Friday, September 16, 2005

Garden design on a dime.





No matter what kind of neighborhood we were living in growing up, my mom always made space for flowers. When I moved out, I quickly realized that my home would never feel complete without them. Finding the space to do so had been my only obstacle. For years I'd been renting apartments and houses with no yards to speak of, so I had no choice but to be creative with the small space I had.

My first "real" garden was planted in a sideyard (basically a walkway between houses). Being very narrow but determined, I found that the best idea was to direct the eye upward to the sky for the illusion of space. Using antique iron scroll brackets, and three metal watering cans that were purchased at a local flea market we built an outdoor shelf with recycled wood to hang on the fence . Since our living room window faced this walkway, we aligned this shelf at eye level so it could be enjoyed from inside the house too. Then we planted the cans with trailing flowers. This little idea was a turning point that inspired many more ways to adorn that tiny outdoor space. From there pieces of old tin ceilings were converted into wall planter boxes and also used with scrap wood for bird houses, cheap lanterns from china town were hung above the walkway to light the path at night, stones collected from the dry river bed were used as edgers, and an old mirror hung at the end of the walkway to reflect everything making the space seem endless. There is something about recycling old objects, and using them in a new way that makes a space seem magical.

11 comments:

jenny vorwaller said...

oh my goodness kathleen, i need to write all of these ideas down! so wonderful! you need to publish a book my dear. :)

and thanks to your mom for giving you such a wonderful gift with nature!

dani said...

i too cannot live without plants, and ones that flower are special. i really love what you did with that space. love was oozing out. just gorgeous.

Leslie said...

Kathleen!
You are so very clever. And your gardens are all so dreamy!

kasia said...

magical indeed!

suburbansider said...

It sounds magical!

Alina Chau said...

Lovely design!! wish I have a garden ...

momo said...

i admire your garden, kath!! and thanks for the tips! =)

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me what the mossy looking stuff is in the pots in the garden. I love it. Is it moss perhaps??

Liquid Sky Arts said...

Thanks for all of the wonderful comments!

Anonymous...moss yes! it's called Irish Moss, they sell it in flats at most garden centers.

Yvonne said...

I love your writing and also that you're so clever. I still have all the pictures you've sent me of that garden and I look at them weekly!

suzy said...

This is such a great post; full of ideas. My current apartment has a wide balcony but it's got grey rubberised floors and walls, and looks out onto 100s of other apartments (this is Tokyo). I've been looking for tips on how to soften it and make it feel homey without spending too much money - these ideas are perfect. Thank you!