Monday, August 25, 2008

Making my Garden look Older than it Is

Since it is the end of summer, I'm starting to feel some pressure to tackle those landscaping projects that I have put off all season.  I have recently fallen in love with the "cottage garden style"--you know, with lots of shrubs and flowers and vines surrounding a quaint home that looks like it's been there for ages.  Homes that look like these:

Unfortunately, I have one major problem: my house is less than five years old, in a neighborhood that is about the same age.  In other words, all the plants are small and instead of cobblestone and gravel I have concrete and synthetic siding.   Maybe you can relate to the problem.  But, I have a plan to make my yard look older than it is (thanks in large part to a great article in Cottage Living).  

So, here are some of my plans to age my cookie-cutter yard (I doubt I'll get them all started this year, but it's worth dreaming about...):

1.  Add vines.  There is something about vines that makes things seem like they've been there a long time.  Thankfully, most vines grow like weeds, too, so they are "instant gratification" plants.  

2.  Add paths and plant trailing ground covers.  I'm thinking of a gravel path, but stone would work well too.  Plants spilling over onto the sides of the path are the trick to making it look like it has been there for awhile.

3.  Add structures, like a gate or arbor or pergola.  Fortunately for me I have a handy hubby who can build me these structures.  Fortunately for those with less handy hubbies, arbors, arches and the like can be purchased at almost every garden center, already assembled.  Just don't forget the vines to grow on the structures!

Have any more helpful tips to make a new garden look older than it is?  I've love to hear them.  Email me at

This post is part of August's Summer Squeeze series.
Coming in September: Back to Basics's series on this blog, plus the launch of beAdornable boutique's fall collection, and new website features on!

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