Garden Therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

Garden Therapy!  Yard Art And Adornments!

One of my very favorite books when I was growing up was “The Secret Garden”!  Who doesn’t dream of a special place to take refuge from the rest of the world for a little while.  As a child, I remember my sweet grandma’s beautifully nurtured gardens as being that magical and enchanted place for me when I visited her.

Yard Art and Adornments!

Aside from the beautiful flowers like hollyhocks and peonies that seemed to grow so effortlessly in my grandma’s yard, I loved the eclectic mix of what she referred to as her garden adornments!  

I think it was Oprah Winfrey, or some other ostentatious person like that who said, “Your house should rise up and greet you.”  I don’t know about that, but I do believe that at the very least, our yards and gardens should give us a big hug, so to speak.

Garden Therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

In the heat of August, when our desire to do yard work is waning a bit, perhaps some yard art is a good way to give it a little “pick me up”…sort of like adding some house jewelry” to our gardens!   

In most garden centers now days, it seems that almost as much space is devoted to garden accessories as the plants themselves, making it a whole lot easier to add a little flair to our yards!

Yard accessories

I think placing a few pieces of yard art in our gardens is a sure way to put a smile on our faces…and that is garden therapy at its best!

Garden Therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

My grandma always told me that porches and patios weren’t the only places to put a beautiful flower pot.  Following her advice, I’ve scattered a few here and there throughout my gardens.

Garden Therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

Garden Therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

Garden therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

Since creating fun outdoor spaces is so popular, all you have to do is take a walk around your neighborhood to be inspired!

Garden Therapy! Yard Art and Adornments!

Garden Therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

These pink flamingos have seen better days…but you just have to love anyone who puts them up in their yard!

Pink falmingo's

Even adding something as simple as a unique metal gate says, “Come on in, sit down and visit a while!”

Garden Therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

Garden Therapy! Yard Art and Adornments!

A neat water feature is on my wish list to put in my yard someday!

Garden Therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

I have a friend who says one of her favorite places is her front porch–I love these cute baskets filled with colorful plants that are hanging on her porch railing!

Garden Therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

Although my daughter and her husband are in the process of putting in their yard at their new house, all the fun things on Malia’s cute, front porch welcome her new neighbors and friends–literally!

Garden therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

Sometimes it takes surrounding myself with a few words of inspiration to help keep me motivated to work in my yard during the last weeks of summer.

Garden Therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

Garden Therapy! Yard Art And Ornamentals!

At this stage of our lives, with all our kids gone, my husband and I enjoy spending time together in our yard or out on our patio–we’ll read or have Sunday brunch, but let’s be honest…most often we’re out there calling up our kids to hear about how they’re doing!  Go figure!

Garden Therapy! Yard Art And Adornments!

Snowflakes will be twirling in the air again before long, really savour these final summer weeks by enjoying the company of good friends and neighbors in the special places we’ve created for doing just that!

I’d love to hear about anything you’ve done to create a special haven in your yard.


One quick footnote, Happy Birthday wishes to my granddaughter, Marli, who turns three today; she’s such a fun, precocious little girl!  My daughter, Malia, calls Marli her love bug–and indeed she is!  Being Marli’s grandma is a blast!

Happy Birthday girl!

(You can’t help but notice how adorably Marli is displaying the metal flower planter that her mom put on their front porch!  Talk about giving your yard some serious spunk …ha! XOXO)         


Garden Therapy! Unconventional Yard Tools!

Garden Therapy!  Unconventional Yard Tools!

Summer is well underway and the weather is definitely heating up!  If you’re like me, I find the best time to do a quick hour or so of gardening is first thing in the morning or later in the early evening.  For today’s edition of Garden Therapy, I thought I’d share a few of the unconventional yards tools I use that I find come in handy and help me with the upkeep of my pots and flowerbeds this time of year…after all, aside from my summer bucket list that I’m working on, I have other very important things to do besides yard work… like shopping with my daughter and playing with my granddaughters!

Garden Therapy!  Unconventional Yard Tools!

Spring gardening!

A Serving Spoon!

When my husband and I got married, we received several extra sets of our serving utensils for wedding gifts.  While I did exchange a few of them, I ended up keeping more than I’ve ever needed through the years, so I pushed the limits of my ingenuity (?) a little, and found out that instead of using a typical hand shovel for planting some of my flowers, one of my serving spoons, with its oval shape and pointed tip, is the perfect yard tool to use on small flower bunches in my pots or for working around more compact spaces in my flowerbeds.

Garden Tehrapy!  Unconventional Yard Tools!

Garden Therapy!  Unconventional Yard Tools!

Spring gardening!


Band-Aid Scissors!

This wonderful discovery to easier garden maintenance came by sheer happenstance one afternoon as I pulled into my driveway when I arrived home from work at the hospital.  I noticed that a few flowers and some ivy in a couple of my front porch flowerpots needed to be dead-headed and trimmed up a bit.  Rather than take the time to walk all the way back to the tool shed to get my garden clippers, I just pulled out the Band-Aid scissors I had in the pocket of my nursing uniform and “Walla” (think singing angels here) the size and shape of these scissors made it less awkward to maneuver around tightly arranged plants in my flowerpots…in the past I’ve accidentally cut off a good blossom while trying to trim a dead one–ugh!

Baind-aid scissors

A good pair of Band-Aid scissors can be purchased at most any drug store–I just keep an extra pair in my laundry room now, then they’re handy to grab when I need to trim up a few flowers or stray vines. You can also sharpen these scissors with a regular knife sharpener too.

Spring gardening!

A Janitor’s Hand Broom!

The older I get, the more I’ve come to appreciate the addition of this unconventional yard tool to my gardening supplies.  When I’m working in my flowerbeds spreading soil pep or pulling a few weeds, it’s nice to be able to just sweep any dirt off the curbing or sidewalk as I go without having to always get up and down to sweep with a big broom.  This janitor’s hand broom is also perfect for sweeping up large leaves or other debri that get in your gardens.

Garden Therapy!  Unconventional Yard Tools!

Spring gardening!


A Gallon Milk Jug!

I guess you wouldn’t necessarily categorize a gallon milk jug as being a yard tool, and it’s probably not likely that one will make it on a Pinterest garden board, but I’ve found it’s sure handy to have one around when it comes to watering some of the plants in my yard.

Garden Therapy!  Unconventional Yard Tools!  www.mytributejournal.comMost plant foods come with directions for 1 tablespoon to be added to a gallon of water, so a gallon milk jug makes mixing fertilizer more convenient, and the smaller, round bottle opening, along with the handle combine to make it easier to pour the ferlitilizer solution directly around the base of the plants.  (FYI, I tend to prefer Ferti-lome blooming plant food because the granules are very fine and dissolve quickly when added to water.  My plants seem to thrive with this fertilizer during our hot, dry summer climate in Utah.)    

Garden Therapy!  Unconventiaonal Yard Tools!

An empty liter bottle works great too–that way you can enjoy your favorite drink while you’re working then water your plants after!

If you’re a homeowner, for the most part, doing some yard work is simply a fact of life, so over the years I’ve tried to embrace this motto in my life…

Life Is A Garden, So Dig It!

…while still making plenty of time to “hang out” with some of my favorite people!

Garden Therapy!

Any quirky things you use to make yard work easier?

We’ve all heard the saying, “Love began in a garden!”   I hope some of these unconventional yard tools help make your gardening easier this summer and help you love doing your yard work a little more.



Garden Therapy! Superstar Plants And Flowers!

Garden Therapy!  Superstar Plants And Flowers…That Don’t Require Diva Treatment!

Garden Therapy!

Whether you’re into gardening or not, it’s probably safe to say that most everyone loves this time of year!  Even as much as I enjoy working in my yard, I still want (and need) time to kick back and relax with a cold drink and enjoy the fruits of my labors!

Garden Therapy!

In earning superstar status, here’s a few things that I consider before putting any plants or flowers in my yard.

Garden Therapy!


They must be heat tolerant!  The weather in Utah can be a bit finicky in the spring season, but once it heats up-it can get good and hot!  Also, depending on the previous winter season water run-off, being able to use our sprinklers as much as we’d like isn’t always an option.


They must be relatively bug resistant!  A funny worker at a garden center I like, once told me that if I wanted a maintenance free yard, then I shouldn’t plant anything!  That being said, there are some plants that are more prone to seasonal pests.



Garden Therapy!

They must bloom most of the season!  I know, that’s like saying you have to be dolled up with make-up on and hair done all summer long–but the prime summer season where I live is about three months long, so I like to buy flowers that will give me the most bang for my buck!


Garden Therapy!

Here then, are my Oscar worthy contenders in the plant and flower categories that don’t require the diva treatment of most superstars!

Gro-Low Sumac

Lo-grow Sumac trees.

These scalloped-leaf bushes are native to Utah and as the name implies, don’t grow too tall and do well in our local climate.

Canadian Hemlock

Hemlock tree

This pretty pine tree grows slow and has fine, velvety needles.  When planning our landscaping, my husband and I like a mix of some of the less conventional plants with a few more traditional ones that you’d commonly see at any local garden center.

Bristle Cone Pine

Bristle-Cone Pine

This is another variety of pine tree that withstands a wide range of weather conditions and adds a fun, woodsy element to any yard design.

I like more of the wild flower look for my yard.  Some of my favorite “diva free” flowers are Lantana and Moss Rose, also known as Yuba Portulaca, they thrive in heat and don’t need to be watered a lot or have their old blooms dead-headed in order for them to keep flowering all summer!

Wild Flowers

Gazania’s are like brilliant, wild daisies.  I buy all the different colors and bunch them together when I plant them in my flowerbeds.  Although Gazania blooms last a long time, eventually the old blossoms will need to be cut off–these are also pretty to bring inside and put in vases!  In areas where the climate is warmer all year-long, these flowers are perennials, but for places that experience all four seasons, ice plants are the only ones that will come back year after year.  Ice plants also spread a little each spring like a pretty, mulitcolored carpet in your gardens!

I hope some of this information helps give you a few ideas to incorporate in your gardens and most of all, allows you more patio time…

photo (108)

                                                       …while drinking a cold one of these!

Diet Coke

If your yard is like mine, it’s ever evolving!  What are some of the superstar plants and flowers you love?

Next time in “Garden Therapy”, I’ll tell you about some of the unusual gardening tools I use that you might find come in handy too!