Come the cold months, it may feel as if your only option for your yard is to keep it clean of leaves and then snow. However, there's no reason your yard can't look attractive all year long. An important component of the year-round landscape is the incorporation of garden art. One way to create a great year-round yard is to create mini-gardens with landscape art as the centerpieces.
The goal of any landscaping is to look good from multiple points, and this is still true of mini-gardens.
You want to choose locations that blend seamlessly with the rest of your landscaping. The mini-gardens should also look attractive from different areas, such as the house, walkways and street. Finally, pick locations that won't impede how you use your yard.
Some areas to consider include little-used corners, natural bends in your pathways and areas just off a patio. Such spaces can usually benefit from landscaping.
Choose the Art Pieces
Garden art can include industrial artifacts, upcycled items and mosaic work. This is in addition to the usual suspects, such as fountains, birdbaths and sculptures.
The first consideration in choosing garden art is how it blends with the rest of your landscaping. For instance, an Asian statue makes more sense in a Zen garden than does weathered industrial gear.
Another important consideration is size and space. A large fountain requires a big area as well as electricity. You could achieve a similar effect with a small birdbath.
Finally, choose items that speak to you. Perhaps you'll even be inspired to upcycle a salvaged rain barrel into a fountain or planter for your mini garden.
Use Architectural Plants for Backdrop
As you design a mini garden that looks good from multiple points, you'll want to use architectural plants for the backdrop. This creates a stage for the front of your landscape art. Using architectural plants can also create a sense of mystery as passersby discover the installation from another angle.
For instance, say you've chosen a small stone fountain. You can tuck it among the foliage of a large plant or a clutch of tall flowers, such as allium. The stone makes a charming contrast with the plant life when seen from the front. However, the stone also looks attractive when visitors catch a glimpse of the stone through the foliage from another angle. The variation can encourage visitors to explore further.
Your mini garden probably won't consist only of the landscaping art and backdrop plants. You'll want to add other plants for visual interest. In the spring, this will include annuals.
You can utilize annuals as a way to keep your mini garden looking fresh. For instance, you could visit a nursery and choose annuals that look especially pretty that year. One year that could be peonies while another year it might include begonias.
Conversely, you may be more targeted in your annual planting. For instance, you might choose a color palette and stick to plants only within that scheme. For instance, you might pick a classic harmony such as blue and white or a contrasting palette such as violet and gold.
Add Winter Beauties
The way to give your mini-gardens real wow factor is to plant for the colder months.
Some plants add visual interest even when they're dormant. This is especially true of ornamental grasses, which keep their shape even when capped in snow. Other such plants include ornamental cabbage and sedum, which maintain both their shape and color in the winter.
Many plants even thrive in the winter. As the name suggests, winterberry is one of these. It should come as no surprise that holly is another. However, witch hazel, surprisingly, shoots out blooms in the cold weather.
Your mini-gardens can become the showstoppers of your landscaping with garden art and targeted planting. The landscape designers at Eshelman Mill Gardens can implement your ideas or help you design a garden from scratch.