May 2018

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Nothing Says Welcome Home Like An Entry Garden

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Nothing Says Welcome Like an Entry Garden

 

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Now is the time to start planning your entry garden. This welcoming patch has the power to set a warm and friendly tone for those who pass through your garden on the way to your front door. It does take some planning to set the proper mood, however, and you need to consider architecture, setting, scale, boundaries and maintenance.

Architecture and Setting

First, it is critical that your garden style suits your architecture and setting to create a cohesive, uniform look. Try to match the hardscaping and plants to the style and feel of your house. A cottage or farmhouse would be accentuated by a friendly, loose informal garden with plants spilling onto the walkway and colors blending together at the edges of beds. A more formal and symmetrical building, however, should be paired with a more structured garden that includes well-groomed shrubbery, stately flowers and a well-defined path.

Plant Scale

Pay attention to the scale of the plants you choose. Plants that will grow too tall or broad can overwhelm the house or crowd the walkway. Plants that are too small can make the house feel too large and unwelcoming. Investigate the mature sizes of plants and be sure they are positioned appropriately within your entry garden so they will not crowd one another or block key features of your home, such as house numbers or security lighting.

Garden Boundaries

Consider setting boundaries for the garden using a fence, wall, hedge or gate. The boundary could encompass just the area around the front door, might include a flowerbed border or could frame the whole yard, but keep in mind the size and style of your home. A white picket fence around the entire yard is a quaint option for a cottage-esque home, but would look out of place with an elegant brick manor, which would be more suited to a wrought iron boundary or classic boxwood hedges.

Maintaining Your Entry Garden

Be realistic about the amount of time you have to maintain your entry garden. If you have limited time, choose native or easy to care for plants that will require little attention. Also consider using containers for some of the plants. They can be easily rearranged throughout the seasons to give a different look to the garden, and plants can be brought in over the winter months. Keep in mind essential tasks such as weeding, pruning and watering, and plan the garden to suit your abilities, time and budget so you can always keep it in perfect condition to welcome visitors.

With a little planning, you can create a welcoming entry garden to beautifully greet guests as they visit your home.

Tips for a Gardening Gift Basket

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A gift basket is a great present for any gardener in your life, and is easy to customize to any gardening preferences. With just one trip to the garden center, you can create the perfect gardening gift basket for any special occasion.

When to Give a Gardening Gift Basket

A gift basket can be a wonderful choice for any special occasion, including birthdays, anniversaries or holidays. A gardening gift basket is especially thoughtful for someone who is interested in starting gardening as a new hobby, perhaps after retirement or buying a new home where they finally have gardening space. Anyone starting a clean eating or clean living lifestyle may also appreciate getting started gardening so they can better control their own food sources.

Creating the Very Best Gardening Gift Basket

There are many great ways to vary a gift basket to match the recipient’s gardening preferences exactly. Being flexible also allows for creativity in assembling the basket and making it a fun, enjoyable gift. To create a practical, customized gardening gift basket, it is important to consider all the necessary parts, including…

  • Basket
    A wicker or woven basket is the traditional choice for building a gift basket, but when you’re making a gardening basket, you can think of more creative containers instead. For a small basket, consider using a galvanized bucket, watering can, bird bath, window box or other creative option. Larger gift baskets can start with a large planting pot or similar container, or even something as practical as a wheelbarrow.
  • Base
    Filling the bottom of a basket provides a sturdy base to support gifts, as well as to be sure the basket does not tip over when it is filled. For a gardening gift basket, good options for a firm base include a bag of potting soil or fertilizer, mulch, peat moss or other gardening goodies. A bag of birdseed or river rock can also be an exceptional base. Even a large hose can help fill the bottom of a container and will be another great gift.
  • Gifts
    The bulk of the basket should be the different gifts that match the recipient’s gardening dreams. For a flower gardener, for example, that may include bulbs and seedlings of their favorite blooms, as well as flower pruning shears and other hand tools. A vegetable garden gift basket, on the other hand, would have different veggie seedlings, plant identifiers and perhaps some long-handled tools for working in the garden. A bee house can be a great addition for any type of garden to encourage more pollinators, and a garden hat, new gloves and how-to books are all good choices for any gardening-themed gift basket. Of course, a gift card will always make a perfect addition to any gift basket allowing the recipient to make a few choices of their own.
  • Decadent Extras
    To make a gift basket extra special, be sure to add some luxuriously decadent gifts. These might be purely decorative items or artisanal extras, and can really add character and thoughtfulness to your gift basket. Wind chimes, welcome flags and gnomes or other whimsical pieces are great options, or choose items such as candles, soap, lotion bars, honey or other treats available from local artisans.
  • Fillers
    A good gift basket will be lush and full of fun gifts, and you can easily fill in small bare spots in a gardening gift basket with a range of smaller, inexpensive gifts. Packets of seeds, vine ties, plant food, pot casters, or even a hose nozzle are just a few fun options that can really fill out a gardening gift basket. For colorful fillers, consider adding potted flowers or floral starts for blooms to serve as bows.

Finishing Touches

Once your basket is filled, it’s time to make it look more like a celebratory gift. Choose a card to include as a greeting, and wrap the lip of the basket with ribbon, twine or raffia to draw the gift together. Smaller baskets may even be entirely wrapped with cellophane or tissue so they can be opened for a fun surprise. Burlap can be another option for a rustic but still practical covering or wrap that can be used in the garden to cover delicate plants after the gift is opened.

A gardening gift basket can be an amazing way to celebrate any special occasion or friendship. By choosing gifts carefully and coordinating the basket to the recipient’s gardening wishes, the gift is sure to be a wonderful surprise that is happily appreciated every time the recipient steps into their garden.

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