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.