I'm not much of a garden gal. Just not really interested in them. Luckily, in all three of my homes that have had outdoor space, the previous owners have done a nice job with the landscaping, and I haven't had to think much about it.
Yesterday I spent a morning playdate in a completely magical garden at an urban home in NE Minneapolis. All of a sudden, plantings got my interest: what was this ground cover? How many of the plantings were perennial? How did you make that secret hideout under an arbor?
And just like that, I'm taking an interest in my outdoor space. If nothing else, I wanted to understand why I never want to be in my yard and never wanted to leave our friends'.
Naturally, I started in on google image searches, using terms like "secret garden" (too much book/movie reference), "hidden gardens" (it is, apprently, a thing in Amsterdam), and "magical gardens." I pinned away, and discovered a few things that float my boat:
Arbors and overgrown garden doors
Ground cover surrounding haphazard paths
A dining area with a sense of intimacy
Wild stuff, contained
Now, many of these gardens feel lush, overgrown, European. And our house is pretty angular and modern and TALL. The challenge in our back yard is a feeling of exposure. Despite a tall, wood privacy fence and an overall small scale, the space has no sense of intimacy, and--big problem--no shade. We were planning to add built in benches to the deck for a dining are, but I think I'll ruminate on all of this for a while.
Anyone have favorite garden blogs, inspiration, or ideas? I would love your input!