Flowers On Steps – Make more of a feature of steps in your garden, and soften the edges of paving surfaces, by placing pots at the sides. Leave enough room to walk up the steps comfortably, although, if you are growing aromatic plants, it is an added bonus to brush against their foliage, releasing the fragrance as you walk past. Try to grow a pot of lemon verbena at the base of some sunny steps in your garden – its leaves exude the most delicious, lemon scent, which makes walking up the steps a sheer delight. Generally, we find that low, sprawling plants look most effective on steps: a pot planted with ivy-leaved pelargoniums, trailing lobelia, some portulacas, or nasturtiums works well.
Sage: Unique Multipurpose Herb – Over 500 different sages (salvias) grow wild around the world. Most of us are familiar with more than one of them, although we may not realize they are from the same family. There are aromatic culinary sages, colorful sages for flower beds, perennial ones and annual ones. All require sun and ordinary but well drained soil.
Culinary sage has been an herb garden staple since the 1500’s. It is the traditional seasoning used for stuffing in our holiday turkeys. Growing as a small bush, culinary sages have narrow leaves, softly gray beneath and either green, purple or variegated with yellow or white, depending on the variant. All of these make attractive container plants as well as garden plants. They are hardy to zone 5.
The Low Maintenance Garden – For many gardeners, the overriding priority in a new garden is that it should require little maintenance. This design shows that such a brief need not compromise the overall look of the garden, nor restrict the choice of elements.
The design is for a long narrow plot, which is the perfect shape for sub-division into a number of separate ‘rooms’, each with its own identity. As you walk around the garden you will find it natural to pause in each area, increasing the feeling of total space.
Evening Garden – After the heat of the sun has gone,the garden seems to come alive with soft, sweet scents. It is a beautiful time of day to sit outside. If you have a paved eating area with chairs and a table, even if it is only a small terrace, a few pots of strongly scented plants are a must.
In dappled shade, a combination of lilies and tobacco plants can perfume the evening garden from early summer until mid fall and make eating by lantern light the greatest of pleasures. Scented lilies are some of the most beautiful flowers. Their great, waxy trumpets open from gracefully pointed buds to pour forth waves of sweet, spicy perfume.