One of my favorite things to do is gather inspiration from others. If you aren’t making a regular habit of visiting new stores, towns, homes or gardens to set your creativity on fire, I highly recommend you start pronto! This week our local Master Gardener program held it’s annual garden tour and it was FULL of inspiring ideas to steal and implement. Two homes were highlighted on the tour, with very different style profiles. I can’t wait to show them to you!
The first home belongs to a couple after my own heart. The landscape was impeccable and completely done by the homeowners plus it was FULL of salvaged items! They have spent years cultivating their little Heaven on Earth and boy does their time and talent show. I will walk you through their garden and share some tips and ideas the homeowner gave me when I visited with her. We started at the front door, this metal planter is from the salvage yard for just a few bucks and a coat of paint it blends seamlessly with her pallet. As you walk around the corner you are greeted by gorgeous blooms and this sweet planter, a tossed relic saved by the homeowner. A deep trough adds height and interest in a tight space by a make shift window box of sorts. Once again, painted to blend in with the scenery, the plants are always center stage. This “pot” was a sugar spinner found on their property, left behind from the past owner who had bees long ago. See friends – you can use anything in your outdoor décor! The property gently slopes and the beds and gardens take complete advantage of the elevation changes to highlight soft curves and layered views. This porch. You guys, I could sit and sip a spell here for sure. This cute little swing overlooking the layered backyard…patio down to fire pit down to pond. Serene and drool worthy. You will find rain barrels at the bottom of every downspout on this home, creatively perched on top of more reclaimed finds for added interest. Plus those copper downspouts, be still my heart!Old bee boxes nested together and topped with metal flowers is a creative way to decorate with a nod to this family’s interests. Of course with this much land and glowing green thumbs you can bet the garden was spectacular. Raised planter boxes spilled over with leafy greens. My favorite was the simple arch made from wire covered in tiny veggie tendrils. Proof that even sadness can bring joy. It’s never easy to cut down a tree, especially one as big as this was, but out of the death beauty blooms. Always a bargain hunter, this homeowner picked this large concrete dish from the back shed of a garden store and snagged a deal because of a little crack. Then she painted it herself. You never have to spend a fortune on design if you are willing to wait and throw a little elbow grease into the mix. Another treasure from the salvage yard. Huge and heavy this planter box hides a genius secret. Instead of adding heavy rock and gravel to the bottom of the trough for drainage, this crafty gardener filled it with smushed up water bottles! Light weight and perfect for water flow. You could do this just as easy in smaller pots to lighten the load if you have containers you keep on the move. Just beyond the garden sits the honey bee hives. The Mr. of this grand garden has extensive knowledge in all things bee hive. I got a quick lesson on a few fun facts and REALLY hope to have my own hive some day! His biggest tips if you are thinking about having your own honey hole…find a local chapter of honey bee aficionados, get a mentor and take a beginners class. It’s not the easiest thing to stumble through on your own and lives are at stake here…millions of little bee lives. Ok – another fabulous, cost effect, DIY gardening idea here! There is a large pond that the property naturally drains to. It kept filling back up with dirt when the owners would dig it out. To prevent the sides of the newly dug pond from continuously closing in they started layering sacks of concrete around the ponds edge. Poking a hole in the top and hole in the bottom allowed the bags to get wet enough to set and nature takes care of the bag on its own. Viola – a man made concrete wall that looks like stone. Here is a picture when the bags have disintegrated… Here is a section of more recently added sacks. Each year they load up the truck with sacks of concrete from the home and garden center to add to the mix. The pond now boasts a depth of 14 feet at it’s deepest spot! Situated between the house and the pond is a cozy fire pit area. With ample room for seating around another salvaged find that sits in as a fire surround. You can imagine the s’mores and conversation that happen here! The opposite view…a great place to watch the deer come in for a drink and nibble. Oh – and did you see the boat “planter” overflowing with plant life!? Another genius and cost effective solution sprinkled through the entire landscape that you would never guess…all the concrete block borders, both square and cylindrical, come from a local company that does product testing for concrete materials. These are all discarded samples that she scooped up and painted herself!
Well, I took to many pictures to share both homes today! Next week we will take a look at the second home on the Master Gardener Garden Tour, it’s completely different than this house and you won’t want to miss the amazing views and vegetation this stunner has to offer. If you are local in the Brazos Valley please visit the Brazos Valley Master Gardener website to find out about fun events like this tour, the annual plant sale and tons of educational opportunities. If you don’t live here search for your local chapter and see what you can find in your area. Please let me know if you have any questions I can answer for you! Don’t forget to share this beautiful home on your favorite social media please! Thanks
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