30 Great Ideas for Your Garden
Tending to your garden takes time and patience, but few things beat hours spent sitting in the open air enjoying the fruits of your labor and taking in the great outdoors. Whether you're brand-new to gardening or have a certified green thumb, there's always a way to add a little something extra to your backyard garden. From plant suggestions to ways to transform any space into an outdoor sanctuary, we're sharing our most creative ideas for your patch of blooms.
One of the most exciting and research-driven aspects of creating a garden is choosing what to plant. Depending on the zone you live in, and the aesthetic you're looking for, picking the right plants can feel overwhelming. But there's no need to break out the almanac just yet—we're suggesting a number of gorgeous blooms that are guaranteed to add a little something extra to your space, so there's something for everyone, no matter where you live. If you're looking for spring flowers, lilacs are the perfect option. They're found in seven colors and grow well in fertile, temperate climates. Including hydrangeas in your garden is another stunning concept. They blossom from summer into fall, and can tolerate some shade, making them ideal for areas of the yard that can otherwise be tricky to plant in.
If you're the type of gardener that loves a good DIY, you'll find beautiful crafting ideas galore. Our Pyramidal Pots Water Fountain how-to is simple and fun to make. The stacked pots not only look pretty sitting among your flowers, but the soft trickle of water also adds a welcome calming effect to your space. If adding elements of water isn't what you're looking for, try creating your own aged Terra-Cotta pots for a lived-in decoration that's both stylish and functional. From helpful tips to must-do DIYs, ahead find a number of ideas that will take your garden to the next level.
Gardeners in applicable growing regions know all about hydrangeas' intricate beauty, abundant summer-into-fall blooms, and obliging tolerance of some shade.
When most people think of these blooms, they think of the fragrant, old-fashioned common lilac, which flowers for just a few weeks each spring, but the genus is quite diverse. By selecting carefully, it is possible to have two months of spring bloom, plus some repeat flowering in early fall, and even autumnal foliage color.
Plant Peach Lemonade Roses
These gorgeous blooms are the perfect addition to your garden. The roses begin yellow and become pink over time, giving your garden an ever-changing dose of color.
Don't be afraid to add moss to your garden. Some of our favorite types for shady areas are Bryopsida or Musci. Be sure that these are grown in moist areas, where they'll thrive.
Think of Succulents
For a low-maintenance dash of green, add pots of succulents to your garden. These work great indoors or out, but ensure you've chosen the right varieties for your zone if you intend to plant them outdoors.
If you listed the characteristics of the ideal plant—easy-care, long bloom, color, fragrance, shade tolerance—you'd find that geraniums have them all.
Plant Flowering Herbs
As pretty as they are useful, flowering herbs grow around stately artichoke plants and bring a touch of the Mediterranean to this garden.
Hedge Your Bets
If you're in the market for privacy plants, there are many versatile choices, including hornbeam. On her farm in Bedford, Martha has English hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), whose dense green foliage turns yellow-orange in fall.
This vegetable garden was designed to be beautiful as well as useful. Striking, durable kales and cabbages are planted among the more traditional tomatoes, onions, and lettuces.
Create Your Own Rose Garden Plan
If roses are your favorite flower, take a cue from Martha and her rose garden for some major inspiration. From colorful blooms to unparalleled landscaping, her rose garden plan explores various florae and is the ultimate how-to in cultivating your own gorgeous blooms.
Use a Bamboo Tamer
Here's an attractive way to prevent invasive plants such as dwarf bamboo from overrunning your garden: Plant them in terra-cotta chimney flue tiles. Use a tile with a diameter that is at least four inches wider than the plant's root ball. Sink the tile into the soil so that the lip sticks up one inch; plant inside the tile.
Utilize a Soil-Saving Plant Screen
The metal and plastic screens that help keep mosquitoes and other warm-weather pests out of the house this time of year can also prevent soil from washing out of planters during rain or irrigation. Unroll a piece of lightweight screening and set your flowerpot on top. Cut the screen to fit, working around the pot's bottom with scissors (for plastic screens) or tin snips (for the metal kind). Fit the screen inside the pot to cover the drainage holes, and then add soil.
Rely on Pots and Paving
The tone and shape of containers and walkways can showcase plants and enhance an area's aesthetic. On the color wheel, green adjoins yellow, which adjoins orange; mixing these yields a satisfying color scheme. Here, terra-cotta pots draw attention to a "hedge" of boxwood topiaries. A background scrim of golden yew picks up the color of the boxwoods' new growth. A brick terrace creates a warm foil for spilling leaves near a fountain.
Utilize Easy Planters
Bushel baskets from the garden center make charming and inexpensive containers for a mix of annuals, including Angelonia, Lantana, and Plectranthus. Their wooden slats provide built-in drainage, and they can be recycled after the plants have had their season in the sun. As autumn draws to an end, the entire basket can be composted once the wire handles are removed.
Add Hanging Beauties
Draw the eye upwards with an array of colorful plants in an overflowing hanging garden. These look great displayed on a porch or patio.
Use a Faux Bois Planter
This planter holds up to 75 quarts of soil and looks natural in any garden. Use a piece of screen to cover the extra-large drainage hole to prevent soil from escaping.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Garden "Faux Bois" Planter, from $24.45, qvc.com.
Place Painted Pots
For cheerful containers, paint pots in colors that complement their contents. Hang on a patio wall or line a path with the pretty planters.
Display Decorative Cachepots
Free from gritty sand and briny water, beach pails are pleasing to the eye, with their sturdy proportions and bold palette. So, put them to decorative use, on display as cachepots hiding less attractive flowerpots within. Collect your favorites from the local discount store.
Use Chalkboard Pots
Organize plants and seedlings, and identify homegrown herbs, by painting the collars of clay pots with stripes of chalkboard paint and write each pot's contents in chalk.
Make Your Own Aging Terra-Cotta Pots
Clay pots gradually whiten with age, showing evidence of minerals leaching from water through the years. Here's how to get that charming, weathered look without waiting.
Add a Simple Garden Water Dish
Place a stone serving bowl on a bench or another available hard, flat surface to bring animals to your garden. Birds and little critters will gladly accept the water. This one is filled with bluish-green pebbles, but you can include any animal-friendly materials for decoration.
Build a Pyramidal Pots Water Fountain
Stacked pots fitted with a pump and filled to the brim make for a gorgeous addition to your garden. We love this DIY, which includes a calming effect with its soft sounds reminiscent of lapping waves.
Incorporate a Sonorous Ceramic Water Feature
Greet guests with the tranquil sound of falling water in a pump-fitted urn with a motor that moves the water underground. Plus, it's a gorgeous decorative addition to your garden.
Clearly Delineate Your Garden
In the front courtyard of this garden, gravel gives border plants room to spill; sculptural Aloe thraskii and Agave attenuata define the rear.
Create a Place to Relax
Hollyhocks reach for the roof of landscape designer Judy Tomkins's home. The screened porch is surrounded by beds of blue and white delphiniums mixed with white Cimicifuga. A rustic bench makes an ideal resting spot.
Add a Triumphant Archway
The archway leading to this summer garden is set off by neoregelia on the left and angel's trumpet on the right; in the background, Ipomoea batatas "Marguerite" grows between cycads.
Keep a Wider Perspective
The beds edging the grass-and-stone pathway to the front door of this farmhouse are filled with a jumble of flowers that includes bleeding hearts, tulips, tall bearded irises, roses, and peonies.
A fragrant, disease-resistant "New Dawn" rose climbs the latticework that screens the east-facing porch ell of this garden. Tony Bielaczyc, the former deputy gardening editor at Martha Stewart Living, took advantage of this bright exposure to stock the border with sun-loving flowers.
Create Garden Shed Crate Cabinets
Create custom cabinetry in your garden shed with vintage wine crates from flea markets or online auctions. Easily recreate this DIY by stacking the crates horizontally and vertically, using some as bases to vary heights. Once you've established a layout, connect crates with wood screws and collars near the corners. Then use cup hooks to hang smaller items, such as trowels, funnels, and scissors. As your need for storage grows, simply reconfigure the system and add more crates.