Include a rain garden on your property to slow down and help filter pollutants from storm runoff. Rain gardens can be large or small and designed to include plants that appeal to your home’s design aesthetic.
From the white trellis-style valance to the bold grassy wallpaper and vibrant floral throw and curtain panel, this bedroom is a celebration of outdoorsy color. An instructive case in not being afraid to mix your patterns, this room creates cohesion by sticking to a palette of preppy pinks and greens.
Consider your own comfort as you garden, and invest a good pair of gloves. Nitrile coated gloves wash and wear well (toss in washer, air dry in a few hours) and come closest to bare-hand gardening. Top-quality nitrile gloves allow you to feel stems in your fingertips. Search to find a brand you love, then buy a few in multiple colors. Leather gloves are a must for cold- or wet-weather gardening, as well as dealing with roses or other thorny plants. Other comfort tools you’ll grab again and again include a broad-brimmed hat to keep you cool, waterproof boots and shoes, and knee or kneeling pads.
The Step2 Garden Kneeler is flexible, depending on your gardening tasks and needs. You can sit on the work seat (in the setup shown here) or flip it over with the handles and kneel on the cushioned insert.
Asian-inspired ceramic garden stools are one of the most timeless choices for adding impromptu seating for any part of the house. The most popular style is chinoiserie which depicts botanical shapes and Asian landscapes in shades of blue and white.
Varied sizes of smooth pebbles provide a finished, artistic element to the edges of the planting beds. Additionally, Margie spends extra time at the end of each project selecting plants, sculptures and pottery to tie the whole design together.
Digging is at the heart of gardening, and one of the quickest ways to tuck seedlings into soil is with a hand trowel. Look for trowels with an ergonomic design to lessen hand and wrist fatigue. Trowel blades with inch markings take the guesswork out of proper planting depth. Trowels that feature a seamless handle-blade design won’t break or fall apart. Other hand tools worth considering are a short handled pick mattock (for rocky soil); a Korean hand plow (often sold as a ho-mi and one of the most versatile tools ever conceived); and a sturdy weeder (cobra head type works like a gem).
Bromeliads transform any setting into a tropical paradise. These plants boast colorful leaves and unusual blooms with south-of-the-border hues including red, hot pink and purple. More than 50 percent of all bromeliads are epiphytes, growing without soil. Grow bromeliads indoors for living décor, or outside as landscape or container plants in warmest regions.
Make a warm and welcoming statement near your entry with a classically styled garden bench. In addition to offering guests a spot to pause and take off their shoes, these also help tremendously for extra seating during formal or casual outdoor meals since the benches can easily pull up to one side of a table.
Shovels and spades are essential tools for any kind of garden. They’re handy for planting and moving items like stones and compost. Technically, a shovel is a scoop (center, above), while a spade is used for digging (outer edges, above). As you stock your tool shed, invest in tools with blades that won’t rust (stainless or carbon steel), and look for designs that feature a head and handle socket that’s hand-forged from a single piece of metal. Tool handle material varies. Wood handles absorb more vibration than fiberglass, but choose one that offers a weight you can easily lift and carry. Small spades, like a drain digging spade or this small contractor’s spade (left, above) are handy for digging around established plants, in places where a full-size shovel head won’t fit.