Refresh Your Garden Design and A Proven Winners Plant Give-Away Contest

Garden — By on November 3, 2013 7:00 am

Side Garden View with hydrangea, black eyed susans, hosta

Many years ago I went to a garden conference and listened to a well known horticulturist give a lecture on proper color, form, and texture for the front garden. It was a very sedate discussion that went something like this, “Only use whites and the palest of pinks and shades of violet so as to not disturb your family’s finest sensibilities. Never clash. Your garden design should be a long lasting landscaping investment that remains reliably appealing and static for up to ten years.”

Blink. SAY WHAT!?!?!?

Seriously?  Who wants boring? What about updating color, form, and texture in your garden regularly throughout the seasons?  What about adding curb value to your home by creating an interesting space that features fun ideas with creatively bold colors which can be refreshed and kept current?

Rebecca Sweet and pomegranate punch calibrachoa

This year I added color to my patios in the form of ornamental edible containers (see above) mixed with Bonnie Plants Rosemary, Purple Flash Ornamental Pepper, and Proven Winners Superbells Pomegranate Punch Calibrachoa. Each container was bold, colorful, edible, and filled with personality. I tried to create part-shade plantings that offered variety, color, and form changes as well (see top photo). Growing creative fresh ideas can make a real difference in how people experience your garden.

My friend Rebecca Sweet has written a book you must get for your favorite gardener as a gift (that means “buy for yourself”) this season. It shows you how to say no to boring and yes to creative gardening ideas which can update your current look. Refresh Your Garden Design With Color, Texture & Form is a book that features ways to bring a dull, lackluster garden into a more appealing and exciting place.

Rebecca Sweet Garden Design

Rebecca has joined with a few terrific garden bloggers across the interweb to give away oodles of cool prizes and have a Virtual Book Party to celebrate the release of her awesome new book.

Proven Winners is sponsoring the prize give away on my blog. One randomly selected winner will receive –

  1. A $75 gift certificate from Proven Winners to spend on their website
  2. Six  ‘Pomegranate Punch’ calibrachoa plants to be delivered in the spring, and
  3. 2014 Proven Winners Garden Idea Book

~HOW TO WIN THE PRIZE –

It is easy to enter to win the prize on this blog give-away. In the comment section below tell me what type of interesting design idea you have done in your garden – INSPIRE US!! If you do not have an idea and want advice – leave your question and we will all help you solve the dilemma.

I will randomly select a winner to the contest next week on Sunday, November 10th, with the winner being announced on Monday, November 11, 2013.

Also -

Several other bloggers are participating in this virtual book tour, each offering a different prize. Visit each blog below and leave a comment on the giveaway post for a chance to win that prize. The more blogs you visit, the more opportunities for you to win some goodies!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Dee Nash at Red Dirt Ramblings is offering a hand-selected bulb bonanza in conjunction with Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply.  Known online as GrowOrganic.com, Peaceful Valley was established by organic farmers in 1976 and has grown to be the largest organic gardening supply company in the U.S! This organic bulb collection is an ideal way to introduce seasonal color echoes into your garden. (valued at $50.00)

Annies AnnualsPam Penick at Digging is giving away a $50 gift certificate to the irresistible online nursery Annie’s Annuals. Annie’s specializes in rare and unusual annual & perennial plants, including cottage garden heirlooms and native wildflowers. They have a huge selection of amazing treasures that are guaranteed to help introduce color, texture and form back into your garden!

Dramm One Touch Rain WandRobin Horton at Urban Gardens is offering a fantastic garden-watering duo from the kind folks at Dramm:  the One Touch Rain Wand and Color Storm Turret Sprinkler (valued at $50). Dramm is a family-run business that makes some of the best, and certainly most colorful, garden watering tools around, helping to make your garden chores easy and fun!

Bypass LopperCarol Michel at May Dreams Gardens is giving away a much-desired Fiskars tool set: a Telescoping Bypass Loper and a Long-Handled Aluminum Hoe (valued at $65).  Fiskars products are renowned worldwide for their functionality and cutting-edge design so what better way to take care of your garden, keeping it in tip-top shape!

design made easyFTC DisclaimerSusan Morrison at Blue Planet Garden Blog is giving away a garden-design package that’s perfect for anyone looking to shake things up in the garden. In addition to a one year subscription to Horticulture and a bound anthology of her popular ‘Harmony in the Garden’ column, Rebecca is offering the winner an online design consultation!

Gossip in the Garden, is offering something for tech-savvy and traditional gardeners alike: a Garden App Package consisting of Sunset’s Western Garden app, Foolproof Plants for Small Gardens app and the Garden Tracker-Bumper Crop app as well as a signed copy of my new book (valued at $40.00)

 AND THE RANDOMLY SELECTED WINNER OF THE PRIZE FOR THIS BLOG POST IS KATHY PURDY OF COLD CLIMATE GARDENING!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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104 Comments

  1. Gerri Loney says:

    Calidiums are one of my favorite ornamental plants. Our local high school colors are red and white so I line my front porch with hand-painted metal tubs filled with Bright Reds and White Queen calidium bulbs. Promotes the local school spirit as well as providing a beautiful entryway for my guests!

  2. Alison says:

    Great Giveaway! My gravel garden has five rock-filled gabions in it, each topped with a flagstone and a big succulent dish. I love how it turned out.

  3. Carol Yemola says:

    I had a huge juniper bush that I absolutely hated! I hated pruning is because it was picky and I hated looking at it because it was ugly. After visiting Butchart Gardens in British Columbia and seeing one pruned so that balls were on the ends of the branches in Japanese style garden, I went to work with trimmers, a tree saw, and lots of wire coat hangers. After 5 years, I can honestly say that I now love that bush! I put a few Japanese concrete ornaments below and voila! I have a Japanese garden!

  4. I look forward to reading Rebecca’s book. And what a wonderful giveaway. I am still redoing many areas replacing non-natives with natives. I love the meadow I have been creating at the back of my property that borders a forever wild area.

  5. Rock Rose says:

    Having spent the afternoon in the garden hacking back (I seem to do it 3 times a year) I am ready for a change. I probably need some help so I don’t make the same mistakes. Rebecca’s book may just be the trick. Then I could plant up my Proven Winners plants, if I am lucky enough to win, that is!

  6. Kate says:

    My back yard had a big boring area under a maple tree that begged for underplanting. It’s bright shade with damp soil. I created a hedge of rhododendron, Itea, Lindera, and Hydrangea serrata which can grow as understory plants in the shade, and interplanted Tiarella “Running Tapestry” as groundcover. Now it’s a joy to gaze out the window at this shady shrub border. I’m sure that a few Proven Winners plants would fit in here beautifully.

  7. Linda says:

    I found a fallen log with many rotted out sections. Hubbie and I dragged it out of the woods which was a big job! I have planted hostas and ferns in the openings and incorporated it in my shade garden. This is it’s second year and all plants came back and did well. It gets many comments from visitors to my garden.

  8. Cheryl says:

    I took out the front lawn and filled it with (mostly) deer resistant/water efficient plants last Spring.It did better than I expected!

  9. We took out a 60+ foot Eucalyptus tree a neighbor said obstructed her view and it opened up a whole new world of gardening on one side of our house. We’ve since taken out a large expanse of lawn so I’m in the process of designing an entirely new, and now sun-drenched, garden. I’ve already got Rebecca’s book to offer helpful inspiration but more plants would certainly help!

  10. Wow, what a great blog! First time visitor because of the give away. I recently did something really cool. I wanted a raised bed next to my house but because of the size and stucco I couldn’t build it so that dirt was against the house. I asked friends on Facebook what to do and I got the best idea. Horse troughs! Yes, horse troughs. I went and bought 2 6’2’3′ water troughs and set them end to end and filled with dirt, succulents and companion plants. They have taken off and gone crazy and don’t have to worry about wet dirt against my house!

  11. jenj says:

    Hmm. Design idea, to be honest I don’t know that i have any combos I’m proud enough to share. I’m a hodgepodge collector type. I’m looking for some narrow, tall (15+) evergreens to grow as a privacy screen for my somewhat soggy yard, I live in the south east, zone 7. Any ideas?

  12. Barbara says:

    I started my garden last spring and I’m sure this book will give me a lot of ideas. And the giveaway also could give me some help. :)

  13. Melissa H says:

    I like your blog! Found it through Rebecca Sweet’s virtual garden book party (It’s a great book!)

  14. Robin Mayfield says:

    I’ve grouped several old silver metal buckets and an old stock tank together for a grouping that is rustic and easy.

  15. Carla says:

    Great giveaway-would love to win it!

  16. Rose says:

    When I first started gardening, I picked a pink and purple color scheme, not realizing I was trying not to disturb my “family’s finest sensibilities”:) Over the years, that has certainly changed, though, that there’s no color scheme at all! Rebecca’s book looks like just what I need for inspiration for some changes to my garden. It wouldn’t take me long to spend that Proven Winners certificate, considering how many of their plants I buy each spring:) Thanks for hosting this, Shawna!

    • Shawna says:

      When I first started out I only had pink and purple in my front garden as well. Now I have yellow and orange and vegetables – and well everything. :-)

  17. Holly Chaille says:

    I am getting a long list of new-to-me blogs from this contest, and love it!

  18. c crow says:

    Rebecca’s blog is always filled with great ideas, so I am looking forward to reading this book.

  19. Lauren Paytes says:

    When I moved into my house there was a 50′ x 80″ daylily and iris garden with small rectangular beds of the same inside this rectangle. Beautiful when it’s all blooming. All around the foundation are Burford Holly and another bush. I want to deepen all of the beds in front of the house so that I can add COLOR!!! The soil is has a lot of clay and rocks. Of course, I have an ENORMOUS compost pile (I have 5 horses and 2 Jacks)Besides dividing what I already have, which flowering plants would do well here with little maintenance? I want color and texture and varying heights. Plants that smell good would be a bonus. Thank you!

  20. Angela M says:

    Ive put in a day lily garden with plants that bloom at all different times so that there is always something blooming in the area. In the spring before the day lilies bloom daffodils and tulips have the area filled with color.

  21. Jo Pomeroy says:

    I’ve done many fun things in my garden, but right now I need to find a “fix” to try to make a presentation of something in my garden where my neighbor’s redwoods have stolen all of the water. I am thinking a tiered presentation of lovely shade plants. These will have to be in their own containers to protect them from the voraciously slurping redwoods. SF peninsula climate. Any ideas? I need several levels to provide appeal. Any ideas? (Love, love, love Rebecca’s book.)

    • Shawna says:

      Many shade lovers are also heavy on the water requirements, so this is a tough one. I do not live in zone 8, which you probably live in, so I’m not as familiar with all the plants that will do well.

      However, I have a couple resources. Contact Sharon and Bruce Asakawa – - they wrote the “California Getting Started Garden Guide” and would better know the regional planting concerns.

      Also – here’s a link to a Zone 8 blog post that talks about ideas for dry shade in your zone –

      http://homeguides.sfgate.com/plants-flowers-poor-soil-dry-shade-42459.html

      http://www.millergarden.org/downloads/Dry-Shade.pdf

      Generally speaking, there are many “understory” plants such as ferns that often do quite well in dry shade. Groundcovers are also a common solution.

      I hope this helps a bit!! :-)

    • Hi Jo! Thanks for the kind words about my book. ;)

      Shawna has some great suggestions – in addition you might try correa ‘ivory bells’ and ‘mission bells’. They’re evergreen and bloom their heads off in February and March.

  22. Aimee says:

    I have been playing with a small round garden in my front yard. When I moved in with was ornamental grass, a few tiger lilies and shastas. I have since added some more lilies and echinacea.

    I want to split the shastas this year and add Michaelmas Daisy and Helianthus or Heliopsis. It’s very much turning into a fall garden with the lilies for summer pop.

  23. Pam says:

    I have a hard time with transitions from one season to the next. Right now wishing I had fall plants to enjoy, instead of the summer ones which need to be pulled out (yes I am one of the lucky ones who live in northern California and can garden all year).

    • Hi Pam – I live in Northern Ca. as well and you have SO many options for fall color! In my garden, for example, I’m really loving my grevilleas (g. ‘superb’, ‘robin gordon’ and ‘jade mound’) which bloom off and on the entire year (full sun). And I love my perennial sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and ‘Autumn Fire’ mixed with solidago ‘fireworks’. Try some of these and you’ll be thrilled when fall shows up at your doorstep! :)

  24. Catherine says:

    My landscaping ideas?!?! That’s why I’m here…this is my very first year to garden. After meeting a very wonderful person at a nearby nursery (Deez Treez), Dee shares here knowledge with me on a daily basis. I have so many possibilities running through my head I don’t know where to begin. That’s why I’m looking forward to reading these blogs and the comments attached to absorb as much of this wonderful knowledge as I can!! :-)

  25. Jeanette says:

    I have had great success with Angelonia from Proven Winners and would like to try other plants.

  26. Melody says:

    I have a large yard so I am constantly working on some type of design project. Right now I am planting a wide strip along the fence as a meadow/wild flower garden with ornamental grasses (especially muhly grass) and flowers – some native, some not. Some that I have planted so far are coreopsis, rudbeckias, yarrows, zinnias, gaillardias, lantana.

  27. Melissa says:

    This is a great prize that I would love to win! I am in transition in my garden; for the past year, I’ve been removing hold-over invasives from a previous owner (I’ve had the house 12 years so it’s about time!) In the short term, I’ve covered the beds with cardboard, newspaper, and mulch, and placed my veggie-growing Earthboxes in the area. I have an urban yard, so I don’t have a ton of space (and even less full sun!)so I’ll be looking for good ideas to replant these areas once I’ve finally filled the CREEPING BUTTERCUP (UGH!) for good. Cross your fingers for me!

  28. Pamela Graham says:

    I did a wonderful pizza shaped herb garden this spring and it has become my favorite of all my gardens. Also a favorite of my husband’s since my cooking has great benefited from all the herbs. I am honored to be a part of the great giveaway! Hope I win! Pamie G. pgraham@gvtc.com

  29. Julie says:

    I reclaimed my county-issued drainage ditch and made it into a wet meadow. Now I have butterflies, birds, water and many native grasses to enjoy year-round. PLUS! No grass to mow.

  30. Gaynell says:

    My backyard border has an old sagging 4 foot chain link fence. Behind my yard is a wooded area graced with a growing deer population. I devised a cheap and easy barrier by inserting 8 ft. bamboo poles into the fence. I was worried that this would look a bit trashy but instead the bamboo fades into the trees and cannot be detected from my favorite viewing area on the back deck. Works great at keeping the deer out without obstructing the view and you can’t beat the cost!

  31. Jennie says:

    I have a dilemma. I have a garden space by my front walkway which faces north. Only the northernmost part of the garden space gets full sun year around. the mid-portion gets sun in the summer and the south end gets very little sun for a short time. and since it is against a west wall, the sun this space does receive in the summer is the hot, mid-afternoon sun. i have no idea what to do with this space. so far it’s a mish-mash and not very attractive.

    • Shawna says:

      What is your zone Jennie? There are a lot of solutions, but I think the most obvious is to plant grasses of all sorts in the late sun parts of this garden. Feather reed grass ‘Karl Foerster’ would do wonderfully in the mid portion of the garden.

      There are shade loving grasses as well, such as carex. Depending on the variety, you could plant carex. Groundcovers could be mixed in as well – Chocolate Chip Ajuga is a beautiful groundcover that does well in shade and sun.

      It all depends on your zone and what plants might be hardy there.

    • I agree with Shawna – grasses are such great problem solvers. And I love carex, too, as some like water, some are okay without much, some like sun, some like shade. One of my new favorites is Carex ‘Everillo’ – a fantastic evergreen (in my zone 9, at least) chartreuse grass. I’m also a fan of calamagrostis foliosa for a lower level grass – maybe under the taller calamgrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ (like Shawna suggested)?

  32. I agree you don’t want the garden to look the same all year! I have flowers/plants in each bed that bloom at different times to keep things always changing. :)

  33. Debbie S says:

    Love your blog! I just discovered it because of the link from Rebecca Sweet’s blog. My book arrives today, and I am excited to put it to use. I am totally changing my front yard and removing the front lawn. I have a problem area though. A large old walnut tree with another shade tree are close to the road, so the light changes, but is mostly filtered sun to late afternoon sun. I am in the Sacramento Valley, zone 9. It gets hot in the summer over 100, and around 32 as the low in winter with some freezing. I want a loose screen that obstructs, but is loose, so some of the yard shows through. Any ideas?

    • Hi Debbie – my parents live just north of Sacrament (near Auburn) so I’m well aware of how hot it can get there! I love loose screens as they allow parts of the garden to ‘peek through’. And its nice that you have that shade to help the plants with the brutal afternoon sun. Have you tried Verbena bonariensis? It’s a tall perennial, and though it dies down in the winter, it’s pretty fantastic throughout the spring/summer/fall. Mixed with the 5′ tall Rudbeckia triloba and you’ve got color that’ll last for months and months as well as loose screening. Even though these perennials like full sun, in your climate I think they’d be just fine with the filtered sunlight.

    • Shawna says:

      Another idea: Lots of plants will not grow under a black walnut because it puts out a chemical to kill its neighbors. However, grasses are rarely effected by black walnuts. Native grasses and ornamental cultivated grasses planted in a creative fashion would both grow well under the walnut tree and extending down around the garden. Tall grasses function as an excellent screen – Feather Reed Grass would work very well. Another is Dwarf Pampas Grass ‘Ivory Feathers’. In your region pampas grass is invasive – EXCEPT Dwarf Pampas Grass which is cultivated and rarely self seeds and might be something you could consider. ‘Ivory Feathers’ and ‘Pumila’ are two types you could use.

  34. Courtney says:

    My back yard is multi-level so we put in a fence along one portion and in the spring I’ll be planting vines along it for colorful space dividers. I also rescued a huge, tall planter with a rotten bottom. I dug a hole and planted the planter so I can use it as another splash of color between spaces!

  35. Shelley M says:

    I made a raised bed vegetable garden out of cinder blocks. The design allows for me to get to each area without having to step in the garden but more imaginative than just a standard rectangle. Last year I planted rain lilies in the open holes and what a fun surprise, when most of the plants were spent for the summer to have the white lilies putting on their show!

  36. Ally says:

    I started gardening 30 years and times have definitely changed. I’m happy to say my garden is full of clashing colors. It’s very liberating and much more fun.

  37. CC says:

    Out of the box for me was adding pops of bright turquoise throught my front, sides and backyard. It just looked ‘happy’!! Would love to win.

  38. andrea says:

    My garden is surrounded by a boring white vinyl fence. I’ve come up with the idea of building wood framed/iron gridlike trellis’s that hang over the top of the vinyl fence via brackets and include a 2 inch block to hold it away from the fence enough to allow climbing roses and clematis to grow up them. Now my garden looks cozy and natural and the vinyl is hidden but not damaged in anyway. This also takes advantage of vertical space.

  39. Wanda Pylant says:

    Love Rebecca Sweet’s garden pictures.

  40. Melody McMahon says:

    Wow! So glad I found Shawna’s blog from the promotion of Rebecca Sweet’s book. I just watched the Ted video she did and I’m so impressed with her passion to make her community a better place. You go girl!

  41. ricki says:

    We have a long, meandering drive coming into our place. We refer to it as ‘Delusional Drive’ for reasons that are probably obvious to fellow gardeners. I keep adding and tweaking, with an eye to year-round interest and a mix of color and texture. It comes a little closer to my vision with each passing year.

  42. Judy says:

    This summer I created a container garden with a large orange pot, canna ‘tropicanna’, ‘Sweet Carolin’e red sweet potato vine, and lots of orange calibrachoa. It really gave my patio a pop of color!

    I plan on purchased a lot more calibrachoa when they become available again could really use the Proven Winner certificate!

  43. I was so lucky to see Rebecca’s garden during the Fling–I want to move in! Her garden is amazing, and I can’t wait to read her book. For design ideas, I also try to incorporate edibles into containers and landscaping–there are so many gorgeous edibles, why would anyone leave them hidden in a remote kitchen garden? During the summer I use Chinese 5-color peppers and Fish peppers planted with annuals in containers, and this fall I’m using a ton of Rainbow Swiss Chard and Red Russian Kale with violas. Pretty and delicious! Thanks for the fun give-away!

  44. Cheris says:

    This spring I ripped out my entire back yard and replaced it with native beds and veggie gardens. I did plan carefully to design each bed, but some things didn’t make it through the hot TX summer. So I’m looking for replacements.

  45. Shirley says:

    I built a circle garden with pathways and butterfly plants to cover a burned out spot in the lawn. That was two years ago and I am still mesmerized by it every day.

  46. Ann Myers says:

    I have ordered Rebecca’s book and can’t wait. I love the look and feel of an English Garden, but I live in hot central TX and English gardens don’t survive droughts and deer so I planted an English garden with all native, drought tolerant, deer resistant plants. I worked long and hard on the colors and the design. I love it but it does need some tweaking here and there. I can’t wait to read Rebecca’s book and get fresh ideas for changing some thing around in the early spring. I would love to be part of your give away.
    Ann Myers

  47. Jezibels says:

    Hmmm, the best design thing Ive ever done with my garden is add Miscanthus perennial grasses, they really are beautiful tall whisps of green in the spring/summer, then in the fall send up feather like fronds which add fall and winter interest, I really need to divide my clumps and spread them around more places!

  48. teachkd says:

    This year my husband and I were determined to have less lawn and more colorful pollinator plants. What we did was develop a butterfly/ pollinator garden in th middle of our backyard. We filled it with Joe Pye weed, coneflowers, asters, ironweed, swamp milkweed, bee balm, and phlox. We then added paths and gates so we would be able to walk in between all the flowers. We loved our garden this year and hope to improve next year!

  49. Laura says:

    Twenty years ago I went native, or edible or go home!

  50. Theresa n says:

    In my back yard I used bricks to make a circle then more
    bricks to make a square there’s a path between the two. In the center I plant herbs and the out side in the square are flowers and vegetables. It was based on a colonial garden pattern and I’ve found the combination
    of herbs, flowers and vegetables draws more bee’s for pollination.

  51. Kim says:

    My yard is full of perennials of all types. Tired and true, new and bold, boring but livable, fragrant and colorful but my favorite garden is my edible garden. I will forever remember my 2 year old picking cherry tomatoes and eating them like candy. The garden taught my little boy colors, respect and love for earth food, and all about bugs! We still pick flowers together but picking raspberries, strawberries, cucumbers and all kinds of other treats fill us up from the inside out! I wish everyone would try to grow some edibles.. This year I learned a lot about container and vertical gardening. Seriously, it’s as easy as modifying a milk jug and adding an herb or veggie! Anyone can do this! The possibilities are endless! It you haven’t tried there is no better time than now.

  52. I designed a garden outside my dining room window specifically to combat cabin fever. I’ve been hunting down the very latest blooming and very earliest blooming plants that are hardy in my climate.

  53. Mjausson says:

    I have a tiny garden. So to avoid what Rebecca calls “one-of-each”-itis, all my flowers are pink. I’ve just got a few orange and purple flowers so it won’t be too flat.

  54. Tracie says:

    My plants, front yard and back, have edible blooms so that we can enjoy them in salads. Roses, Dandelions, many herbs and Pansy’s are some. I grow almost all our own salad greens. Our latest idea for a vegetable garden is a 15 foot x 3 foot wide Hugelkultur garden. Started with fallen trees and limbs piled in a trench with brush and compost and dirt and mulch on top and finally seeds planted on top of that in our large backyard. It is supposed to reduce the need for water irrigation. This is our first year, we will see!

  55. Nixus00 says:

    My garden project that I’m currently working on is really similar to Rebecca Sweets’ style of landscaping; Blending form, shape and function.

    I have a full-sun 6′x 6′ garden bed filled with white Alyssum. I’ve then placed garlic in random sections for both the harvest as well as the light green shoots to add texture to the garden.

    Finally, the main attraction will be the 4-5 cultivars of sunflower to really make it ‘pop’!

    velvet queen, teddy bear, american giant, lemon queen, and italian white varieties. This is gonna be a pollinator’s paradise!

  56. SuePip says:

    I just recently finished a hardscape project that I started in the spring. I laid over 300 12×12 pavers to form a patio right in front of my basement door. I had to build a rock retaining wall where my lawn slopes, and I had to cut the pavers to fit up against the wall. What a lot of work! The grass grows right up to the wall, but wouldn’t it look great if calibrachoa came tumbling over the wall instead? Would love to win your prize!

  57. Cat says:

    I haven’t had the luxury of my own garden yet, but I did see a fantastic pergola at a nearby botanical garden that had gourds growing on it and hanging just above your heads. They also had squash growing on trellises where you had easy access to the ripening fruit – different spatial growing arrangements that struck me as being genius!

  58. Brenda says:

    My mainstay in the garden is perennials of every size, shape and color, with lots of natives thrown in. Am working on reducing the amount of grass in the yard and adding lots of beds and have surrounded each of the beds with limestone rocks to tie them together.

  59. Beverly says:

    This project is still in the planning stage. Current home has (inherited) wildly overgrown hollies across half of the front porch. The room behind is dark, dark, dark. I’m going to see if a niwaki (Japanese “cloud” pruning) approach will open the space and let light into the house. The challenge is more interesting than simply pulling the shrubs and starting over.

  60. Diane says:

    Edibles and ornamentals together to make a beautiful and healthy combination planter.

  61. Emily says:

    I would love some ideas on keeping the deer out of my containers and yard.

    • Shawna says:

      Emily, WOW! You’re asking for miracles. The best way to keep deers out of your yard is to put a fence around it. Of course, that sounds like I’m joking or being snarky, but I’m not – - totally serious. If you can’t fence in your yard, then perhaps fence around young seedlings until they’re bigger and not as appealing to the deer.

      Outside of that, there are a lot of plants that deer do not like. For example, Russian Sage, Euphorbia, daffodils — it depends on the plant and your garden requirements.

      Search “deer resistant plants” online and I’m sure you’ll find an interesting list.

      In the end, if the deer are starving they’ll eat anything, but they will avoid certain plants that are smelly to them or hurt their mouths when they eat.

      Best of luck!!!!

      Shawna

  62. Jennifer B says:

    No great ideas from me–think I need Rebecca’s book and some Proven Winners! Thanks for the chance.

  63. rachel says:

    We just moved this summer so we’ve done tons of weeding and replanting. I want to make a garden next year, but I have one flowerbed that needs major help. I’m thinking doing pinks and reds there?

  64. Sally says:

    Loving this giveaway! Proven Winners is a great gift idea.

  65. Amy Orvin says:

    I’d like to inspire you with my newest creation. I recently made a rose and rock garden. Oh…It’s beautiful! The area is full of hybrid teas and American Beauties sounded by quarry granite rocks. The finishing touch was pine bark nuggets to surround the roses and add texture.

  66. Linda Benci says:

    Love Proven Winners and woukd love to win this prize. I live in hot and humid SC, and am having great success with native plants. Less water, less disease and they withstand the blazing afternoon sun.
    Linda

  67. Suzanne says:

    I love Rebecca’s newest book and am getting lots of great ideas to perk up our garden in the coming months. To add a bit of “spark” to the summer shade under our prolific persimmon tree, I planted an old rusty wheelbarrow with the brightest impatiens I could find and it has been a real winner, adding a beautiful focal point beside our patio where we like to spend summer evenings. Now I am looking at where to plant those beautiful Proven Winners from your giveaway.

  68. Shana says:

    My yard when I moved in was full of useless “debris” (a satellite dish from previous owner, even though we have cable; concrete supports for an old heating oil tank; supports for a massive metal clothesline, with no lines left). To liven up my yard, I added lots of native flowers and climbing vines, especially those that are fast-growing and attract pollinators and birds: Carolina jessamine, some large witch hazel plants, honeysuckle, and asters/salvia around the bases of these structures. Covered them up while providing support for climbing flowers!

  69. Debby West says:

    I love to add herbs and annual vegetables to my container gardens. They add great color and texture when mixed with annual or perennial flowers.

  70. Ellen Schneider says:

    I really enjoyed reading all the commets everyone posted. I live in Wisconsin and need to redo my front flower bed in front of the house. This area gets full sun all morning and into the late afternoon. I would like to mix it up with small flowering bushes and plants. Any ideas?

    • Shawna says:

      Hi Ellen,

      Thanks for the good words. It sounds like you are probably in zone 5. Dwarf barberry has a lovely leaf color all year long, but doesn’t really have a flower, however, I think it’s a colorful choice.

      Dwarf butterfly bush works well as a flowering shrub and modern hybrids come back more reliably.

      Potentilla blooms most of the summer and they have an amazing new white variety out that I think is adorable. It works really well in full sun.

      Rose of Sharon can be a good flowering shrub, but the problem is it can sometimes be invasive — you’ll need to do your research on the best variety for your situation.

      And, of course, my favorite flowering shrub of all time – Annabelle Hydrangea. I love my Annie’s. They’re tremendous and do not produce heavy pollen problems, so are good if you have allergies.

      GOOD LUCK!

      Shawna

    • Shannon says:

      Shannon from Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs, here. Shawna thought I might be able to help. Luckily, we’re introducing a lot of really great dwarf varieties that won’t overwhelm a landscape – or front flower bed. A few suggestions: Show Off Sugar Baby forsythia (18-30″ tall and wide | Zone 4), Bobo hydrangea paniculata (an absolute favorite of mine that stays 3′ tall and 4′ wide | Zone 3), Oso Happy Smoothie rose (bred in Minnesota, so it’s very winter hardy and – bonus – no thorns! | Zone 4), and Spilled Wine weigela (2′ tall and 3′ wide with a nice spreading habit and deep burgundy foliage | Zone 4). I hope these suggestions will help get you started. Good luck and happy gardening, Ellen!

  71. Linda P says:

    That Pomegranate Punch Calibrachoa looks so pretty! Would love to win the gift certificate to Proven Winner — that would be so fun to search through all the plant possibilities & place an order.

  72. Mary Morrow says:

    I am working on removing the grass from my acre lot. Started by creating large gardens around all the trees. This year I put in a large rose garden.
    There is still a large strip of grass down the driveway over to the neighbors yard and want to make it an ornamental tree garden. Waiting for some Bradford Pears to give up the ghost, just 3 more to go from the original line of them the previous owner planted. I am also working on adding more texture/leaf color plants to add more punch to the winter garden.

  73. Shelley C says:

    This was my first year using raised beds. Physical limitations made that necessary and I enjoyed it. Just didn’t have enough to ‘put up’ but we enjoyed the fresh eating all summer. I am trying to incorporate more edibles on the property…a few apple trees, one grape vine so far, and my latest obsession, elderberries. Need to find some hardy to this zone 3.

  74. Laura L L says:

    I would enjoy having these, thanks for the giveaway :)

  75. Regina Fant says:

    This year we had the largest, prettiest
    garden of various zinnias we have ever
    grown and a second round of sunflowers
    just started blooming – we expect low temps
    and frost next week, so it will be the
    end of a beautiful season of blooms..
    BRING ON THE BULBS.. Zone 8 Arkansas

  76. Laura L L says:

    We are new gardeners we had some raised bed boxes and some open planting. I want walk ways. What’s the best material straw or pavers?

    • Shawna says:

      I think that depends on how formal your gardens are. Formal gardens definitely look attractive with flagstone, rock, or paver pathways. However, cut logs, straw, and mulch work just fine in woodland or casual gardens.

      Hard materials like rock and pavers are better for smothering weeds and I highly recommend a thick layer of mulch in order to do the same.

  77. Kathy Panak says:

    I put a curving path to the rear of the garden, leading to a small berm. At the base of the berm, on a whim and because I found a large block of wood at the curbside, I set it in as a meditation bench. Now, sculpting the view seen from the low bench and sharing that view is a great joy for me.

  78. Tom Mann says:

    Well this looks like another great book full of great ideas. Our gardens are constantly changing as the trees get taller and areas that were full sun are now partial to full shade. As this has happened, we’ve been adding more shrubs – azaleas, hydrangeas, camellias, etc., and in the process establishing areas that require less maintenance. Next up will be working the front yard, after we figure out the soon to be installed handicap/wheelchair ramp. Thanks for the chance, Shawna…
    ~Tom

  79. Suzanne says:

    One interesting garden idea I’ve had was to plant only succulents (hardy sedums) under my Jane Magnolia tree. I have Southern exposure in that area, so even though they’re under the shade of the specimen tree, they still get a fair amount of sun. I’ve interspersed them with some heucheras and small ornamental grasses. It almost has a quilt like effect. I also tend to change it slightly each year, and it’s very easy to maintain. Hardly have to use mulch b/c the plants spread into each other nicely.

  80. Jenn says:

    As a gardener in the low desert (Phoenix) I am constantly trying new plants to see what will tolerate our seasonal extremes (over 100 at night in high summer, down to freezing a few nights each winter).

    I’m a renter, I garden in pots.

    I don’t have a particular solution or dilemma to share, but I will say that I like Proven Winners because they offer plants that will thrive here. (agaves, mangaves, aloes, among others)

    *fingers crossed*

  81. Kathy says:

    Proven Winners has the most beautiful plants! They would look so good in our planter boxes at the lightkeepers cottage garden, that is our community project for my garden club. We’re always looking for plants that the community can enjoy!
    We try to keep flowers at the cottage as the lightkeepers of 1940′s did!

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