Prime Time Living - Page 21 - Garden from page 12

Prime Time Living
- Page 21
Garden from page 12
than enough. “I never expected them to get so huge and take over half my garden, but they did. I wish someone had warned me beforehand,” she lamented.

Porch or Patio

These areas are perfect for creating a container garden using pots of different sizes, materials, finishes and dimensions. You can move them around, in and out of the sun, as needed. Containers are also great to grow herbs and certain vegetables.

Picture yourself walking outside to cut some fresh chives, thyme or tarragon to spice up a favorite dish. Or pull a few carrots for a crudité tray. Many herbs are perennials and will return year after year. At the end of the season, you can also prune them back and dry some for use during the winter or as gifts.

Containers are also great for your plot of land if your dirt doesn’t support growing. You have more control over the growing medium and can add appropriate fertilizer or plant food to keep them healthy. You also have more control over how much water each plant needs. “In the summer, especially July and August, almost every plant needs water daily,” says Frederick. “Do it in the morning before the sun hits. If you have annuals, plants that you replace every year, they’ll need lots more water than those in the ground. Treat herbs like annuals and water a lot during those months. Some of this depends on the type of containers you choose: plastic pots keep plants moister, longer than terracotta, but terracotta breathes better.”

Designing Your Space

Whatever space you’re going to use, make a note of how much sun it gets. This will dictate what types of plants will do well. Then measure its dimensions. You can use some graph paper to draw a rough idea of what works for you. It will also help you rough in the finished size of the plants you choose. For instance, a small shrub might start out as three feet in diameter, but a couple years down the road, spread to five or six feet. Sketch the finished proportions, not the original size.

The same holds true for porches and patios. You may want to work around a couple chairs and a table, so don’t try to fill in every empty space. For either area, think in terms of different heights. On a porch or patio, you can have a stand or a trellis so your eye travels from low to high, just as you would in the ground. Different heights are more visually appealing as are a variety of textures and colors.

Whatever you choose, from a hanging plant with lots of colors that drapes over its pot, to a small garden on a little parcel of land, you’ll enjoy the view and have a space that provides a little bit of peace in an otherwise turbulent world. •