Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Portage County Garden Parade

The Portage County Master Gardeners' Garden Parade was this past Saturday. Yesterday I wrote a review of my visit to Whitefeather Organics, which for me was the highlight of the walk. Today I thought I would share some of the better ideas and things I saw at the other gardens on the walk.

This walk was filled with do's and don'ts. There were a lot of good things going on, like the no-mow lawn at one home which was a very acceptable 6 inches long and soft to walk on (unlike the crunchy grass of other garden walks this summer). I don't think it was being watered more than once a week, as it did not appear to be actively growing. This buffalo grass doesn't translate well in pictures, nor do the prairie plantings; but these other things do.

Today the do's.

Do mix it up and plant lots of different coleus in one big pot. They love company.

Do plant a bunch of mixed pastel impatients with your hosta to pull together your bedline and add color to the shade. Just be sure to water.

Do include multiple plants of the same kind planted together for impact. Better yet, make it an unusual cultivar that grows well like this echinecea 'Meringue'.

Do use materials found on site to construct your garden, like this twig arbor.

Do include a sense of whimsy. Check out this brightly painted fairy chair set on a rock in an area of shade border that is mostly green. When I happened upon it, I swear the seat was still warm!

Do understand the power of paint to electrify a space. This electric blue windmill accented a vegetable patch.

Do incorporate dried natural materials to light up a dark space. This wreath hangs in a dark porch portico, but adds a real punch to the space.

Do understand that nature landscapes best! Sometimes it is best just to leave it! There is a stream that meanders through this boggy lawn area. I have seen where homeowners installed turf grass and kept it mowed or weed-whacked right down to the edge of a stream that runs through their property. Can you really image a better view than this one?

1 comment:

  1. Love the windmill. Agree about massing the same kind of plants for impact, but not crazy about those meringue coneflowers.