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Mountain Gardening: Five Tips for Personalizing Your Garden

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Gardens reflect the personalities of the gardeners who tend them. Here are five tips for personalizing your mountain garden.

Echinacea purpurea 'Raspberry Truffle' is a new plant that looks good enough to eat.
 Penstemon grandiflorous 'Prairie Jewel' is a self-seeding native perennial.

When I first started gardening I wanted to have every kind of garden. I loved the look of pastel flowers in cottage gardens, fell for the hardy nature of plants in a xeriscape and wanted water lilies too.

My yard just wasn't big enough to let me personalize my garden space the way I wanted. But over the years I've found five ways to put my signature on it.

1. Plant something new.
I always grow at least one new perennial each season. Last summer I planted Echinacea purpurea 'Raspberry Truffle' coneflower. It's a treat to watch a new flowering plant take shape in the garden. This one was especially delicious on the eyes, with its pink petals and chocolate cone.

2. Let plants be plants.
Another way I personalize my garden is simply let plants follow their nature. Many native plants, such as Penstemon grandiflorus 'Prairie Jewel', are vigorous self-seeders. What began with one plant in the garden has grown into a long stretch of flowers that continue to replant themselves along the driveway every year.

 A container of edible Asian greens fits in a small space.

3. Plant a kitchen garden.
My garden wouldn't be mine if it didn't have lots of containers of edibles. Leafy greens, for example baby lettuce mixes, are especially easy to sow and grow in small spaces.

 A container of miniature roses fits by the back door.

4. Think small.
Some gardeners like to think big, but sometimes it's more fun to think small. Every summer I plant a container of miniature roses near the back door so I can enjoy their delicate flowers up close.

 A hanging basket overflows with colorful Calibrachoa.

5. Replant a hanging basket.
My garden isn't complete until I replant the plastic hanging basket I've had for many years. Last year it overflowed with three colors of Calibrachoa. I'm thinking Supertunias this time around.

What does your garden say about you?

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