By Sharon Omahen
University of Georgia
Heirloom gardens are typically full of plants reminiscent of gardens from the Old South. What better, more creative way to label your selections than with china plate name markers?
Other yard art ideas include using an old wheelbarrow or wooden chest as a planter. A brass headboard from an old bedroom suite may seem useless, but in a flower garden it becomes an attractive minifence or clear indication of a flower bed.
If you can't find odds and ends to perk up your flower gardens, UGA experts suggest turning to colors or scents for unique garden ideas. You can easily plant a patriot garden with red, white and blue flowers. Or put in a fragrant garden by selecting flowers whose scents you enjoy.
Gardening by heartDesign a memorial garden by installing plants in a heart-shaped design. As a tribute, select plants that were your loved one's favorites.
If water's in short supply in your landscape, consider installing a xeriscape garden. Xeriscape gardens typically include plants that require less water and are more drought-resistant. Placing the garden near your downspout will allow rainwater to be used as a water source.
To put rainwater to further use, install a rain garden.
Rain gardens are designed to capture and absorb storm water runoff. Most of this water runs off hard surfaces like sidewalks, driveways and roofs.
Rain-garden plants must be able to survive flooding for 48 hours. They must also be able to tolerate prolonged periods of dry weather, too, and even drought.
Research, Education GardenTo get up-close and personal flower gardening ideas, visit the UGA Research and Education Garden in Griffin, Ga. At the garden, homeowners can see several theme gardens, including the new rain garden.
Other theme gardens on the site include children's, herb, xeriscape, rock, water, butterfly, heirloom, turf, native plant and antique rose gardens.
Admission to the R&E Garden is free. It's open from May through September from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information on the garden, call (770) 467-6012. Or see the garden's Web site at www.griffin.edu/garden.
To see creative yard art and memorial and heirloom gardens, visit the teaching garden on the grounds of the Senior Citizens Center at 1001 Univeter Road in Canton, Ga.
The garden was installed by UGA Master Gardeners in Cherokee County, Ga. For directions, call the Cherokee County Cooperative Extension Office at (770) 479-0421.
For more gardening ideas, see the UGA Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture Web site at www.ugagarden.com.
(Sharon Omahen is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)