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Mid-Atlantic Gardening: My Garden Signature

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Express your signature style in your Mid-Atlantic garden to create a one-of-a-kind backyard escape--guaranteed to make you smile.

 Here's an example of a well-populated butterfly container garden.
Lettuce can grow well in a container garden.

It's fun to create a green space that reflects your personal style. Your garden signature might express a love for wildlife, a passion for healthy soil or a zeal for homegrown produce. Discover ways to transform your yard into a beautiful and productive space that showcases your garden signature.

Gardening is a lifelong learning experience. In the midst of discovering new techniques, I relied on tried-and-true tricks to create a healthy, beautiful garden. These tricks form my garden signature.

Attract Pollinators
Attracting pollinators is vital for delicious garden produce. I always plant a butterfly container garden using a plastic window-box-style pot (above). Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds can't resist lantanas, pentas and salvias. I position my butterfly container garden near seating areas for prime viewing. (To learn more about attracting pollinators, see my last article)

Lettuce in Pots
Years of battling slugs and bunnies for lettuce inspired me to plant in pots. I place pots just outside the door, which makes lettuce care and harvest a breeze. Rabbits don't like coming close to the house, so I don't have to share the harvest.

A tomato cage tuteur adds stability and decoration.

Creative Recycling
For an eye-catching trellis I slide one 54-inch tomato cage inside another and wire the legs together. This trellis gives the vegetable garden structure in every season. It hosts snow peas in spring and flowering vines (to lure pollinators) in summer. Anchor it to the ground with landscape fabric pins and a short stake. In windy settings wire the stake to the cage.

Burying compost enriches the soil.

Build Healthy Soil
In nations where garden space is precious, gardeners bury compostable items among crops to build healthy soil. When digging in heavy clay soil, use a short-handled mattock. Bury waste a few inches deep to discourage digging critters.

Elephant ears grow true to their name.

Think Big
I love plants like elephant ears, that grow bigger than me in a single summer. Nothing eats these leafy giants--not insects or four-legged pests. The more you water, the bigger the leaves grow. Add compost to planting holes and apply biweekly liquid fertilizer starting July 4. Plant them where you'll hear rain thudding against the leaves. It's an amazing sound.

What makes up your garden signature?