Cover a Bare Patch With a Pumpkin This is a gardener’s hack, if we’ve ever seen one. If you’ve pulled out some tired-looking summer annuals but don’t have the time to hunt down a replacement plant, plunk a pumpkin down to cover the bare spot. Go for a classic deep orange pumpkin for a bright hit of color or pick out a knobby, fairytale pumpkin in an interesting shape. In this fall container, designer Glenna Partridge also tucked in a few cut stems of preserved Chinese lanterns (Physalis alkekengi), available from florists, for added whimsy.
After removing summer annuals past their prime, fill in the gaps with cool-season bloomers in fall colors. Although they may look tender and delicate, pansies are actually some of the most cold-tolerant annual flowers. When planted now while soils are warm, they’ll bloom from fall to spring. Don’t wait too long, though — pansies planted late, in soils with temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees Celsius), tend to have stunted growth and fewer flowers.
Consider exactly where you want the wood and your design options. You’ll want the storage area close enough to the house that it won’t be difficult to reach. At the same time, experts recommend not putting wood directly against the house, as it can become home to various small and not-that-small critters that will want to get inside. You’ll also need to provide plenty of air circulation around and under the wood to keep out moisture and prevent mold. Finally, try to keep your stack no more than 4 feet tall. It makes it much easier to access. There also may be local regulations about where you can store firewood, especially around homes.
Sitting in front of a cheerful fire is a cozy way to spend a winter evening. Heading outside to collect wood from a haphazard pile isn’t as much fun. Make sure your firewood is readily accessible, dry and protected from the weather by adding a storage shed or alcove designed for that purpose that also adds a stylish element to your yard.
Move Seating Areas Out of Deep Shade Day-biting mosquitoes generally stick to the shadowy areas of gardens and avoid being in full sun. If you’re planning on being outside midday, position your seat or outdoor table and chairs in an area in full sun, and you should have less of a problem with mosquitoes. This tactic should work even if you take shelter under an umbrella or shade cover. As long as there is a buffer of lawn or patio in full sun surrounding your seating area, day-biters won’t be encouraged to fly though.
Use Mosquito Nets We usually only think of using mosquito nets to cover beds at night, but they can also be used to protect outdoor seating areas. Think of them as a flexible, inexpensive alternative to screens and use them where you need them. Keep in mind that if bug protection is the aim, all gaps — such as between the netting and ceiling, ground and posts — would need to be drawn closed, leaving nowhere for insects to get in.
Have an Outdoor Movie Night Consider taking advantage of warm summer evenings to host your family or neighbors for a socially distant viewing party. You’ll need a projector and a portable speaker, but you don’t need a fancy screen setup – a blank side of a house, a garage door or a fence draped with a white sheet will do just fine. Pop some popcorn and bring out plenty of blankets and pillows (or have neighbors bring their own) to make it feel extra cozy.
Bring Elements of the Playground Home If your local playground is closed or you’re choosing not to visit it at this time, consider bringing some of your child’s favorite elements home. This could mean investing in a swingset or playhouse, or building your own sandbox. The latter offers the benefit of being able to be transitioned into a raised bed later on. If this is a priority, consider placing the sandbox in a spot that receives at least four to six hours of sun — which future veggies and herbs will need to thrive.
Provide More Privacy A landscape screen is a simple way to block an unsightly view, add privacy, define a space or even provide decorative interest. You can turn almost any material into a screen. Wood or lattice may be the first things to come to mind. Take the time to explore something more decorative, from metal to glass or fabric. A row of planters filled with tall grasses or small trees could serve as a living alternative
Stock tanks range from $30 for a small, shallow one that could be used to grow herbs, succulents or strawberries to $300 and up for a large model where you could grow anything from tomatoes to dwarf fruit trees. They will all need drainage holes drilled at the bottom and enough potting soil to fill them to the brim before planting.
Plant Up Recycled and Repurposed Containers You can repurpose almost any vessel as a container for plants, and kids can have fun scouting for unused vessels around the house or yard to repurpose into planters. Some vessels to consider: old teapots and cups, small wooden boxes, old hiking boots, helmets, urns and more. For containers that don’t have drainage holes, either plan on drilling a few at the bottom or keeping plants in their plastic nursery pots set inside the vessel. Or, if you decide to plant directly in the vessel without drainage holes, be sure to water plants very lightly, as excess water will have nowhere to go.
Use Low-Water Plants as a Living Mulch Mulch — like bark chips, straw or nut shells — helps keep the soil cool and prevents water loss through evaporation. One trick for potted trees or shrubs is to use ground cover plants as a living mulch. Choose plants that are low-water so that they don’t compete with the tree for too much moisture. The succulents planted below this orange tree, for example, help prevent the soil from losing water and look far more decorative than bare dirt.
Highlight Architectural Features Think about making architectural features a highlight of your garden rather than having them retreat into the background. The windows in this masonry garage are highlighted with shutters, giving it the look of an old-world ruin that complements this natural garden style.
Seek Out Colorful Containers Gone are the days when terra cotta and dark green plastic reigned supreme in the world of container gardening. Though those are still valid choices, today there’s an increasing range of container colors and styles to choose from. Find one that plays off the colors of your plants or your hardscape.
This view is from a hallway connecting two portions of the house (seen from the opposite direction in the previous photo). The window on the right is from the master suite, with a nice view out the window to the wall-mounted planters and planted channel : could we create a view on our terrace from our bedroom windows and patio door??
Use Funky Succulents I’m astonished by some of the alien forms I’ve discovered in succulent plant collections at botanical gardens in arid climates. Indeed, they have spirals and spikes and blooms that are out of this world. Succulents make a statement in the landscape. Plant them in groups to create a succulent community. Start with one or two large species, like an agave or a yucca, and fill in with the smaller spreading ground cover types, like sedum and small echeveria. Succulents thrive in the driest and warmest conditions.
Divide an open deck or patio into multiple outdoor rooms. Even modest-size outdoor spaces can be divided into different outdoor rooms, which can help make the space feel more expansive by offering guests multiple destinations. Here, the designers used built-in deck seating to create a room divider, separating the dining area from the lounge without losing any floor space to a standing wall or planters.
Avoid Overwatering If a plant’s leaves are wilting, even if the soil is damp, there’s a good chance you’re overwatering. When a plant has been sitting in water-logged soil for an extended period of time, the roots can rot and the plant can contract one of a few soil-borne diseases. If one plant in a bed is wilting and the others look fine, pull out the plant to keep any potential root diseases from spreading. To prevent root rot in the future, allow the top few inches of soil to dry out between waterings, and never allow plants to sit in standing water. Make sure all containers have drainage holes.
Go Big and Bold Large-leaved plants in a small area may seem counterintuitive, as it’s easy to assume that bigger foliage would make an area feel smaller. However, the opposite can be true. Bold plants can add valuable height and form while bringing a sense of seclusion to a courtyard. Combine different jungle-style plants and team them with dark walls to add drama.
Design Around the Perimeter Free up the center of your courtyard to give it an airy feel by constructing seating around the perimeter. Built-in benches can also double as valuable storage to maximize space 8 any cushions, carpets, etc that should not be left outside at night or over the winter should still be stored outside in a clean space as we have so little storage capacit inside ... Consider tiered planters behind the seating, as they will allow you to grow a variety of plants, including climbers, for added height and a lush feel.
Fennel Fennel is one of those vegetables that many people aren’t quite sure what to do with. But this classic Italian staple is a fall standout. The beautiful leafy foliage is a nice foil to the harder edges of other garden favorites, such as kale and leeks. Gardeners in warm-winter climates will have the most success with these plants, as fennel likes long stretches of cool weather and mild winters.
Kale Kale loves fall and winter. It thrives with frost and even loves the snow, tasting better and better the colder it gets. Best of all, it’s highly ornamental, adding some color and liveliness when the rest of the garden is starting to fade. Plant this superfood where you can enjoy its great looks.
Radishes Radishes are another fast grower, perfect as garden fill-ins. You can start harvesting some varieties almost immediately, and they’ll add a sharpness to your culinary creations that seems to mimic the crispness of the fall air. Plant a variety and sow seeds every two weeks to ensure a continual crop.
Spinach Fall is the perfect time to add leafy greens to the menu, and spinach is the perfect fall green to include in your garden. Choose between the flat-leaf and crinkly types, or plant a mixture. It can be harvested within a month, so if your first frost date is later in the season, sow or set out transplants every two weeks to extend the crop.
Table tennis. The custom table seen here takes your childhood pingpong games to the next level in terms of design. It’s a striking focal point and also versatile. Remove the net and it can be used as a dining table or serving counter. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, a standard table will work just as well (and fit into your budget). You’ll need a table that’s designed for outdoor use and a smooth, flat space to put it on. Lawns are fine, although you’ll need to contend with sprinkler systems. A cement or stable paver patio or a spot with crushed stone or firmly packed decomposed granite will also work. Regulation size for a pingpong table is 5 feet wide and 9 feet long. Extra clearance is needed on each side, with a recommended total space that’s 11 feet wide and 19 to 20 feet long.
Water most when the plant is growing. Cut back at other times. Most edibles need the most water when they’re flowering or fruiting. Cut back or stop altogether once the edibles have finished producing. The exception would be perennials or fruit trees, but even for those, you can cut back significantly when the plants are resting.
Plant in blocks or squares. This configuration, as opposed to long rows, allows you to water more efficiently as well, with more water going to the plants and less being lost to evaporation. Mixing vegetables and adding in a few flowers, edible or not, can also help attract beneficial insects and deter problem pests.
Plant just what you need, and group edibles with similar watering needs together. This applies especially if you want only a few plants, not an entire market garden. Create a separate herb garden, and consider planting beans, corn and squash together. (The beans use the stalks for support, and the squash leaves keep insects at bay.) Or keep shallow-rooted plants, like lettuces and spinach, in the same garden bed.
Add Mulch Mulch helps to keep the soil cool and prevent evaporation while also deterring weeds. Once you’ve finished planting, add mulch around the beds. Just be careful not to put it too close to the plant stems or tree trunks.
Combat Mosquitoes Nobody wants to deal with summer’s less-than-welcome guests at an outdoor party. To decrease the number of mosquitoes on your property, eliminate their breeding grounds by overturning any containers with stagnant water in your backyard, such as flower pots, saucers or buckets. Change water in birdbaths frequently (at least twice a week) and make sure water in water features recirculates. Beyond prevention, take steps to reduce the annoyance caused by mosquitoes by taking one or more of the following steps: Invest in an outdoor fan (mosquitoes don’t like moving air), screen in an outdoor porch or pergola, stock up on citronella candles and have some mosquito repellent on hand.
Put Together an Outdoor Drink Cart Get guests out of the kitchen and invite them to serve themselves by setting up a low-key outdoor bar cart. Get your ducks in a row now by picking up a proper cart or, even easier, by finding a small table you can repurpose for the season or for a specific event. Leave room for a cooler nearby and sort out a jug to hold ice. If you’re prepping for a party, buy basics — like sparkling water, shelf-stable juices, soda and wine — or ask guests to bring something to share. Bonus: Come up with a signature cocktail. Simplify your grocery list by offering one signature punch or cocktail and having other basics on hand for guests to help themselves. If you have fruits, herbs or other cocktail ingredients growing in the garden, consider centering around an ingredient you know you’ll have on hand all summer, like mint for mojitos or berries for a fruity punch.
Try an Outdoor Rug Outdoor rugs can make any outdoor eating area feel more finished, and they conveniently hide decks or outdoor flooring that you didn’t have time to clean. Plus, many outdoor rugs feel great under bare feet and make sitting on the ground with a few poufs a lot more inviting. Look for outdoor rugs made of recycled plastic, nylon or polyester that are water-resistant and easy to hose down for a quick cleanup.
Mixed Veggies and Flowers Crops and seasonal flowers grow side by side in this Seattle gravel garden punctuated by raised beds and in-ground planting beds. The flowers stand out like islands of color and attract beneficial pollinators to the veggies.
Classic Raised Beds A pair of 8-by-4-foot raised beds tucked into the backyard of a 1950s beach cottage in Manhattan Beach, California, grows supplemental veggies and herbs for a family of four. “We grow everything from tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, peas and even corn,” says homeowner Julie McMahon. The raised beds are hooked up to a drip irrigation system set on a timer to help cut down on maintenance and ensure consistent watering.
Described as provencial French flair: we already have a water tap jutting our the wall; could a bassin with the trickling sound of water be possible?
Our hammock can be moved very easily: so plan 2 different spots for the it! Like one in the sun around plants for dry times and another under the roof to keep it dry and clean when the weather can't be trusted ...
Along the wall that separates us from Laurent?! And a layered wall for plants ?
Hanging succulents and other sorts too for green all around. Trees in pots and flowers on a lower level in the spring and summer?!
How about a hanging roof over part of our terrace ?
If I decide to go for a dryer beside the washing machine, & row of IKEA upper units might be a lot more attractive than used shelves from lpa or Tridome ...
very feminine room ...
And a third possible option for a swing outside on the new terrace ...
Another possible look for a swing aka outside bed on the new terrace ...
Our terrace with a swing in the shade that doubles as an outside bed ?! And that round table foot with the glass top is absolutely gorgeous !!
They are called BACSAC and could well be French?!
Soft containers with separations ?!
what a gorgeous lamp !!
Stores over the windows in frosted yellow for our bedroom ?
How about an asian reproduction over LV's desk instead of our American painter ?
Depending on what comes underneath the chinese commode, less appliances on top and more beautiful ceramics on the furniture ... but then what about the mirror?!
That's an amazing frame around the mirror!!
Yes a collection of ceramics or potted plants underneath the chinese console ...
A very nice repartition of the sofas instead of the usual all in one row ...
Another quickk separation from Perrets with the added advantage of seating space, the light on the floor is a real eye catcher!!
A green wall an easy solution to separate us from Perret and eventually from the boule place - provided the plants grow in an orderly, sustained fashion ....
A soaaking tub on the east terrace between the 2 windows?!
Cld a painting like that on our chimney piecee make the whole chimney piece fit in altogether? Like gold and reddish tones ?!
I like the way the plants grow our of the ground and border right unto the paved area: cld Ido that with cucumbers, etc ?
Lovely white cupboards and shelves to contrast off beige walls for a luminous looking kitchen ...
Is our bathroom long enough to line vanity and shower and WC and storage?!