When you think of the South, you probably picture friendly folks relaxing on their front porches, sipping mint juleps and enjoying small talk with the neighbors. Along with those vast front porches, your mind may conjure up a vision of a certain style of garden. It’s a little bit English, and a little bit rustic all at once. Southern style gardens certainly have a personality of their own.

Southern California may seem a world away from the Deep South, but you can still enjoy the look and feel of a Southern style garden. If you feel this style of landscaping would suit your home best, we have a few tips to help you cultivate the beautiful Southern style garden of your dreams.

Choose the right plants. Close your eyes and envision the grounds around an old antebellum mansion. What do you see? You probably see bright cherry trees, majestic magnolia trees, dogwoods, and weeping willows. Flowering bushes like azaleas and hydrangeas may line the front porch. Smaller garden areas may include ornamental grasses and wispy annuals and perennials like gaura, miscanthus, verbena, or cranesbill.

Every corner is bursting with vibrant color, and in your daydreams you may clip some of your flowers to use in indoor arrangements. After all, what’s Southern hospitality without the perfect centerpiece for your dining room table? Speaking of supper, a Southern garden just wouldn’t be complete without a few fresh herbs. Many herbs help to ward off common garden pests like rabbits, and the practical Southerner knows that fresh mint is an absolute necessity in a good mint julep (but be sure to include it in a container garden so that it doesn’t invade your whole landscape!).

Include decorative accents. A Southern garden isn’t all about the plants, of course. What’s an old plantation without a stroll along quiet brick or stone walkways? Perhaps a patio area with comfortable seating is more your speed. Other elements to consider are a white picket fence, a birdbath, or a wooden trellis covered with climbing ivy.

You might even want to get creative and whimsical, and include elements such as whisky barrels or old bicycles re-purposed into planters. One important thing to remember is that Southerners are a creative, thrifty people. Nothing goes unused, even if it is unconventional. The end result is often a mix-and-matched combination of different textures, colors, and elements that somehow all work just right together.

If you’re inspired by the idea of a Southern-style garden, give us a call or stop by our nursery. We can help you select the right plants and decorative elements, and then create a plan to pull it all together for the garden of your dreams.

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