How to Create a Welcoming Southern Garden

We are still getting settled into our new home. We really do love it here. Making it a home is just taking a bit longer than we expected. For example, because we had such a mild winter, extremely hot summer, and because the house we bought wasn’t protected against insects, gardening is something we are putting off until the fall.

I miss it.

At our old home we planted early in the spring. Creating a welcoming southern garden is something I look forward to. When I walk outside to enjoy the day, grab the mail, or pull up in the car, I like to see nature welcoming and beckoning me to come in. I want my guests to feel the same way.

These photos are from our old house when we were blogging on, I wanted to show you some ways we made our garden more inviting.

Make it Meaningful

That snappy little alligator is more than a reminder of our cultural heritage. It is a reminder of my late grandpa and a favorite of Matthias’. My grandpa hand painted this alligator when I was a child. It has been displayed at my grandparent’s house for as long as I can remember. What makes it even more special is how much Matthias loves it. Seeing it displayed in our garden makes me smile every time.

Maybe you like bird baths, a particular style of rocks, or concrete statues. Whatever your preference only place things you love inside the perimeter of your garden.

Make it Regional

I live in the south; the deep south. That means we are in a tropical climate and must plant accordingly. It wouldn’t make any sense to plant flowers that couldn’t endure our summers. When buying always look at the care instructions. Just because something is sold at a local nursery or big box store doesn’t mean it is a good choice for your outdoor garden.

Our gardens can reach their full potential by choosing plans that grow best here. My favorite is the Hibiscus. I’m also quite fond of Honeysuckle, Morning Glories, Peace Lilies and Four O-Clocks. Okay so the truth is my list could go on and on. I enjoy beautiful, fragrant flowers.

Make it a Family Event

When we plant our gardens we get everyone involved. Even the little ones. Giving everyone a say and having them participate creates more moments of joy to embed in our memories. It also gives us stories to tell when guests compliment us on our landscaping.

One of my favorite memories from this garden is when Andrew and I went shopping for more plants to include. He came across a Desert Rose that looked like it had seen better days. I honestly thought the thing was dead or close to it anyway. He was determined to nurse it back to health. He was so sincere that I had to let him try. Today, it thanks us by sharing the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen. Had Andrew not pushed for it who knows what would have come of that plant.

Make it Inviting

I like to make our gardens lead you down a path to the door or a sitting area. If you have a front porch space it is also a good idea to add a rocking chair or bench. You can also include a walkway or trail. Something that causes you to want to walk into the garden space.

This fall, I’m really looking forward to redoing the generic flower beds we have at our new house and personalizing them with some flowers, paths, and memories that make us smile but until them I’m having fun planning and prepping!

What do you do to make your flower gardens welcoming? Do you have any favorite plans or flowers?

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  1. Great ideas! We own a landscaping company in Southern California and also wanted to point out that there are amazing online resources available to homeowners who would like to create sustainable landscapes and plan their gardens with water wise plants in mind. With water such a precious commodity in so many states, this is becoming more of an issue for everyone. While we are on the west coast, our website has links to Monrovia’s online plant catalog (type in your garden setting/color preferences/etc and it provides plant ideas for you) and other resources that can help homeowners plan beautiful gardens. Beautiful yard ideas are much more accessible than they used to be!

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