A patch of lawn surrounded by a flower border with a tree in the middle: Does this sound like your yard? If so, jazz it up with some unusual garden ideas. How about a fountain of flowers, a living teepee, a fairy tale garden or pizza in a plot? There are plenty of "outside-of-the-box" garden ideas limited only by your imagination.
Fountain of Flowers
Most gardeners have terra cotta pots of all sizes lying around the potting shed or garage. A beautiful fountain of flowers is just waiting to happen. Stack descending sizes of flower pots filled with potting soil atop one another in a tier. The smallest pot will be at the top, the biggest pot at the bottom. Leave at least a 3-inch open space between the rim of the supporting pot and the bottom of the next pot.
Plant the open space around each pot's bottom with flowers that mound or trail, such as alyssum, lobelia, sweet peas, moss roses, or nasturtiums. Keep the flowers all the same for each pot, or vary the flowers but keep the colors all the same. Within 4-6 weeks the entire tiered pot structure will be covered with flowers.
Children love to hide inside these living teepees and they certainly stand out in the garden. To create them, drive stakes at least 6 feet long in a circle with a diameter of 4 feet across. The stakes should be evenly spaced with the exception that there is a 2-foot gap between two of the stakes to act as a doorway. Tie the stakes together at the top to form a tee pee shape. Plant flowers or vegetables that climb around the outside of the circle spaced 6 inches apart. Pole bean, cucumber and sugar snap peas are all good choices for veggies. Flowers include morning glory, scarlet runner beans, black-eyed Susan vines and sweet pea flowers.
Fairy Tale Gardens
Choose a favorite fairy tale and use it as the theme for a small garden or border. Carry out the theme with the choice of flowers, plants, and accessories. For example: An Alice in Wonderland theme could have both miniature sunflowers and 12 foot tall sunflowers to represent when Alice had to choose whether to be very small or very tall. Red and white roses represent the Queen of Hearts. The Mad Hatters Tea Party could be a small child's table with chairs. Plant old china tea cups with miniature pansies and set on the table. Partially hide the table under a tree. Finish the garden with a ceramic rabbit looking down a hole. The hole is simply a round mirror edged with flowers or garden moss.
Pizza in a Plot
Grow the seasonings used for pizza in your own backyard--"Pizza in a Plot." A raised bed works beautifully for this. Grow tomatoes, green peppers, garlic, and scallions, complemented by basil marjoram, thyme, parsley, and fennel. This one's especially fun for kids.