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Garden Thyme

    Garden Thyme

    How to Tidy Up Your Outdoor Garden Areas

    Have you ever stepped into your garden, only to feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of junk lying around, or how disorganized it feels? Maybe you want to maintain a beautiful garden, but it’s contrasting with all the random items strewn about. Or perhaps you’ve been meaning to get some work done on your fences or furniture, but the only thing you see is the remnants of a long-abandoned DIY project! 

    Nobody wants to escape to their garden, only to find more mess and clutter waiting for them. Let’s talk about some ideas on how to tidy up your outdoor space and transform it into something more desirable through a little organization and garden design planning.


    Start by decluttering your garden and designating some storage spaces

    While it might seem depressing to see lots of seemingly random items placed around your garden, it’s not exactly a bad idea to use it for storage at times. After all, your garden is a large open space that has plenty of room, so storing a few boxes and large items won’t really detract from the overall experience and design. However, it is important not to place things around in random locations, as it can feel like a complete mess.


    cottage garden in August birdbath with perennials

    The solution is simple: start decluttering your garden and designate storage spaces. For instance, you can keep your hedge trimmer and other power tools in a shed or even your garage instead of leaving them outside leaning against your fence or walls. If there are gardening tools and items lying around, consider installing shelves, hooks, or pegboards to add extra storage to the exterior walls around your house. This not only looks neater but makes those tools more easily accessible for when you need them in a pinch.


    Decluttering may also involve throwing away items that you don’t need anymore. For example, some people might have old children’s toys and bikes that they’ve grown out of. You might even have things like an old basketball hoop that nobody uses anymore, or soccer goalposts that haven’t seen use for years. These kinds of items are distracting and could detract from the overall feel of your garden. If they’re not being used anyway, there’s nothing wrong with removing them. If you have space, you can always keep them in your garage or garden shed. Alternatively, you could even consider selling them or donating them to someone else.


    Arranging your furniture strategically


    Outdoor furniture can be a wonderful addition to any garden space, but it’s important to consider how you’re arranging things like tables, chairs, and benches. If you place them randomly on your patio or on your lawn, then it can look rather chaotic and won’t create the cozy relaxed vibes that you’re looking for.


    The goal here is to create areas with a purpose. For instance, if you’ve got garden furniture on your patio, then it’s probably for the sake of creating an outdoor social area where you can relax, socialize, and maybe even enjoy some snacks. As such, your garden furniture chairs should be pointing at each other to create a more social atmosphere, and there should be a coffee table where you can place items like food and books.


    You also have to consider the weather when it comes to designing an outdoor space. Don’t overlook the importance of things like shade to keep the social area cool, and don’t forget that uncovered areas will be exposed to rain and debris. This will require your garden furniture to be cleaned and maintained more often, hence why many people prefer to place garden furniture in covered areas.


    Source: Unsplash (CC0)


    Too many plants are a bad thing


    Another step to helping you regain control over your garden is to declutter the plants themselves. If you haven’t been maintaining your garden carefully then it’s not unlikely that you have plants growing in areas where you don’t want them to, and you might have too many different colored flowers which creates a confusing mess of tones and themes. This can lead to chaotic scenes which will turn you away from spending more time in the garden.


    If this is the case for you, then it’s time to take action. If plants are no longer thriving or serving their purpose in your garden, it’s time to clean them up and let them go. Not only will this lower the amount of maintenance required to keep your garden looking great, but it’ll also provide more space for healthier plants to grow.


    If you don’t want to get rid of certain plants, then it’s always an option to pot them and grow them indoors as decorative elements, or separate them by forming more flower beds. Alternatively, you can also introduce large planters that are great for creating more visual interest and even forming borders around your lawn.

    Removing excess plants and maintaining a consistent color theme around your garden will greatly enhance the visual appeal and also be easier to maintain. While it sounds like a lot of work, it’s a crucial step in helping you regain control over your garden space.


    Clean up garden debris and use it as natural mulch


    Your garden debris might make your outdoor space look messy, but it’s actually a great opportunity to create natural mulch. Before you gather up everything and throw it in a compost bin, you could consider repurposing it as natural mulch. Whether it’s fallen leaves or grass clippings, everything can be used to enrich your garden soil and suppress weeds.



    After mowing your lawn, gather up all of the grass clippings and recycle them as mulch. Bag them up together with your fallen leaves, and shred anything large such as twigs and branches. Layer it around your plants, but be careful not to pile it up against stems and trunks. This will help suppress weeds, retain moisture, and even regulate soil temperature.


    The combination of small wood pieces, grass clippings, and leaves will promote healthy plant growth, and it’s a sustainable way to reuse a lot of the debris around your garden.


    With these tips, you can tidy up your garden for spring and help promote a healthy and sustainable, chemical free garden!

    Garden Thyme

    Three Practical Ways to Make Your Garden Nicer

    Spring is here and it’s time to get gardening! If you are feeling overwhelmed with where to begin, here are three practical ways to make your garden nicer.

    cottage garden in August birdbath with perennials

    1. Plant For Wildlife

    Wildlife habitats are being destroyed at an unbelievably fast rate. That’s especially true for pollinators and other small creatures. If you want your garden to give back to the planet a bit, then it’s worth keeping this wildlife in mind when you’re doing things up. It shouldn’t even need much effort.

    Bees, butterflies, and birds are some of the more notable wildlife creatures to consider. By putting in plants and flowers these creatures will like, you’ll have a direct impact on their habitats. You’ll make your garden a nicer place for them, making it even nicer for you in return.

    2. Sow Some Annuals

    Annuals are flowers that bloom year-round, making them some of the better options when it comes to trying to make your garden nicer all year. They’ll give you instant gratification, and you wouldn’t need to wait a while for them to bloom into themselves. They should make your garden nicer before you know it.


    They’ll need a little bit of maintenance after they’ve been planted, however. Most of the time, this just means deadheading them, and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Once you’ve put the effort into that, you wouldn’t have to worry about them seeding and taking over your garden.

    3. Add Some Stone Elements

    Sometimes, a bit of stonework can add quite a bit to a garden. It enhances the rest of the garden while working well within it. There are even more than a few stone features you can add to your garden relatively easily. Decorative ones are especially easy.

    It could even be worth putting a little extra time and effort into it. Hiring some paver installers could give your garden a completely new look. You’ll get high-quality work done that works well with the rest of your garden. There’s almost no reason not to consider it.

    Make Your Garden Nicer: Wrapping Up

    If you want to make your garden nicer, you might think you’d have to give it a complete overhaul. That doesn’t always have to be the case. Instead, it could just be a matter of using a few practical strategies, and you’re good to go.


    Some strategies will help a lot more than others, and you’ll see a difference almost immediately. Others will take a little more time before you see the results. Despite that, it can still be worth putting a little time and effort into them.

    Garden Thyme, Spring

    Beautiful Container Garden Ideas for Any Space

    Now that spring is here and Easter is just around the corner, all of us garden and flower lovers are ready to get outside and get busy! Planting up some spring containers is the perfect way to get your garden on even if the winter temperatures linger.


     No large yard? No problem! Today I am sharing how you can take any small space and transform it into a lush garden area using containers, and just about anything can be used as a container with a little creativity! 






    I am excited to once again be joining several blogging friends for another fun Pinterest challenge!  This month’s theme is container gardens which is something I love!  If you are coming over from South House Designs or if you are just dropping by today, then welcome!!!! 


    yard of flowers and antiques

    Our gorgeous inspiration photo  for this month’s challenge comes from  Organized Clutter. A special thanks goes out to Cindy of County Road 407 for hosting this challenge. You will find links to all of the beautiful container garden ideas posts at the end of this post.



    Transform Any Space Into A Beautiful Garden Area Using Containers and Garden Accessories

    If you don’t have a large yard or if you have health issues or lack of time that prevent you from large scale gardening, you can still create a garden area that is easy to maintain and looks lush and full using a variety of traditional pots and planters as well as unique containers for interest.


    Let’s start by taking a look at this blank wall by the side door entry at the yellow brick home.  Here it looked rather boring and sad, but by adding some beautiful urns, containers, and planters filled with a mix of evergreen and seasonal plants, the eyesore of an entry easily transformed into something special.


    For several years I kept a vintage plant etagere by the back door and kept it styled with pretty pots, containers and garden elements. 


    I like using a mix of traditional garden pots as well as fun, unexpected thrifted items as containers, such a a vintage, tarnished silverplate creamer as a succulent planter.





    spring flowers and herbs dollar tree metal fleurs and jardin makeover

    The plant stand was always evolving through the various seasons.




    I later moved the plant stand to my backyard cottage garden area and just used an old garden trellis and beautiful containers for interest in this area.  



    One year for Mother’s Day my husband surprised me with hundreds of tulip bulbs. He then planted them all for me in November as part of the gift. That was THE YEAR of the most beautiful spring container garden!






    Pansies and violas in an urn spring container ideas spring urns




    spring container garden with tulips in popts

    Another blank wall along the sidewalk to the side entry became a lush garden with a raised cedar bed filled with all kinds of herbs, flowers and vegetables and surrounded on the bottom and sides by container plantings.


    I really became entrhalled with the idea of concentrating on container gardens after discovering Claus Dalby on instagram. His beautiful book, Containers in The Garden (affiliate link) really inspired the design of my own container gardens.


    Containers in the Garden

    Container gardens are perfect for those of us with chronic health issues, back pain or lack of time and space. Really they are perfect for anyone!





    The last couple of years at the yellow brick home I wanted something in this spot that would look great year found, so I used a large urn with an evergreen arborvite as the focal point. Notice the bird bath in the foreground is also a “container” for succulents.



    Additional Favorite Container Planting Ideas

    I purchased this French wooden box with forced spring daffodils at Home Depot a few years ago and it has always been one of my favorite spring containers to plant up ever since! Once the daffodils were spent, I planted them in the yard and they bloomed beautifully the following spring.

    *Home Depot once again has these in stock this year! Some are filled with hyacinths and tulips!


    The next year I created a mixed spring container planting using tulips, tete e tete daffodils and pansies. 




    Another plant etagere on the front porch at the yellow brick home was a favorite spot for small container plantings and seasonal accents.



    A simple hanging basket from the dollar store looks beautiful and elegant filled with simple pansies.




    I always keep my eyes open for rustic, european style pots and containers when I am thrifting. Just about any combination of plants looks beautiful in them, as long as the water and light requirements are similar.



    Of course fall is a wonderful time to create beautiful containers!



    Vintage fall pheasant vintage bucket with yellow pansies outdoor fall decorating ideas




    Thrifted vintage buckets or old coffee cans make fun and interesting containers in a junk-lover’s garden!




    Using Containers to Fill Negative Space in the Garden


    cottage garden in August birdbath with perennials

    Another tried and true trick for the impatient gardener (like me!) is to use pots and containers to fill negative space and gaps in the garden, either while waiting for plants to grow or to place on top of difficult to garden areas such as those with lots of roots or poor soil.



    My dad’s tricycle from the 1950’s made a fun garden accent “container” with a basket filled with succulents on the front and a big galvanized bucket of fountain grass in the back. As a bonus the tricyle filled a lot of blank space.



    Don’t be afraid to mix rustic country or vintage containers such as an old galvanized bucket with new pots or more elegant planters and urns. They can all work together to create interest in a container garden.




    I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my container garden ideas and that it has inspired you! This summer I plan to transform our small backyard and deck using mostly containers, and I will be sharing lots of posts on this subject in the weeks and months ahead so please do plan to stop back by often. 

     Next up on today’s challenge is Barb at French Ethereal. She always has lovely gardening ideas! Don’t forget to check out all of the other beautiful and interesting container posts via the links below.

    Happy planting!






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    All About Home Link Party, Garden Thyme, Spring

    Signs of Early Spring in the Garden

    It’s hard to believe that February has already flown by, and that spring is less than a month away (at least on the calendar!) Signs of early spring are already appearing here in eastern, KY, so I just had to share some photos with you in hopes that these little signs of life will lift your spirits as much as they have mine! Let these photos be a reminder that spring IS on the way (even if you still have ice and snow on the ground!)*This post contains affiliate links. Read more