Themes for Gardens

Lots of Ideas for Creating Themed Gardens

You want your yard to entice your family and friends to spend time outdoors. Different lifestyles and personal preferences need factored in when choosing a theme for your outdoor space.

Would you like a place to just relax after a long day at work or do you want to putter among the flowers? Either way is a great stress reliever, but one may appeal to you more than the other. Browse the themes below for garden ideas and see what inspires you. I’ll be adding more over the next few weeks, so check back often for new ideas.

  • How to Create a Persian Garden |
    The first pleasure gardens in Egypt and Persia were based on water and their long narrow canals ran in grid patterns, stemming from the idea of the four-square paradise garden.
  • How to Create a Japanese Garden |
    Water, plants, and stone are all needed to create a Japanese garden. Simplicity and harmony are the other two essentials.
  • How to Create an Old West Theme Garden |
    Create an Old West Theme garden for arid or poor soil areas. Old West gardens are wonderful for drought-prone regions with water limitations. With the right decorations and landscaping the garden…
  • Bali Garden
    This makes a lovely tropical garden. Check out this beautiful web page with tips for creating your own.
  • Create a Cottage GardenWho can resist the old-fashioned look of a cottage garden. You can have one in your own backyard with the tips provided here.

Choose a Historic Period Theme for the Garden

  • How to Create a Colonial Garden |
    American colonists were practical people. In a new land they made a fresh life. Their gardens fed the family and brought beauty into the home. Gardens held fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers….
Colonial garden in New Hampshire - Strawberry Banke.
Colonial garden in New Hampshire – Strawberry Banke. (photo by Virginia Allain)

Literary Garden Themes

  • How to Plant a Faulkner Garden |
    William Faulkner (1897-1962) was an American writer. His success came from his novels set in his native state of Mississippi.
  • How to Plant an Emily Dickinson Garden 
    Emily Dickinson was an American poet (1830-1886) born in Amherst, Massachusetts. She was a prolific private poet and wrote over 1700 poems though most were not published until after her death.
  • New England garden with a picket fence like Emily Dickinson would have had. (photo by Virginia Allain)
  • How to Plant a Steinbeck Garden |
    John Steinbeck (1902-1968) was born in Salinas, California. The award-winning American writer is famous for books such as “Tortilla Flat,” “Of Mice and Men” and “Grapes of Wrath.” His works were…
  • How to Plant a Shakespeare Garden |
    A Shakespeare garden features herbs, flowers, shrubs and trees found in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets.
  • How to Plant a Robert Frost Garden |
    Robert Frost (1874-1963) was an American poet. His famous poems include “Mending Wall,” “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Bring the lyrical world of Robert Frost to your yard.

Read More about Theme Gardens

Design a Theme GardenThe English Country House GardenZen Gardens: The Complete Works of Shunmyo Masuno

Continue reading

Signs of Fall

Summer was too short this year, especially in New Hampshire where I think we had about three weeks of summery weather. Even while I rue the passing of leisurely summer days, autumn has its own charms. One of those is the colorful displays of chrysanthumums. Mine are just starting to show a little color and I’ll be traveling when they burst into bloom.

Here’s a few photos I’ve taken of mums this year:







mums burgundy

My Nature Photos

I love taking photos of flowers, particularly close-ups.  My other photo interest is wildlife.  My trusty Canon Powershot A550 does a good job for me.  Here are links to my photo albums on Webshots.  When you go to the photo albums, then select SLIDESHOW to see the pictures larger.

Flowers and Plants: 

Oops, out of time for today.  I’ll add to this later and branch out into my photos of alligators, sandhill cranes, etc.

My Gardening Articles

I grew up in the country.  Having greenery around is very soothing, so I’m always planting things.  Here are my articles about plants and growing things.


  • How to Find Flowers to Photograph
  • Chill in Florida

    My impatients look a little nipped this morning after 30 degree temperatures last night.  I’d hastily bunched some of the patio plants together and thrown a sheet over them, but left a few with heavier pots in place unprotected.  It looks like they will survive with just a little die-back.

    It’s expected to be equally cold tonight.  It hasn’t been very warm even today, just barely reaching 51 degrees.  My fingers are cold as I sit here typing.  We get spoiled, here in the Orlando area, with winter temperatures usually in the 70s.  By Friday, it will warm back up.  I’m looking forward to it.

    We cancelled our tee time for golf today.  It’s not much fun playing when it’s really cold.  I have an article about playing golf in cold weather, in case you ever have to do that.

    January 22 – Well, a few things that I didn’t protect well enough froze.  I’ll have to replace a thriving banana plant and  a poinsettia.  If I hadn’t covered them with sheets, I think all the patio plants would be gone.  Warmer weather is expected tomorrow, thank goodness.

    My Photography Articles

    Capturing the Sun
    Capturing the Sun

    I’ve written a number of articles for the eHow site about photography. 

    How to Take Photos at Colonial Williamsburg

    How to Photograph Spring Flowers

    How to Have a Photo Scavenger Hunt

     How to Take an Alphabet of Photos

     How to Take a Photo a Day for a Year

    How to Take Food Photos to Go with Recipes

    How to Take Photos at Magic Kingdom 

    How to Take Photos at Epcot 

    How to Take Animal Kingdom Photos That You’ll Love

    How to Photograph Alligators on a Florida Vacation

    How to Find Flowers to Photograph

    How to Take Photos From a Car

    How to Photograph Mushrooms 

    How to Add Photos That Enhance an eHow Article

    How to Take Spider Web Photos

    Here’s a few more:

    How to Look Better in Snapshots

    How to Make Cards from Photos

    How to Write Family Memories Triggered by Photos 

    How to Save Wedding Photos to a Group Website

    How to Make a Family Memory Book using Photoworks or Other Print-On-Demand Sites