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Gardening

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It only takes a small amount of outdoor space to enjoy the sun on your face and the breeze in your hair from the privacy of home — but if your outdoor space is petite, you might want to consider incorporating a few of these ideas to help your mini getaway feel a little more spacious than it actually is. These tips can help boost your enjoyment of your outdoor space while fooling everyone into thinking it’s bigger than it is.

Gardening has reached new heights as a favorite pastime, and more gardeners are discovering that raised beds make it easier. What’s not to like about bringing plants to a higher level so you don’t have to bend down and work on your knees? You can grow flowers, herbs and vegetables and work the soil while sitting on a ledge — a major plus for anyone with a bad back or not-so-bendable knees. And you can design and locate the raised garden bed where the growing conditions are best.

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Repetition is a fool-proof way to create a cohesive look in a window box. Try planting a 15-foot-long box with repeating groups of ivy ball topiary, chartreuse coleus and white caladium for a sense of flow and order.

Window boxes give gardeners an affordable outlet to do what they love most: experiment. Known as one of the first living walls, window boxes have been a longtime favorite of gardeners. Window boxes continue to be a popular landscape element today and often stand in for front yards at homes that open to the sidewalk. Although there is a lot of creative freedom with planting window boxes, there is a right way to do it. Window boxes show off the wide range of possibilities a few feet of soil can offer, so use our tips to create a floral creation of your own.

A lush ground cover can take over a garden; but when kept in control, the carpet of color provides a backdrop for all your plantings, allowing vibrant flowers and bushes to take center stage. Use ground cover on a terrace or steep slope or in an enclosed courtyard wherever you want to create a well-tended uniform appearance that helps retain moisture and retard the growth of weeds. Since it’s a perennial it will return every year, a welcome feature for a shady area or to cover and surround tree roots close to the surface where little else will grow.

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