5 Things That Inspired Me

People want to be inspired. Especially gardeners. I am always on the lookout for new design ideas. New plants, new color schemes, new containers. These elements help create a space that reflects your personality.

Take a virtual tour of Terrain and check out five design ideas you can steal for your garden and home. Best of all, you don’t have to leave your house.

Sign showing the direction to the Styers Garden Cafe.

Be on the lookout for items in your attic, basement, or garage that have been put aside. You can bring new life to discarded items by using them in new ways. Old baskets and metal containers make great planters. Galvanized buckets, old clay pots, and chicken wire can be used to create something unique for your space. Cut branches and shrubs can be placed in vases on a table to bring the outdoors in. You’re only limited by your imagination. 

1.  Use Plants to Add Personality

If you are a Gardener, you have a soft spot in your heart for plants. There are so many ways to add elements of the natural world to our everyday lives. Container gardens, cut flowers on a table, potted succulents on a window sill, and seasonal wreaths are just a few.

Let’s take a look at how Terrain uses plants. The photos may spark an idea.

A green and purple foliage container design at Terrain.

Containers are the best part of gardening in my opinion. They can be unique each season and allow you to try new plants and experiment with new colors. Containers can be used to spruce up a patio, decorate an entryway, and convert a small balcony into a garden.

Nursery yard at Terrain.

Sticking to a color scheme helps create a sense of unity. The nursery yard at Terrain is a great example of the power of color design. They take the time to arrange plants with care. The photograph above shows chartreuse-colored plants collected into a single space. All these plants go together. They vary the textures and heights of the plants and the results are striking. 

The key to Terrain’s success is how each space is designed. They don’t just plop plants down onto tables for customers to purchase. They take the time to collect plants and consider their colors and textures. They intentionally place items to show off their best features. These spaces are thoughtful.

Nursery yard display at Terrain using large groupings of plants to full effect.

I love the use of old wooden crates to display plants. These plants are for sale, but the arrangement makes the space look special. There are different heights and textures of plants and the colors are coordinated perfectly. You can use these design features to create a unique garden space of your own.

Container design using different plant textures to great effect.

Don’t forget the power of adding hanging pots throughout your garden to add personality. The planter above incorporates plants that are all green (when this photo was taken the Clematis wasn’t blooming), but they have different textures. I especially love the moss. 

Think about how you can use elements foraged from your backyard. During early Spring, moss grows everywhere. Most people consider moss a weed, but not me. I collect moss and use it to cover the soil of potted spring bulbs. That fuzzy green moss is one of my favorite things. And it’s free.

2.  Use Ordinary Materials to Create Something Extraordinary

One of my favorite things about Terrain is how they use common materials to create extraordinarily unique pieces.

Clever use of a galvanized metal pan to create an ivy-covered privacy screen.

The photograph above shows a room divider that I saw in the cafe. This divider is something I want to create for my patio. It’s made by planting ivy in a galvanized metal trough.  The ivy is growing on a framework of what appears to be concrete metal mesh. You can buy concrete metal mesh at Home Depot. You can also create a similar framework using chicken wire.

Tabletop planted with turf creates a fun focal point for a patio.

Here’s another great example of ordinary materials being used to create something extraordinary. This table has been planted with grass seed.  The grass adds such a cool design element. You can create something similar by planting grass seed into a shallow planter and placing it on a table. Wouldn’t this make the perfect Easter centerpiece?

3.  Keep Your Color Palette Clear and Simple

The visual displays inside the Terrain store demonstrate the power of color design. Take a look at the photos below to see how effective a limited color palette is.  These spaces are designed and they celebrate the beauty of the natural world. Each space has a specific color scheme.  Think about this when you design your indoor and outdoor spaces.

A simple color palette used for visual display in Terrain.
A visual display inside Terrain using natural textures and colors to create a welcoming space.
Hand-fabricated lantern covers arranged by color.
A topiary display at Terrain.

4.  Use Vertical Space

Adding plants to vertical spaces is the perfect way to hide less attractive features in your garden and create more space for plants. If you have a fence or wall that’s not in great shape, think about covering it with a vertical garden. 

Vertical planters used with great effects outside the Terrain building.
The Styers Garden Cafe decorated with old oil funnels filled with plants.

Antique funnels are used in the entrance to the Terrain Cafe in the photograph above. They’ve strategically placed each funnel underneath the one above it. When the plants are watered, they drain into the planter below to conserve water. This is a clever way to reuse materials that might otherwise be discarded.

5.  Bring Nature Indoors

The natural world is filled with beauty. There are a lot of ways to bring the outdoors into our homes. Cut branches and stems set into water-filled vases, wreaths made from materials foraged from our gardens, and potted plants are just a few. Nature has a calming effect on people, and we need that more than ever during this stressful time of quarantines and Coronavirus.

Bringing nature indoors creates a calm, peaceful environment. These don’t need to be elaborate. Just cut a branch and place it into a clear vase. You’ll be amazed at the impact it has. Here are a few examples of how you can add a touch of nature to your home.

A rustic table centerpiece filled with succulents adds a special design element.
Handmade grape wreath makes a unique wall decoration.
A table filled with plants at Terrain.

There you have it. Five design ideas you can steal from Terrain to make your home and garden into a haven for peace and tranquility. We will get through this difficult time together. Thank God for our gardens. We need these nature-inspired spaces now more than ever.  

Happy gardening and stay safe!

More Terrain Resources if You’re Interested

Terrain: Ideas and Inspiration for Decorating the Home and Garden edited by Greg Lehmkuhl.

The Terrain at Styers website.

Twinkle lights make everything better.


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