With identical stone columns and a charming cedar gate, the entrance to this backyard feels like something out of The Secret Garden. Twin lanterns enhance the enchanting aesthetic and offer a guiding light for visitors at night.
A beautiful wooden gate leads to the parking area behind the Rash home. The tall gate lends a sense of privacy to the garden but the cut-out design with wrought iron makes the space still feel connected to the world beyond and affords a handy view.
Whether you go for a hammock snooze or a family picnic, nothing compares with relaxing on your deck. Wood decking demands constant upkeep—scrubbing, bleaching and staining. Composite polymer decking, on the other hand, lasts longer, stays cooler to the touch and retains its color, all while capturing the warmth of wood. Better still, composite decking helps the environment, keeping about 30 pounds of plastic (usually milk jugs and shopping bags) out of landfills for every 20 feet of decking.
These aren’t your grandmother’s garden mums! Dress your outdoor spaces with the newest in garden mums: trailing Skyfall garden mums (Chrysanthemum morifolium). The flowers open to reveal petite daisy-like blossoms that beckon late season pollinators. Create your own autumn fest by hanging baskets of mixed Skyfall garden mum varieties, including yellow, white and pink. Purchase baskets that are fully budded and just starting to open flowers to make sure you get the color you want. Then sit back and enjoy the floral fireworks as buds burst.
Douglasville, Georgia resident Susanne Hudson is the co-founder of the annual Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival each June which celebrates this lovely Southern flowering plant. Hudson's own yard is a monument to the versatility of hydrangeas of every variety. Enormous terra-cotta pots are a dramatic way of displaying mature hydrangeas on Hudson's lawn.
Vermicomposting is a great way to teach kids about composting while they play in the dirt. To get started, add some holes for air and drainage to a premade bin or box, or make your own. You'll also need some worms--red wiggler worms, or Eisenia fetida, to be specific. As you add food scraps to the bin, the worms will eat them and excrete (okay, poop) castings you can use in your garden. The castings are great for amending your soil and fertilizing plants. Read more about how to care for the worms in chapter 7 of Balz's book (their needs are pretty simple).