Sometimes you want to do things just for the fun of it. Here are three easy gardens to plant this spring and enjoy all summer long. Do this just for the child inside you—or, for the one—or ones—beside you.
Decorate this playhouse in vivid yellows and bold blues: sunflower walls with morning glory accents. Choose a full-sun location in your vegetable garden or other area where the soil has been tilled. Draw the walls of the playhouse in the soil. A measurement of 6 feet by 6 feet allows 3 to 4 feet of open space inside the “house” after the sunflowers have grown. Choose the “Mammoth” sunflower variety, which grows up to 12 feet tall. Plant the seeds about 8 inches apart and cover with one inch of fine soil or potting soil and pat gently to firm the soil. Plant “Heavenly Blue” morning glory seeds around each sunflower seed so the morning glories will grow up the sunflower stalk. Leave an open space for a door to the room. Water well, and watch the seeds sprout in 7 to 14 days. The children can enjoy the sunflower room for weeks; you can then harvest the large flower heads and place them in paper bags to dry—or hang the sunflower heads on a fence for a “pick your own” buffet for your feathered friends. The children will enjoy the playhouse, and the birds will enjoy the seed throughout the fall and into the winter.
Native American Garden
For an interesting history lesson, plant this Native American “Three Sisters” garden. Corn, squash and beans, called the three sisters, were mainstays of many North American Indians. Purchase your seed from a seed catalog or your local garden center and prepare the soil in your vegetable garden, but wait until all danger of frost has passed before planting these vegetable seeds. Plant the corn seeds about two to three feet apart; plant the beans about two inches from the corn seed, circling the corn seed with three or four bean seeds; plant two to three squash seeds between each corn planting. Then watch for the tiny plants to emerge as the sun warms the earth daily. Soon, the corn will begin to reach for the sky; the squash will cover the corn’s feet and keep them cool; and the beans will twine their way up the corn stalks. Instead of adding dead fish—as Native Americans often did—feel free to use traditional fertilizer for vegetables.
Fence or Wall Garden
A fence, shed wall or the back side of the garage provides an open invitation to get creative with decorative garden accents and plants. Almost any collection of weatherproof objects can be used to decorate your fence or wall. Small window boxes can be attached to hold colorful plantings. Old, rusted wall brackets with interesting designs, sconces, and antique signs showing patches of rust add a feeling of antiquity to the arrangement. Birdhouses, birdcages and bird feeders are reminders that our feathered friends also share the garden. Hand mirrors on the wall to reflect the beauty of the garden. Small, wall-mounted shelving can hold odd china cups, colorful bottles and collections of seashells or other treasures. Now, place a small table and a chair nearby so you can visit your beautiful space often to relax and meditate.