Design on a Dime
Shared plants, recycled items and homemade garden structures give these gardens their own heavenly appeal.
Tribute to Grandma
Lyda Behnke patterned her gardens in Mount Shasta, California after those at her grandmother's ranch. Husband Rusty built this nostalgic arbor, which Lyda dressed up with clematis and climbing roses. Rusty used wood salvaged from the ranch to make fencing, and turned remnants, like an old milk cart, into flower containers.
This attractive recycling project in Rose Reuber's yard in Bow Island, Alberta turned trash into treasure. Rose gathered old fence posts and corral posts to make a new entryway for her garden.
A neighbor's old rocker was headed for the trash pile until Darlene Price's husband salvaged it. He replace the seat with a "hanging basket" of chicken wire and hardware cloth, and Darlene added potting soil and impatiens. "It makes a great focal point," says Darlene of Roswell, Georgia. "Another neighbor threw out a ladder-back chair with a broken cane seat, and I'm going to fix that one up, too."
An annual citywide gardening contest didn't just prod Buffalo, New York residents to spruce up their front yards. It also inspired them to start sharing plants and seeds, making the beautification effort more economical for all. Sandy Whitt took her front yard to new heights with cleome and a vine-covered arbor.
Garden Gnomes Welcome!
"We call this garden gate our 'gnome door,'"says Jill Monczunski of Brighton, Michigan. "Using an old door was my husband's idea. He installed it—minus the window glass, so it's safe for children—and I added the painting. It's become a real conversation piece, and my neighbor's and I have had lots of laughs decorating it."