Coming home to a soothing and well-groomed backyard might seem like stepping into a fairy tale after a hard day at work. Go a step farther with your favorite childhood story as the theme. You’ll delight both adults and children as they explore your landscape to discover the secret gardens.
Alice in Wonderland Tea Party
Plant two-toned roses that have petals white splashed with red such as Rosa “Scentimental”. They will look just like the Queen of Hearts commanded them to be painted.
Insert a little table and chairs.
Put small, potted succulents in tea cups on the table along with others in a teapot. Maintain the succulents in small pots with drainage holes. Eliminate water and then replace.
Invite the white bunny to attend the party by placing a mirror on the floor. Prop it up at a 45-degree angle from mounding dirt underneath it and then in back of it. Plant moss roses in the dirt. Put a statue of a white bunny before the mirror off to one side.
Give fairies a place to hide in the garden. Paint a bird home in pastel colors. Attach a porch to the bottom of the home. Put a miniature rocking chair on the porch to provide the fairies a place to rest. Place the house on the ground under a tiny rose bush you have trimmed to look like a little tree.
Plant creeping thyme, Thymus serpyllum, across the home since the ground cover in USDA zones 3 through 9. Create a pond by sinking a little, blue bowl to the ground and filling it with water.
Produce a path to the home with white aquarium gravel. Line the route together with dwarf varieties of blossoms such as Johnny-Jump-Ups (Viola tricolor), which grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9; pinks (Dianthus gratianopolitanus), which will be hardy in zones 4 through 8; or verbena, which is not dwarf but only grows to 12 inches high in USDA zones 7 through 10. Outline the hideaway with a fence made from craft sticks. Plant lobelia against the fence and then trim it as a mini hedge.
Fantasy Vegetable and Flower Garden
Create a maze of sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) to get kids to perform. If your backyard is not roomy enough to get a maze, plant a teepee of sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) in the spring and then replace pole beans on the summer.
Plant gaily colored vegetables as opposed to the tired, old norms. Chard “Bright Lights” has vivid scarlet, bright yellow or sharp white stalks and veins with emerald green leaves. Rumors come in colors beyond red. Try purple, orange, purple and striped varieties. Even bananas get in on the color act with red, purple and white.
Plant a giant garden by picking out the largest range of vegetables. Kale grows to 3 feet long. Pumpkins can weigh 50 pounds or more. Cabbage reaches 3 feet across. Or go the opposite route and plant the smallest varieties of them.