My Outdoor Haven Comes to Life In Time for Memorial Day

lemon grasses

Lemon grass is just the thing to create privacy in my outdoor gathering space.

I’m working on my outdoor gathering area this week. It’s a spot off the lower level of my home where my family and friends like to congregate in the summer at the end of the day.

So far, I’ve purchased three boxwood plants from Telly’s Greenhouse (a great nursery in Troy, MI) and I’ll put them in planters with some pops of cool colors in the way of purple and blue annual flowers, and maybe some whites as well. It’s a classic look that works for me. I also have new containers from Williams-Sonoma and some made of fibrous glass and cement stone that are durable and lightweight — one is square and one rectangular. Some others are coming that are zinc-plated/galvanized (perfect for all weather conditions in the summer!). Can’t wait to receive them!

My tips for a great outdoor space include the following:

Mix it up: Group different-size pots together (in odd numbers). This includes varying heights, too. Or keep, say, three all the same and line them up, which looks expecially good when creating a “wall” of green, like shown at left.

Classic class: Consider a more formal, symmetrical feel and use just two large pots of classic greenery, such as boxwood.

Fire up: Consider some sort of fireplace or central area for gathering. I have a cast-stone fireplace “column” in which we put tins for fire.


I purchased boxwood from a local nursery and will add some blue/purple annuals around it.

Super succulents: Succulents are great and add a cool, frosty-green feeling. Just by looking at them, they seemingly help to cool a hot summer’s day. Most nurseries today have a succulent section.

Great grasses: Want breezy, flowing and casual? I love lemon grass in big, huge pots. Their foliage creates a barrier or wall for privacy.

Spice of life: I mix herbs into my planters because I cook with them throughout the summer, plus their leaves are so unique and fun to look at.

Essence of France: I love lavender and I grow it in my pots and in my gardens. If you like, make little sachets and potpourri by cutting flower spikes or stripping flowers from stems just as blossoms show color; dry in a cool, shaded place.

wiliams sonoma planters

These planters are wonderful for an outdoor space due to their simple styling and varying sizes.

Do you have a green haven at your home? What plants do you grow? And are you a container gardener? Please share.


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