140 Middletown – Lincroft Road, Lincroft, New Jersey 07738 Hours: Monday-Tuesday 8-5, Wednesday 8-6, Thursday-Saturday 8-5, Sunday 9-4

                                                                  

Why I Garden: To Create an Outdoor Retreat

An outdoor retreat can be as small as a tiny nook in the corner of the yard under a lovely shade tree or as large as a full patio with a fireplace. No matter what its size is, it won't be complete without at least a few plants. Gardeners always look for an excuse to insert a garden somewhere. It's just part of our nature. But the way that a garden is designed for an outdoor retreat is very important because it won't be relaxing if you have to spend more time cleaning it up than enjoying it. So to help, here are a few tips on how to make yours the most comfortable spot on the property.

Keep it Concealed

If possible, choose an area of your yard that can't be seen by passersby. Traffic and sidewalks shouldn't be visible, and the view of nosy neighbors should be blocked. Most people find that this is only possible if they put up some fencing. Those who rent might try installing a trellis or two for growing dense vines as a temporary fix.

Choose the Right Plants

The plants that are chosen must be purposeful while contributing to the beauty of the area. For example, if mosquitoes are a problem because of a nearby water source, then a gardener might consider adding several citronella plants in a place where they will be sitting the most. They have large, green foliage that emits a scent that deters the pests. Adding marigolds, mint, and garlic will keep deer and rabbits away.

Go for the Natural Look

Bright, flashy chairs, and accessories will not be as serene as those made of natural products. For an inexpensive look, consider repurposing some items that you already have around the house or garage. An old dresser can be painted a pale shade of green. Then, plant flowers in the drawers. Or set cushions on a worn out coffee table for impromptu seating. Add pillows made of waterproof fabric to make the area even more comfortable. And a plastic area rug on the ground with some flowers planted around it will tie everything together. It can also be a great place to do some meditation or yoga.

Consider Your Light Source

Those who prefer to enjoy their outdoor retreat in the evening will need some lighting. The way that it gets set up depends on how far away a source of electricity is though. Strings of white Christmas lights look lovely hung up in the trees. And battery-operated imitation candles are nice for tabletops. Those who prefer to see by a roaring fire should be sure to consider the effect that the heat could have on plants that are nearby. To be safe, there should be a distance of at least ten feet or more between them.

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