Garden ideas can be a stolen success

Garden ideas are available to be stolen. No quotes, no jail time. Successes copied from the gardening world are common. The easiest way to steal ideas is simple. Drive around your neighborhood, watch magazines or TV, and look at old photos of Grandma’s house.

One of the best ways is to drive around your neighborhood. You are in your garden area with the same soil and the same water. The starting points are there and they are working. A particular variety of plants that your neighbor is successful with should travel the entire block to your address, offering the same successes.

Some of the garden ideas that you might want to steal are huge efforts. Any changes requiring a bobcat and a team could be left for a later project. Often, small projects have equally strong visibility and impact. One way to make your front yard eye-catching is to add some color. Most of the planting material is found in the green colored areas. With a frame of green, the color becomes very important.

Color can be installed in various ways. The most common is planting along walkways and flower beds. Here is another idea. Pick a spot in your lawn, such as an island in the grass. The stain should be large enough to be spectacular with the color. The shape is your choice. The variables will be created with your choice of plant, not the dimensions of the island. The size should be at least three feet wide but maybe larger depending on your ambition.

Building your island is pretty easy. Determine the best location with sun or a lot of light. Pick a shape for your island, then mark it with spray paint to show the borders. Two ways to remove grass, the slow way with cardboard and sun for weeks is one. The other is to pretend you’re at the gym, using your core and knees to help you shovel. Pay attention to your sprinkler lines and heads. Remove the grass and build a border. There are many choices for the border; rocks, bricks or bending board. Add compost or soil amendments to your island and work it into the soil.

Deciding on your colors for your island requires some thought. Annuals will provide masses of color and new varieties twice a year with each planting in the spring and fall. Seed catalogs and nurseries have so much to choose from with flowers that you may never have seen or experienced. Perennials with different flowering times will create a striking picture. If you use your grandmother’s choices, the neighbor will be amazed by the colors and scents of the flowers of yesteryear.

Consider the height and elevation of the image, placing taller plants in the middle or closer to the house. Zinnias will provide height and vibrant colors. Surrounded by Dianthus

‘Albus’, a white Sweet William, all colors will dazzle everyone. Bee Balm ‘Jacob Cline’ in brilliant reds easily combines with Phlox ‘Peacock White’, creating a scent that calls for neighborhood hummingbirds. The unique characteristics of amaranth in various colors surrounded by ‘Baby Rose’ nasturtiums will make neighborhood hikers stop and look.

There are hundreds of choices to fill your island. Whether you buy plants or seeds, the combinations will be attractive to people and pollinators. With a small island, changing spring and fall plants will be easy and fun. A great way to get these young gardeners interested and get their hands dirty is to let them help pick out plants or seeds and then plant them.

Stolen gardening ideas are the best. Good gardeners will share; great gardeners will display their ideas for the world to use.

Julie Silva is a Master Gardener at the University of California Tuolumne County Cooperative Extension. Gardeners in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties can answer questions about home gardening, call 209-533-5912. Complete our easy to use problem questionnaire here. Check out our website here, you can also find us on Facebook.