, in the case of most of these plants, the more you cut the more they produce. This is ideal if you want to share your newfound gardening prowess with your neighbors in the form of lovely bouquets.
5. Vegetables Can Be Pretty, Too
If you want to try your hand at vegetable gardening there are several ways to make your food source beautiful. In fact, many vegetables and flowering plants have symbiotic relationships so not only do these flowers add color to your vegetable garden, they also help keep insects at bay.
Consider an archway as an entrance to your vegetable garden, and use raised beds for added variety. People most often use their backyards for vegetables, but they can work equally as well in the front yard. Some HOAs may have issues with this, so check before you start digging.
Not everyone can be a perfect gardener, but everyone can use these tips to get started and make the experience as painless as possible. At least until you prick your finger on one of your beautiful new rose bushes.