Have Fun Designing a Theme Garden
Gardening should be fun, not a chore, and your garden should reflect your personality and interests. If you want to update your garden but lack inspiration, why not create a theme garden based on what you love?
A “theme” garden can represent almost anything – a color you like, an activity you enjoy, a mood you want to evoke, a collection of favorite things or an event or person you want to honor. Here are just a few ideas for theme gardens that are easy to do:
Highlight a Color
Most people are drawn to certain colors, so why not plan a garden around colors that you love! If you crave pink, you can create an entire garden bed with gorgeous pink bloomers that evoke a sense of romance. If you prefer color combinations, keep it simple by limiting yourself to three complementary or contrasting colors. Last year, I designed a bed using plants in purple, chartreuse and white. It was a pleasing and coordinated look that included AngelMistTM Purple Angelonia, Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine ‘Margarita,’ Sun Coleus with dappled lime green and purple leaves and white Diamond Frost® Euphorbia.
Focus on an Activity
If you enjoy watching birds and other critters, you will certainly want to create a garden that attracts birds, butterflies and bees. Most birds enjoy plants that have berries, fruit or nuts. Butterflies, bees and hummingbirds are drawn to plants with bright colors and nectar. Check with the Fayette County Extension Office to learn recommended plants to attract wildlife.
Create a Mood
Another popular garden theme is a moonlight garden, using predominantly pale flowers and light foliage that reflect the moon’s light. This type of garden is ideal for those who work long hours away from home and want to unwind in their garden sanctuary during evening hours. Use annuals and perennials with white or pale blossoms that thrive in the evening such as cleome, petunias, impatiens, moonflower vine, Calla lilies and hydrangeas. Combine with plants that have pale or variegated foliage like dusty miller, variegated caladium, hosta and elephant’s ears. Add fragrance with lavender, sage and other herbs.
Start a Collection
Become an expert on one specific plant and mass plant it in your garden. Some gardeners cultivate spectacular rose gardens while others concentrate on day lilies, hydrangeas or iris. Perhaps you have a shady yard. Focus on a collection of shade plants such as ferns or hostas. One friendof mine collects vintage watering cans and showcases her collection amid a cheerful bed of perennials.
Honor an Event or Person
July means patriotism, fireworks and red, white and blue. In 1976, Peachtree City Garden Club members planted “patriotic” flower beds around their mailboxes to honor our country’s Bicentennial anniversary. Potting up containers with flowers of red, white and blue can be cheerful accents during July and throughout the summer or make great gifts for military families to thank them for their service.
You can honor a special loved one who has died with a memory garden. My friend Susan Stewart created a garden to remember her sister by incorporating some of her sister’s favorite items and favorite plants. This small area is now a place to retreat, relax and to remember.
Encourage your children to love the outdoors by letting them help you plant a children’s garden somewhere in your yard. Children are attracted to plants that are edible, carnivorous, fragrant and have interesting foliage. Let them choose the plants, help dig the holes and nurture the garden. Some favorite kid’s plants are sunflowers, herbs, tomatoes, pumpkins and marigolds.
Other ideas for a theme garden include a fragrance garden, four-season color garden, edible garden, water garden, rock garden and many more! Get inspiration by visiting the theme gardens at the UGA Research and Education Garden in Griffin and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.