My love affair with gardening didn’t begin until I was well into adulthood. Once I purchased a home, however, I began to dabble. Then, I befriended a lovely woman, originally from England, who was an accomplished gardener who magically created what seemed to be an instant cottage garden (we moved into the neighborhood at the same time). Lucky for me, we began trading ideas, swapping plants, and obsessing over gardening books together. After that, there was simply no stopping me.
And, I’ve learned a lot since those early days.
One of my greatest lessons had nothing to do with trees, flowers or shrubs. What I found after some trial and error (and abject failure, if I am completely honest) is that the most important part of creating a beautiful and relaxing garden is not the plant selection – it’s the structure.
One day I realized that every single one of my Pinterest garden board photos included some structure – a stone wall, a pergola, a slate walkway, a garden arbor, or simply a pole-mounted birdhouse. These structures added form, height, and a framework for rambunctious cottage garden beds and pots rioting with colorful flowers.
So, I got busy!
For example, my gardens now boast hundreds of feet of rock borders with rocks laboriously dug from the neighboring creek and trundled home by wheelbarrow. This was an inexpensive (ok, free) way to add some interest. But, if you don’t have time for such labor-intensive projects, I’ve discovered a much easier way: Walpole Outdoors! Walpole Outdoors is my ultimate go-to resource and inspiration for all things garden related — from pergolas to fencing, arches to windows boxes, and even garden furniture.
For example, one easy update is a new garden arch. The right one adds a romantic, cottage garden feel to any garden — even if yours is a tiny patch in the city. The Sheffield Arbor with Elliptical Arch, pictured above, adds a dash of charming style to any garden. This arch would be stunning covered in climbing roses or clematis and is offered with or without a Chippendale bench. Retail price $1,801.00 – $2,179.00.
I also love how window boxes instantly dress up a plain house. If your home isn’t blessed with distinctive architectural details (and my traditional 2-story suburban colonial was most definitely not) window boxes provide an instant facelift. Fill them with vibrant annuals in the spring and summer, harvest bounty in the fall, and fresh greens with striking red berry accents during the holidays! The classic Bullnose Window Box, shown, is one of my favorites and is available in six different widths to fit any window. The Bullnose Window Box retail price is dependent on window width and ranges from $286.00 – $392.00.
Need fast structure, with no installation necessary? Simply plunk an obelisk in the garden. It’s lovely enough to leave unadorned, or train vines or roses to climb it, if you are more ambitous. The Lattice Obelisk Bases, right, are offered in two sizes. Choose your base, then add on a Sphere Cap or leave plain. Prices vary depending on size and range from $96.00 – $349.00 (cap sold separately).
To see the entire online catalog including stunning fences, gates, pergolas, arbors, mail and lantern posts, furniture, and must-have instant cottage garden decor, visit the Walpole Outdoors website.
I’m inspired! Now… where’s my garden trowel?
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Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to a life filled with style. You’ll find everything from gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, fashion and beauty, plus the latest products for parties, weddings, and events of all kinds. Susan Said…WHAT?! was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.com. Editor Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait!