Maximize the Appearance of Your Garden With These Tricks

If you love gardening but don’t have much space, you can still have a great garden. With creative visual planting, your garden can look larger than it really is. Here are some helpful garden design ideas to help you create the illusion of a spacious garden.

  • garden design ideas
    Source: Marvin Gardens Facebook

    Plant larger plants near the front of your garden and smaller plants at the back. This will give a two-dimensional illusion of depth that will make your garden area feel larger.

  • Select tall trees with slender trunks that will create height in your garden. Many arborvitae, juniper and Leyland cypress trees are fast growing and provide good height without width.

  • Plants with large leaves and coarse textures create strong contrast. Plant them towards the front of your garden with finer-textured plants towards the back to create the illusion of more space.

  • Color creates strong visual interest. Strong, warm colors like red, orange, yellow and brown expand and appear closer. Soft, cool colors like green, blue, lilac and pink recede and appear further away. To create depth in your garden, plant warm colors near the front and cool colors near the back.

For more garden design ideas and gardening advice, contact us at Marvin Gardens.

Ideas for Turning an Unsightly Side Yard Into a Beautiful Walkway

designing an outdoor space
Source: Pinterest

Your front yard is gorgeous, filled with lush plants and a carefully manicured lawn. The back yard is the perfect oasis for relaxation. The side yard? Unfortunately, it’s usually home to an air conditioning unit and needs some attention. The time for your side yard to fulfill its potential has arrived, and it is time to create some beauty that will connect your front yard with the back.

To maximize the potential for your side yard, consider:

  • Hiding the air conditioning unit. Strategically wrapping the unit will reduce its prominence in the space and make it less of an eyesore. Make sure the unit is still accessible and the wrap allows for proper operation.
  • Planting low maintenance plants. Many side yards are hard to grow in. They either rarely see shade or never get a glimpse of direct sunlight. Determine if your area needs heat loving or shade loving plants and choose low maintenance varieties.
  • Adding a surprise. Beautiful potted plants along the house, stepping stones to the air conditioning unit, or a trellis all provide visual interest to the space. Add a surprise to make the space feel special.

If you’d like to learn more about designing an outdoor space, visit Marvin Gardens today!

Use Skeleton Keys for an Antique Touch Around Your Home

Source: Marvin Gardens Facebook

For people who love antique touches in their home and garden, few antiques have the personality and versatility of skeleton keys.  These small and beautifully designed trinkets have a wide variety of decorative applications that make them absolutely irresistible to collect.  If you want to unlock some antique charm in your home, consider these ideas for decorating with skeleton keys:

Frame skeleton keys to turn them into decorative wall art.  You can either hang the keys on the wall and hang an empty frame around them or you could get a shadow box decorated with parchment or scrapbook paper and arrange keys artfully within it.  Skeleton keys also display nicely hung on a simple piece of wood or arranged between photos or vintage-style artwork.

In addition to hanging beautifully on a wall, skeleton keys can be arranged with other objects to create a centerpiece for a table.  For example, you can tie a few keys around some candles with a pretty ribbon or arrange them on a vintage plate with some flowers or another, larger antique find.

Other great ideas include using skeleton keys in a bouquet or as a way to indicate seating for a dinner party. They can even be hung together in your garden as a fun wind chime.

If you want to get creative with skeleton keys in your home, be sure to stop by Marvin Gardens in Wilton, CT.  We have plenty of skeleton keys from which to choose!

Koi Sculptures Bring Beauty Without Hassle

garden decor
Image via Marvin Gardens Facebook

Many gardeners think at one time or another about including a koi pond in their garden, but keeping and maintaining these delightful fish can be a burdensome task.  If you are thinking about adding one to your yard, there are some challenges to think about first.

To begin with, the initial investment for the design, materials and construction of the pond will run into the thousands of dollars.  Later costs for fish, energy, food and maintenance will keep adding up as well.  In addition, the time spent cleaning and maintaining a smoothly functioning pond can take away from the rest of your gardening, and enjoyment of your free time.

At Marvin Gardens, our folk art koi fish sculptures seem to swim through the flowers and plants of your garden.  These pieces will add whimsy and fun to your gardens while saving you the hassle of a full koi pond commitment. Contact us to talk about this and other ideas for creating a beautiful and unique low-maintenance garden design.


Land and Sea: Ocean Inspired Gardens

garden accessories
Image via Marvin Gardens Facebook

With summer just around the corner, gardeners and ocean lovers alike can share the natural wonders of the beach, colors of the ocean coral and the beauty of the unique plants right in their own gardens. Using ocean themed garden design ideas you can experience the beauty of the ocean all summer.

Oceans provide a landscape of picturesque coral reefs of many colors, shapes and sizes. Bursts of blue, orange and red cover the reefs and give way to unique shaped plants and rocks. Incorporating these colors and natural wood elements, along with various garden containers filled with shallow rooted plants will bring your garden design idea to life.

Choosing healthy, colorful plants and cacti in all sizes then pairing them with shells and barnacles throughout the garden easily merges the aesthetics of land and sea. Adding driftwood pieces along paths made of sea glass and pebbles create a beach-like effect. Seating for entertaining and unique lighting will take you back to the ocean each time.

Make your ocean garden one of a kind and add elements for entertaining or just relaxing. Visit us at Marvin Gardens to see our ocean-themed decor to inspire your own garden!

Mini Plants for Mini People: Gardening With Children

Custom gardens
Image via Marvin Gardens Facebook

Gardening with children is a great way to keep them active during the summer months, and it can also be an opportunity to teach valuable life lessons. But, just as plants need room to grow, so do your children. Watch your children thrive this summer by giving them a garden of their very own.

When planning your garden, leave a special piece of land just for each child. The area can be as big or small you like. The point is to give them their own place to grow their own plants. This will not only help teach them the importance of responsibility, but will also foster creativity when it comes to unique plant combinations and locations.

As the season progresses and your garden grows, your children will learn the importance of proper care to ensure that their garden grows as lavish as possible. Though some mistakes may be inevitable, you can help your kids succeed by growing a variety of very low-maintenance succulents available at Marvin Gardens.

Kids love to get dirty. Indulge them with a shovel, a plot of dirt and plants from your local nursery, then watch as your children blossom with excitement at the sight of their own garden growing.  Feel free to share photos of their gardens!

Garden Seating: How to Stay Creative

outdoor furniture accessories
Image via Pinterest

If you want to spend hours of comfort in your garden, having proper seating is a must. We’ll look at some unique options to keep your garden creative and a fun place to relax.

We’ve all seen the typical patio and lawn furniture, but why settle for that? Waterproof fabric is available in an array of styles and options. Get yourself an outdoor couch that can withstand the elements and not only look great, but is incredibly inviting. Why not place it on your back lawn under a large tree to relax on those hot summer days?

You can also incorporate nature directly into your set-up by creating chairs out of logs or finding large flat stones and covering them in pillows. You can even create indoor rooms outside by getting yourself a large waterproof fabric mattress and dressing it in pillows. You can hang sheets around it or even a mosquito net to keep away the pests.

Consider placing pairs of chairs all throughout your yard so your guests can relax in a number of spots.  You can mix and match chair styles for an eclectic appearance.

These are just a few of many options for seating arrangement in your yard or garden. For more helpful tips and ideas, contact our knowledgeable staff at Marvin Gardens.

The Topiary Traditions of Pearl Fryar

Every now and then, we come across the work of designers and artists that is so impressive that we are immediately compelled to share it with you, our Marvin Gardens readers; such is the work from Pearl Fryar.

After moving with his wife to South Carolina during the 1980s, Pearl Fryar set out to create a garden worthy of the local garden club’s Yard of the Month award. His motivation came from the community, as they expected that the African American couple would not keep up their yard properly. At the time, he knew nothing of gardening yet fashioned his three acre garden from salvaged plants from a local garden center’s throwaways. In doing so, he created a garden full of distinctive shapes and garden artwork.

topiary design

Pearl Fryar went on to create incredible topiary designs though he had no formal training in horticulture or art. His work can now be seen anywhere. From local colleges and his hometown, to the Phillip Simmons Garden in Charleston and the South Carolina State Museum, his topiaries are certainly captivating.

He states:

“Gardening books will tell you that some of these things in my garden can’t be done, but I had never read them when I got started. Not knowing ahead of time that something is supposed to be impossible often makes it possible to achieve. I didn’t have any limitations because I really didn’t know anything about horticulture. I just figured I could do whatever I wanted with any plant I had.”

topiary design

What do you think of these topiary designs? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!

Source and images via GardenHistoryGirl

Showcasing the Marvin Gardens Product Line!

When you visit Marvin Gardens (or our new satellite location at Hiden Galleries!) you can expect to have a new shopping experience. Rather than stocking our shop with generic products that can be found at any landscaping store, Marvin Gardens features products that stimulate your creativity. With dozens of unique planters, urns, and other garden accessories, you’ll be able to make your landscape a true original. If you’re looking for something specific, we likely carry that too. Take a look at the impressive Marvin Gardens Product Line.

Cast Iron Urns

Wrought Iron Driveway, Garden Gates, and Fencing

Cast Stone and Cement Planters

Zinc and Lead Planters 

Contemporary and Vintage Statuary 

Vintage Birdbaths 

Vintage Industrial Bins

Metal Folk Art Animals





Custom Iron Sculptures

Antique and Vintage Architectural Elements 

Interior Furnishings and Accessories 

Vintage and Antique Lighting

Antique Hand Hewn Beams and Floorboards

Specialty/Exotic Perennials and Annuals such as Citrus Trees 

Australian Tree Ferns 

Succulents and Tillandsia 

Vintage Garden Tools 

Garden Design Services

And a multitude of other Garden Elements and Accessories!

Wondering how to incorporate these items into your landscape? We would be happy to help! Just stop by Marvin Gardens at 713 Danbury Road in Wilton, CT to get started!

With unique plants such as this Tillandsia Xerographica, we can help you create a sophisticated, original garden.

Four Reasons to Attend the Philadelphia International Flower Show

As we shared with you a few weeks ago, this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show is quickly approaching! To be held from Sunday, March 4 through Sunday, March 11, the annual event will once again bring together some of the finest garden talents in all of the world. In fact, since Marvin Gardens will also be one of the exhibitors in attendance, we encourage all of our readers to do the same! Here are four of our favorite reasons we think you should attend the Philadelphia International Flower Show.

1. Exceptional Talent of Designers

 This show is dedicated to showcasing the finest talent in today’s garden design. Creative designers worldwide who have spent decades perfecting their work will be on hand to showoff their skill!

2. Evening Outings

The Garden Show isn’t just a daytime event. Be sure to keep up with information about the Flower Show Preview Party, Wedding Wednesday, Girls’ Night, and other evening events.

3. Events for Everyone

During the daytime events at the show, you’ll find activities for everyone. There will be culinary demonstrations, wine tasting, a Garden Tea, and garden lectures.

4. Proceeds Support PHS

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) receives tremendous support from the Garden Show each year. Proceeds allow the PHS to continue to “improve the quality of life and create a sense of community through horticulture.”

To learn more about what we have been up to at Marvin Gardens, just subscribe to our blog by entering your email address on our blog home page!

flower show waterfall
Each year, we find that the Philadelphia International Flower Show gives us an extra boost of enthusiasm for the approaching spring season.


Image via berrihol