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It might be my slightly obsessive personality, but when I get into something I really get into it.  I’ve never had the greenest thumb or loved the outdoors I actually stayed inside a lot growing up while the rest of my family worked in the yard but over the last few years I can’t help but want to be outside, surrounded by beautiful plants this time of year.  Gardening last summer was really therapeutic for me: no phones, no computers, the simplicity of the dirt and using my hands.

We have some big plans for our front yard and landscaping this year last year we tackled a lot in the back.  While the front will be getting a major facelift, I’m anxious to get out and start cleaning up the beds and plotting some new plants to add in to the back too.  Here are some things that have been inspiring my outdoor plans the last few months.

PALM COURTS and CONSERVATORIES: Our backyard has a lot of hard surfaces, from concrete to decking.  This can sometimes make it difficult to find plant inspiration, but I’ve been greatly inspired by palm courts and observatories as of late.  I first heard of a palm court on the show Mr. Selfridge quite a few years ago.  The idea of a large atrium structure, filled with potted palms, and used for entertaining at the turn of the 20th century feels so grand.  You could find palm courts at all of the fanciest hotels, even the Titanic had one.  I also love the look of a very traditional conservatory.  These were often on the side or back of a manor and housed all kind of exotic plants popular among the Victorians.  Our covered deck is no atrium, but I think we could get a similar feel and create a space that is both relaxing and interesting.  See some of my inspiration on my Pinterest board.

MONTY DON: I started watching Monty this winter, beginning with his French and Italian Gardens series on Netflix.  Then I moved on to his more relatable series called Big Dreams Small Spaces.  The man is not only charming and kind, he’s a wealth of knowledge and constantly giving wonderful tips and tricks for your plantings.  To say I’m obsessed is an understatement, and I long to have the lush, thriving plantings he features and cultivates.  He has a great tips and advice section on his website that is updated monthly, if you’re looking for some great nuggets to start with.

THE SECRET GARDEN:  I’ll never forget my love for this movie, dating back to the third grade.  I was very adamant that we get the VHS that also came with the free, silver locket.  I still have that locket in my jewelry box, and it still houses pictures of my brother and sister from a few decades ago.  Milly got the book from the library recently, and a few weeks ago we cuddled up to take in the movie that shaped much of my childhood.  As a little girl I think I loved the movie for the story since it clearly didn’t inspire me to get outside much.  As a grown woman I also loved it for the beauty.  From the home to the gardens, the tapestries lining her bedroom walls to the explosion of colorful plants covering the secret garden, it was all so inspiring.  Someone recommended this interactive version of the book, I think I’ll order it for Milly to enjoy.

Is your backyard or as the British call them, garden on your mind too?  What are you feeling inspired by this year?


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