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10 Timeless Tips to Add Visual Interest to Your Garden

Yankee Plus Dec 2015


10 Timeless Tips to Add Visual Interest to Your Garden
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Gardens that are in harmony with the environment lend a feeling of peace that can’t be denied. If you admire the timeless appeal of an established garden and want to invoke that ambiance in your own garden, here are 10 timeless gardening tips that will help to bring the spirit of the past to even the newest gardens and landscapes.

  1. Age plant pots with this simple moss recipe: Mix equal parts of live or dried moss with buttermilk or yogurt. Blend well and brush on terracotta pots or stone walls and walkways. Moss should appear within a matter of weeks. Or thoughtfully gather clumps of living moss from the forest and tuck bits and pieces into shady walkway areas, brickwork and stonewalls.
  2. Incorporate a rustic or antique architectural element such as a section of an iron gate, a garden trellis, a wagon wheel, twig arbor or vintage garden equipment like a wheel barrel full of flowers. Look for pieces in salvage yards and antique stores.
  3. Build a simple stone-edged path or small loose-rock wall that you can add rocks to as you come across them when digging in the garden, hiking or doing yard work.
  4. Create a rustic path with the materials you have at hand.  If you live near the ocean, collect clam shells that have washed ashore and crush them to line a path or walkway.  Use leftover wood chips from landscaping projects or surplus tile and bricks from  home improvement jobs or salvage yards.
  5. Re-purpose antique farm items such as milk and maple syrup pails and animal feeding troughs as planters and container gardens.
  6. Set up an impromptu settee under a mature fruit tree by nestling weathered outdoor furniture under the canopy of leaves.
  7. Landscape around an ancient tall tree or large boulder to accentuate the focal points that naturally anchor the scenery. 
  8. Resist removing or transplanting mature trees and plantings that are in good health and pose no safety threat.
  9. Chose traditional garden flowers such as delphinium and vintage garden ornaments and birdhouses to add charm.
  10. Install and use a sundial or compass rose.


Remember, your garden is your sanctuary and your palette to work with to express yourself. Be creative, have fun and enjoy the fruits of your labor while honoring the timeless art and history of gardening the process. And if you have timeless gardening tips you’d like to share, we’d love to hear about them!

Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Fleming-Wigglesworth is a certified Maine Master Gardener and award winning newspaper columnist from Kennebunk, Maine. She has been writing for the York County Coast Star for more than a decade as a freelance columnist and features writer. In 2010 she began writing her own gardening column “The Master Gardener’s Notebook” for Tourist News. She also teaches gardening classes at local schools and colleges
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