Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gardening on a dime


The outdoor space is the new indoor space. Outdoor design is more popular than ever before, with so many downsizers and first time buyers moving into the condo market, the outdoor space has become an essential part of their lifestyle.

Outdoor furniture has come along way with a variety of chairs, tables, benches, loungers and even fireplaces! But for those purchasers who have downsized from their large family home or for the first time buyer who loves the outdoors, the lack of yard can be an issue, gardening is a popular pass time and is not one that has to be given up just because you live in a condo. Gardening is a great way to get fresh air, to learn something new and to decorate your space!

But gardening can also be a big expense, so how can it be more affordable? Check out these tips for DIY gardening projects that can make any patio look polished.

1 -- Large plants are the most expensive so instead of spending a lot of money on a large tree or bush consider going fake (I know a lot of people think this is tacky but it can look rich, please read on...) By purchasing large boxwood or ivy topiary that are already in planters, you eliminate a big price tag and to avoid looking too fake add other planters with real flowers, look for ones that stay in bloom all summer. Place your planters in groups (odd numbers are best such as 3 or 5). You have spent very little on the small plants and your large fake one you will reuse every year or update it with each season by adding white lights or some fall foliage.
A lot of people have a real concern with using fake plants, because they tend to look fake but if used sparingly and in the right spot that can add a real feel of luxury.

2 -- Planters come in all shapes, looks and sizes. If you plan on reusing yours each planting season consider fiberglass planters and not clay. the fiberglass is much lighter to carry and tends not to crack (in the winter they must be brought inside or at least in a storage area of some kind). They are easy to find and come in a variety of price points. But if you want a designer look here are a few ideas to try:

a) Take your basic terra cotta pot and purchased chalkboard paint (in now comes in a spray). Spray the pot, it takes about 2-3 coats and do this outdoors for ventilation purposes. Once the paint is dry, using chalk you can write an inspirational quote or word or label the plant. This is a great idea for an herb garden or for a simple Mother's day gift (psst...it's right around the corner)

b) Use your recyclables. Take metal cans in various sizes and using a metal spray paint in high gloss, paint the cans (again it takes about 2-3 coats and do this outside). Once the paint is dry you can add some decorative twine (a very nautical look) or add some ribbon to complete the look. Plant your plants and/or flowers inside.

c) Using a basic terra cotta planter, spray paint the planter in bright, fun colours to add punch and interest to your patio space and plant your plants and/or flowers inside.

3 -- Don't have a green thumb? Check out the By Ward Market in Ottawa and purchase flower baskets or pre-made planters there, whether for ideas of what looks good with what or to purchase. Talk to the merchants and explain your gardening conditions to them (shade, sun, both etc...) You can bring these home and maintain them over the summer. It's not cheating, you are taking steps to learning about gardening.

4 -- Want a no maintenance garden? Decorate your outdoor space with branches and stones in a tall plastic vase. Even though they are not living, it does add life to your space. They are natural and organic materials and they are also no maintenance.

You don't need a large space to have a beautiful garden, just an imagination and a passion!

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