Saturday, October 26, 2013

Backyards Ideas for Adding Personality

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of garden designs for us to gravitate towards.  There is the English Garden, the Zen Garden, the Cottage Garden, the Water Garden, the Wildflower Garden, and so on and so forth.  So, how can a garden reflect our personality when so many styles are possible?

I have found that many gardeners enter into a style that looks elegant, or looks pretty, or needs little water, or will grow in the shade.  All of these gardeners, however, do not share the same views, budgets, or climates of many of the other gardeners who choose the same style.  What makes each gardener different?   Personality! 

The dictionary defines Personality as ‘a collection of emotional and behavioral traits that characterize a person.’ 
Well, it so happens that a song that’s been going through my head for the last couple of days may make these differences clearer. That song “Personality” by Lloyd Price and Harold Logan was recorded in 1959, and became a Pop/R & B hit.  So let me show what personality traits the songwriters wrote about and let us translate those characteristics to the garden, -  your garden or my garden, your personality or mine.

'cause you got personality,
Walk, personality
Talk, Personality
Smile, Personality
Charm, personality
Love, personality
And of Cause you’ve got
A great big heart

Walk Personality – Walkways in the garden can be concrete, brick, flagstone, gravel, boards, or mulch, or grass. This feature is about bringing visitors into the garden, and by directing their path, the garden unfolds in front of them.


Personality – your personality – is evident if you are a stroller, and like to mosey along, or are you  a curious person and likes to ‘find’ things quickly?  Perhaps you are a jogger, or a cross-country runner,  any of these ‘Walks” will reflect who you are.

Talk - Personality -  Families, friends, young and old, seem to gravitate to sections of the yard to talk.  A cozy bench, a picnic table, or  lawn chairs scattered around the yard invite people to stop and chat.  The garden style you choose, will define what seating is offered, but be assured, that the talking spots in the garden will give any garden personality.


A camp ring or fire pit encourages conversation

Fences do not keep neighbors from talking

Smile – Personality  Warm, friendly gardens will cause the visitor to smile.  A memory,  a fragrance, a sharing moment, or a humorous piece of yard art can evoke a smile from the grumpiest. 

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Charm -  Personality  Webster defines Charm as  ‘a trait that fascinates or allures'.  Many examples of ‘charm’ come to mind. The ‘charming’ gate, the ‘charming’ planter’, the ‘charming’ gazebo. Define your charm with a formal feature, or with a whimsical element all your own.

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The pond as well as the shed d├ęcor shown here, are certainly different in style. But there is no doubt that the ‘charm’ factor is there.

Love – Personality Your individual personality can come through when you incorporate something you love into the garden design.

The repeating of a favorite color can indicate where your love lies.
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Or perhaps, a favorite plant – that is the focal point in a garden bed will relay that love.

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The love of harvesting your own fruits and vegetables is evident when you can present a table full of good food.

If you love something, there can be no wrong application for  its use in the garden and it incorporates your personality into your space.

Finally, the song wraps up the characteristics of the lover’s personality with the exclamation of having a ‘Great Big Heart’.  As gardeners, and lovers of gardens, we are not shocked at this proclamation. We gardeners take on a roll of caretakers in the garden.  We can not abandon our passion to nurture our plants or to care for our environment. We pour our hearts into the growing and sharing of this endeavor with any who would like to enjoy the garden with us.

Caring for your backyard space, and working into that space examples of your personality will create a garden that will have your heart in it for sure. 
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