Spring Into A New Season With Inspirational Gardening Ideas

Spring is finally here! And it is time to get your garden growing. Local gardening experts offer unique ways to beautify your outdoor space.

Container gardening

Many people are turning to containers to get their gardening fix. According to horticulturist Jessica Walliser, author of Container Gardening Complete, growing flowers and edibles in containers is one of the easiest ways to garden at home, and add beauty to your outdoor space.

One of the very best things about container gardening is that they’re low maintenance,” said Scott Lievens, owner of Lievens Three Seasons in Sylvania. “Many seniors have downsized to condos and have limited space on their patios. Tomato plants are excellent for this purpose.”

Five tips for low maintenance container gardening:

  • Keep in mind that container gardens will dry out faster than a regular garden. Get the biggest container you can move by yourself. Look for plastic, acrylic, foam and resin containers as they are lighter to carry.
  • Make sure you use quality soil. Select a good quality potting soil that drains easily but also holds water for plants to get their nourishment.
  • Choose the right plants. Some plants are better suited for containers than others. Ask your greenhouse which plants work best and where.
  • Feed containers regularly. Mix a small amount of granular fertilizer in the pot with your initial planting. Then in mid-summer use a liquid organic fertilizer every two to three weeks when you water.
  • Install a drip irrigation system. Patio plant watering kits come with almost everything you need, are easy to set up and are simple to use. Not only will this save you time, it will save you money in the long run.

Miniature gardens

  • Theresa Hoen of Hoen’s Garden Center in Springfield Township knows that miniature gardens are another way to get your green thumb into the dirt. This popular trend is continually growing and Hoen’s supports it with their miniature garden and terrarium department.
  • Your options are endless when it comes to creating your own enchanting and whimsical garden,” Hoen said. “Plant a miniature world in the ground or in a container of any shape of size. We offer classes on miniature gardens and container gardens.”
  • Draw inspiration or purchase from Hoen’s large selection of miniature gardens, each one uniquely handcrafted with a different theme. The garden center has over 1,000 different miniature plants and fairy accents, soil toppers and mosses to help make your miniature garden come to life.

Raised garden beds

Another option for busy older adults is a raised bed garden, which can host a productive vegetable garden in a smaller space. “I like raised beds for many reasons,” Lievens said. “First, you don’t have to bend over to do your gardening. Then there’s less weeding to do. Another reason is that the soil in a raised bed doesn’t dry out as fast as it does in a regular garden. Then there’s the fact that the veggies you grow will be the most flavorful and nutritious you’ve ever tasted.”

Preparing your raised beds for spring:

  • Work from outside the beds. The basic ground rule of raised bed gardening is: Don’t step on the soil within the bed. Tightly compacted soil restricts growth.
  • Get rid of all debris. Pick it up and toss away the larger pieces.
  • Rake the soil until it is loose and level.
  • Cover the soil with mulch or plastic sheeting to help retain warmth and moisture.
  • Fix any trellises or tomato cages kept over from last year.
  • Make a plan to determine where you’ll place the plants!
  • Gardening is a satisfying way to spend time outside and to beautify your home at the same time. Select a level of involvement that you can commit to and, using the tips and suggestions listed above, you will be ready to test your green thumb!gardening-tools-and-spring-flowers-in-the-garden-PN82VBM

Additional tips for getting your yard ready for spring:

  • Inspect all gardening equipment, replace or repair if needed.
  • Inspect your yard for soil type, sun and shade patterns.
  • Re-seed bare patches in the lawn.
  • Prep your lawn by using a rake.
  • Prune broken or dead limbs.
  • Clean out last season’s debris.
  • Apply a layer of mulch to the base of trees, plants and emerging bulbs.
  • Aerate your lawn.
  • Hold off on lawn fertilizer until after your first mowing.

What’s an irrigation bag?

North Branch Nursery highly recommends the use of irrigation bags for watering newly planted trees. The bags hold up to 20 gallons of water and depending on the current weather conditions and what soil type you have, you’ll only need to fill the bag once or twice a week. The bags slowly release water over a 10 to 15-hour period, which encourages deep root growth. For larger trees, use two bags.

North Branch Nursery
3359 Kesson Rd | Pemberville OH 43450
419 287-4679 | northbranchnursery.com

Miniature memory garden


Fairy gardens will continue to be hot this year. Have you ever thought about designing a person-specific mini-garden for someone you love? The people at Hoen’s Garden Center can supply you with all you need to do this yourself or the Hoen’s staff can custom make one for you to give as a gift. Fill a garden with baseball memorabilia for your Detroit Tigers fan. Or create a miniature lake-front property bearing your homestead’s name. These little gardens make wonderful birthday or anniversary gifts or nice memorials.

Hoen’s Garden Center
1710 Perrysburg-Holland Rd. | Holland OH 43528
Hoensgardencenter.com | 419-865-6566

Felt birdhouses

Are you ready to go wild with some bird watching? Downy woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches love these whimsical hand-felted natural wool birdhouses! These pieces are made by artisans from Nepal working in a fair-trade production center. They are water repellant, dirt resistant and naturally durable. Each individual piece will retain its shape for well over a year, even when fully exposed to the weather.

The Town Center at Levis Commons
4165 Chappel Dr. | Perrysburg OH 43551

Metalwork and more from Lily’s at Levis

Lily’s at Levis offers a bountiful array of outdoor garden art. Featured here are several items of interest. This Mexican gazing ball is a one-of-a-kind art piece hand blown by an artisan from Mexico and the costs $55. A metal stand to elevate the ball is $48.

Continuing with art from Mexico, Lily’s offers a number of animal-shaped ceramics. These wildly colorful creatures also serve as planters. Costs range from $44 to $70.

Metalwork is another option for use outside. Depending upon what size wall space you have, there are a number of options The working wall-clock, the largest wall item Lily’s sells, costs $225. Large individual flowers, hung several in a pattern or individually, have prices starting at $46.

Lily’s at Levis
The Town Center at Levis Commons
2110 Levis Commons Blvd | Perrysburg OH 43551

Art poles

Want more color in your landscape? Art poles can brighten things up. Beautiful to look at, they also share sage words of advice. Art Poles range in size from 20 inches to 6 feet tall. Each is designed to weather snow as well as heavy sun. Prices start at: $55 for a 20 inch pole. $98 for a 3 foot pole.

Available from Hoen’s and Lily’s at Levis.

Unusual and “Handy” Garden Tools



Felco, a Swiss manufacturer, offers tools for left- or right-handers. This classic manual hand pruner that’s designed for heavy usage and will last for years. Parts may be replaced, but sharpen the blades before beginning your spring pruning. Great for use on small branches. $77.99



Cut your planting time in half with an easy-to-use dibble. Quickly plant small bulbs, small plants, and even seeds. 5-inch polished iron point is 1-1/4 inch at base and tapers to a point. Smooth shellacked wooden handle. Quality construction you can feel every time you use it! Overall weight is 1 pound making it very easy to poke into tilled or untilled dirt. $39.99


Mongolian Basalt Columns provide impressive sights and sounds of water, without the pond! The columns are mined from the mountains found between Russia and China, and each piece is handcrafted from the natural stone. Once mined and shaped, the columns are then drilled to create a stunning water feature. No two columns are the same, providing each stone with unique qualities. The columns come in a set of three ranging from 24 inches to 36 inches tall. North Branch Nursery will install these columns and the reticulating water pump for you for $2,500. An additional lighting kit adds even more beauty to the columns, $300.


Do you need to tighten up your topiaries this spring? Sheep shears are a perfect choice! The blade bypass cutting action allows you to easily notch soft greenery with one hand versus typical clippers which require two hands to operate. $50.99

North Branch Nursery
3359 Kesson Rd | Pemberville OH 43450
419 287-4679 | northbranchnursery.com

Did you know?

Automated lawn sprinklers often do not run long enough to provide a soaking watering for shrubs and trees. Additional watering with a hose or irrigation bag is necessary to keep things growing strong!

When watering your tree or shrub with a garden hose, allow the hose to run at a slow trickle, 15 to 20 minutes per shrub or 30 to 50 minutes per tree.

New plantings will need to be watered the first year until the ground freezes and through the summer of the second year.

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