I'm not much of a green thumb. It's no secret. I grew up in a family of scientists and musicians who kept a nice tidy yard, with absolutley nothing fancy going on. And I mean nothing.

An example of a fun garden project in the Moore household would be to plant a border of marigolds up the side of the driveway or a couple of uber prolfic zuchinni plants in the back yard.

My husband, Sam, on the other hand, had grandparents who had multiple acres of vegetable garden. His grandfather, Farnham McArthur, had an enormous garden that he cared for himself into his 90s. Since he was, by then, a widower who lived alone, he simply gave most of it away.

Since buying our first home in 1992, we've learned a thing or two. We stil go for an easy (and I mean very easy) maintenance yard. Because — as much as we appreciate beautiful landscapes — we don't get much joy toiling in the yard. But we try to get the most bang for our buck. This year we have three projects in mind.

Patio Trellace

The western sun in the evening can make the patio unbearably hot. We have a small strip of dirt dividing the under-deck patio and a side driveway. That strip runs north and south and has water piped to it. Growing a vine up in the space would shield the patio from this searing heat and make it more usable. We looked for a fast-growing plant that has beautiful foilage, bright flowers, and a nice smell.

Clematis Patio Project

Here are the project steps:

  1. Plant three clamatis, evenly spaced in the dirt. (Two can be seen in the photograph.)
  2. Cover the dirt with weed barrier fabric.
  3. Cover the fabric with landscape rocks.
  4. Buy a vinyl privacy trellis panel to match the opening between the deck support posts. (We're using a diamond pattern, but any would work.
  5. Tie some of the clematis shoots to the trellis and/or weave the around the openings to get them started.
  6. Water as prescribed.

Vinyl Privacy Lattice

Front Porch Potted Plant with Drips

Years ago we bought a huge blue and yellow pot to hold a ficus tree in our blue and yellow Florida home. Now that our home doesn't have blue decor, the pot no longer fits inside. But on our front porch it's beautiful. We plan to copy an arrangement from a magazine, extend a drip line to the pot, and watch it grow.

Square Foot Garden

The big one this year will be to (finally) install our square foot garden. We have the plot cleaned out and the area covered with weed barrier. Next we'll install large vinyl grow boxes, put down some gravel, add the freshly made compost to the mix, and plant our veggie starts.

What are your summer garden plans?