Objet d'art in The Home or Garden!
A French Garden
The French have always made living with style and great beauty an essential part of their lives.
The French garden is based on the principal of imposing symmetry, structure and order over nature. Clever use of trellis work and careful attention to every detail of the garden gives one the illusion of space.. French gardens traditionally include beautiful pots, some ancient and some modern. Many of these have been hand made by potters with much of the pottery coming from the South of France. The Ancient gardens in France have always been a lot more about utility than beauty. You will find Olive and Citrus trees resting comfortably in the pots, as do herbs which form an essential part of the French Cuisine. The Olive jars are just that - containers in which Olive Oil is kept but they do make such interesting focal points in a garden.
Heavy garden chairs and granite tables are a great addition to any garden landscape. They blend in so beautifully with the surroundings and provide such an inviting outdoor space - where friends and family can enjoy the traditional French food and wine together.
Creative use of Plant Containers
A small terrace has been carved from the rear bank behind this house. This beautifully sheltered spot is a place to sit, contemplate and watch the antics of little birds which have dug out long adjoining tunnels in the clay soil in which to bring up their young.. This space includes a small handmade bird bath which provides drinking water for them and other small visitors.
Creating a garden is such an individual thing. Every garden speaks volumes about the person who created it. Deciding on which style of garden you would like to create is often a major decision. It must not only appeal to your taste but should be manageable, either on your own or with the help of a gardener! Will it be styled on a French garden or will you choose a small tranquil Japanese garden? Will it be a garden filled with the scent of flowers or herbs or will it include the sound of water? If you are fortunate to have inherited an established garden, you will only need to keep a watchful eye on it and tweak the design to transform it into something which eventually carries your own individual stamp.
Beautiful pots can provide a focal point to any garden. Placed next to the entrance of a house they add charm and give street appeal. Filled with seasonal plants they can add a burst of color and instantly make one feel welcome or at home. In snowy weather pots can form wonderful architectural shapes and add interest to a somewhat bleak outlook. Ornamental pots look wonderful, either placed standing upright on laying on their sides, especially if they are interspersed among the borders. Place a line of staggered square or round metal tubing in the borders with baskets of flowers or containers balanced on the top of each pipe. This will instantly add height to the garden, especially if it is in the formative years of the gardens growth. Consider placing pots against blank walls to add interest to otherwise blank walls. Plant dark green accent plants in pots close to trellis work to provide a focal point. Use a large decorative jug as the basis for a simple water feature or fill containers with herbs for the kitchen.
Little or Large?
It hardly matters whether your garden it is the size of a postage stamp, or whether it extends several acres. What matters is that you make it into your own special space. It may only be a small terrace garden where ornamental plants and pots abound! It is surprising how a small space can be transformed with only a few hanging baskets and some containers filled with flowers. These will spill over the sides with color. Plant some miniature fruit trees in pots and pick your own fruit from them! Some grafted varieties include five different varieties on one tree! The magic of creating a garden from scratch is that you get to decide on the style, very much as you would when you decide how to decorate the interior of your house.
Plant Containers you might like to consider!
- An old Tin Bath
- Woven Baskets lined with plastic
- Tin Cans with drilled drainage holes
- Wellington Boots with a hole drilled in them to provide drainage
- Use a flat concrete Tray to make a miniature succulent garden
- Plant a row of Boxwood or conifer plants in containers to make a living wall or hedge.
- Raised Urns
- Chicken Feeders
- Half Wooden Barrels
- Re-usable plastic grocery Bags
- Metal or stainless steel Colanders
- Croc shoes planted with lobelia, hen and chicken or succulents
- A Kiddies Paddling Pool makes a great veggie or herb garden
- Sea shells
- Giant size Tea cups
- Leather Stiletto Shoes
- Orange or tea boxes
- Egg Shells
- Metal lunch boxes
- Trash cans
- Wicker Baskets lined with plastic and spray painted in colors of your choice
- Metal Drums
- Wooden Wine Barrels
- Metal Watering Cans
- Metal Washtub - add a water pump to make a water feature
- Pig Trough
- An old wagon if you have the space and are lucky enough to find one!
Tips and tricks for correctly placing containers
- Place two pots at the beginning or at the end of a path to create perspective and to give one a feeling of distance
- Place architecturally important pots in strategic places. This encourages visitors to explore
- Pots can be used almost anywhere, on stones, or on steps or the tops of walls or patios
- If you are fortunate enough to have a long grassy slope, mow a long path down through it. Place a sculpture at the end of the path or even a shepherds with his flock as seen below.
- Planted pots on the edge of steps, patios or wooden decks help to soften and add interest to a garden
- Include a small hand crafted concrete dish as a part of a group of pots to encourage small birds and insects to quench their thirst from your garden.
- A formal effect can be achieved by adding pea stone or shingle to paths. Place large pots filled with a variety of herbs or plants on the stone to help soften the effect or create a mini herb in them.
- Small or large pots can be placed on the top of a tall strategically placed hollow metal pipes in the ground to add height and structure to borders.
- Plant miniature fruit trees in pots and create a mini orchard on a patio or deck.
- A very economical way to craft your own birdbath, planter is to buy some prepackaged concrete mix from a do-it-yourself center. Add a little colorant and pat the mixture into a mold of your choice. You can even do this in dry sand. Once the concrete dries you can leave the color natural or color it with acrylic paint.
© 2013 Sally Gulbrandsen