Watters Weekly Garden Classes
Aug 6 – Secret Gardens with Hedges & Privacy Screens. Not all plants are created equal when it comes to intimacy in the garden. This class shows off the best plants, fastest growing, height, thickness, spacing and the local technique that gets them to fill in FAST! You can block unsightly neighbors and enhance your view, or pesky traffic and cut noise and light pollution. Experts will be on hand to help individuals with unique situations.
Aug 13 – Ground Covers and Vines to use in place of lawns without the mowing and care of grass. Soften that rock look with these easy to grow alternatives to a grass lawn, but take the summer heat all that rock throws off. These fast growing plants stay low & tight with less care needed than a lawn mower dreamed of. Learn which evergreen shrubs, herbs and vines soften all that rock, hold the soil from eroding, cool in summer while looking good all year long. A few plants go a long way when students know plants to use locally.
Aug 20 – Juicier Fruits, Grapes & Berries. Central Yavapai county is famous for our wine grapes but you can grow so much more. We will have experts on hand that can share the best producing raspberries, a blackberry bush that produces HUGE berries, more table grapes, gooseberries, currents, elderberries and more. Join in the garden harvest to big, juicy fruiting plants.
Aug 27 – Drip Irrigation Design and Installation (Free) It's time to turn that irrigation back on. Learn the benefits of drip irrigation, the best emitters and parts, how to set a system up or add to it. With the right system you can save water and have healthier plants at the same time. We will also go over how to properly set up and run an irrigation clock.
Sept 3 – How to use Climbers & Clematis in Garden Design. Vines climb quickly up fence posts, pergolas, barbed wire, walls and trellis. They block, screen and shade better then any other plants in the nursery, but not all vines are created equal. Learn these vines favorite locals, sun and shade lovers, and all the advice to get these bloomers climbing. Free to clematis lovers and those that like growing plants.
Sept 10 – Wildlife & Bug Prevention – What's Eatin' Your Garden? Late summer is the peak of the bug season, with intense pressure from the furry visitors in the yards. We have the solutions. Students start with javalina and pack rats, then quickly move to the best solutions for grasshoppers and tomato worms. You can have a nice yard with these easy-to-use tips and a few key plant choices. Frustrated gardeners will have all the advice they can mustard and all Free.
The neighbors' block party, clubhouse friends who flew in for Christmas, and that September garden party that was a time to remember. All of these pleasant recollections were stimulated by the gardens and their incorporated architecture. Visitors hardly realize the design, but they all feel the inviting warmth even if they can't quite find the words to explain the pulse of the event.
Novices describe the air of such environments as beautiful, having an openness, and very stylish. Designers expound on mathematical balances and ratios of hardscape to softscape. Asian culture defines this feeling as feng shui.
Feng shui applied to designing a garden attracts nourishing high energy and delights all the senses. It feels wholesome, well rounded, and balanced. The result is an atmosphere for the garden and the home, its people and pets, that simply flows.
Feng Shui is defined as divine, far eastern and exotic, but I have witnessed good feng shui in Santa Fe-style homes, cottage gardens, southwestern cactus gardens, and high mountain cabins. Feng Shui is not a style, but a feeling that flows in and around a living area. It is an effect achieved through design and décor.
When it comes to a good feng shui design, the size of your garden is not the main factor. Of course, it is wonderful to be surrounded by a big, lush garden, but if all you have is a small space you still can create good feng shui that greets you each and every time you arrive home.
A talented designer is quick to spot unattractive right angles, stark colors, gray concrete, crowded clutter, with a rock lawn that emphasizes a starkness and emptiness. Many new track homes feel empty because they are pale and lacking 'something'. Feng shui can bring that empty feeling into balance and imbue a flow that is just right.
There are some basic principles of feng shui that always seem to feel right. For example, the northeast area of any garden is connected to the energy of 'Personal Growth & Self-cultivation'. This is the ideal space for a contemplative 'earth' garden with beautiful rock formations. This is where you want your landscaper to place those ancient lichen-covered boulders that set your home apart from the ordinary.
In bringing a water element to a garden, consider that the purest sense of feng shui dictates that the southwest areas should be designed to address 'Money & Abundance'; due east 'Health & Family', and the north side defines 'Career & Path' in life; each is an excellent area for a water feature.
Important - In designing your garden, be sure to allow gently curving pathways to flow smoothly for Chi, the universal energy that permeates everything around us. Straight lines are rarely present in nature, so it's more natural to use flowing shapes and pathways for a feng shui garden. This same approach is important for plant placement. Plants don't grow naturally in straight lines. Stagger plants in soft triangular shapes that flow, rather than marching them in single lines across the yard.
Good garden decor can be used to add feng shui touches. Think of the Chi energies needed in each area and match your garden decor accordingly. For example, an outdoor fountain is excellent for the 'Money & Abundance' energy (southeast), while a concrete sculpture of a tortoises protects the 'Career & Path' areas in the north of a garden.
Have fun at this point by using garden elements that please you personally. I am not a feng shui purist. I'm drawn to faces and gargoyles for my garden! But, it's okay to mix styles; at its core feng shui is all about the flow of energy, not a specifically Asian look or style.
If you want to create a play area for your children in the garden, a west feng shui area is recommended as it connects to the energy of children and creativity. Plus, it's the sunny part of the garden when children get home from school. This also is an ideal space for vegetable and/or herb gardens.
Bamboo commonly is used in feng shui designs as it represents power, the ability to get along, and flexibility.
Wind chimes are a wonderful addition to any garden, as their gentle sounds create healing vibrations in the air. There are a variety of wind chimes on the market, from metal to bamboo, with various symbols, colors, and numbers of chimes. Selecting a wind chime ultimately comes down to sound. Choose a chime that is pleasing to your ear, and you'll add positive vibrations to the feng shui of your garden.
In feng shui, colors emphasize various rhythms in a garden. Also, colors are used according to the five elements that bring healing harmony and joy. Choose colors for the garden that emphasize specific energies such as the Fire energy in the southern part of the garden, represented by red and purple flower colors, or the Earth energy in the southwest, with light yellow color.
Enjoy creating your feng shui garden and employ items, colors, and natural elements that bring you pleasure. The more joyful energy you put into your garden, the more joy and healing will be reflected on your home, its residents and visitors, and you.
Until next week, I'll see you at the garden center for more design ideas.