Design & Decor - Design Ideas

Creative camouflage

With some imagination, sheds and garages can become elegant garden features

Consider the plants
Once you transform your garage or shed into a worthy garden feature, highlight it with vines, shrubs and perennials that provide long-lasting blooms or attractive foliage for most of the growing season. Many garages or storage sheds have overhanging eaves that shade beds below and prevent rain from reaching plants. Choose varieties that tolerate less-than-ideal situations or site your walkway next to the wall and plant a border or bed on the outside edge where water and sun are more available. If you have an existing narrow bed that can't be widened or relocated, choose upright, narrow plants or plants with small footprints that won't crowd a walkway. Use clematis (especially the hardy, small-flowered cultivars of Clematis alpina and C. viticella), wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei) or honeysuckle (Lonicera spp. and cvs.) instead of the bulkier climbing hydrangea or roses. On sunny walls, annual vines such as morning glory, moonflower, hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus) and balloon vine (Cardiospermum halicacabum) are fast-growing and floriferous. Or, if you're truly ambitious, espalier an apple or pear tree.

Long-blooming, easy-going perennials
Bugleweed (Ajuga cvs.)
Lady's mantle (Alchemilla mollis)
Dwarf goatsbeard (Aruncus aethusifolius)
‘Pumila' dwarf astilbe (Astilbe chinensis ‘Pumila')
Thread-leaf tickseed (Coreopsis verticillata)
Yellow fumitory (Corydalis lutea)
Fringed bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia)
Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum)
Cranesbill (Geranium spp. and cvs.)
Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp. and cvs.)
Coral bells (Heuchera spp. and cvs.)
Hosta (Hosta spp. and cvs.)
Foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Periwinkle (Vinca minor)

Compact shrubs
Boxwood (Buxus spp. and cvs.)
‘Compacta' deutzia (Deutzia x lemoinei ‘Compacta')
‘Blaauw' Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Blaauw')
‘Pleniflora' double kerria (Kerria japonica ‘Pleniflora')
Shrubby cinquefoil
(Potentilla fruticosa)
‘Little Princess' or
‘Shirobana' Japanese spirea
(Spiraea japonica ‘Little Princess' or ‘Shirobana')
‘Columnaris' Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata ‘Columnaris')

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