5 Terrific theme gardens

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Just in case you’re not familiar with theme gardens, let me introduce you to this fun way to grow.

Theme gardens are unique places where all the elements support a single purpose. In other words, it’s a garden where every plant fits into one particular theme. Accessories and ornamental items – such as containers, plant supports, statuary, and other accents – fit the theme as well.

While broadly themed gardens, such as herb, vegetable, or cutting gardens, have been around for a long time, true theme gardens take the concept one step further, filling an even more specific niche. The rise in popularity of fairy-themed gardens – even among non-gardeners – is one indicator of how theme gardens can pique the interest of almost everyone.

To help you create a theme garden all your own, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite theme garden ideas.

5 Terriffic Theme Gardens:

  • Sport garden: To flesh out this cool theme, you’ll need to hit the thrift store. Stick old golf clubs into the ground and allow your pole beans to twine up them. Use a recycled soccer net to support vining cucumbers and melons, and use repurposed hockey sticks as tomato stakes. You can also cut old basket- and soccer balls in half, use a knife to cut a few drainage holes in the bottom, and plant them with annuals in your favorite team’s colors.
  • Herbal tea garden: If you’re an herbal tea drinker, then this is the theme garden for you! Pineapple sage, mint, anise hyssop, stevia, lemon grass, chamomile, lemon verbena, and rose hips are all must-haves for this theme garden. For a fun accent, use superglue to fasten old tea cups and saucers together, and then attach them to the top of hardwood stakes and place them around the garden, filling them with birdseed. The herbs you grow in your tea garden can be used fresh or dried for winter use.

Related post: Tea-growing inspiration

theme gardens herbal tea

Lemon grass is a great addition to an herbal tea themed garden.

  •  Burrito garden: While a pizza garden or a salad garden are fun additions to the landscape, at my house, we much prefer our burrito garden. Burritos are my husband’s favorite food, so we have a burrito-themed raised bed garden, dedicated to growing fresh ingredients for his favorite meal. In it, we grow cilantro, black beans, spinach (shrimp and spinach burritos are awesome, by the way), chili peppers, onions, cumin, and tomatoes. I haven’t quite figured out how to grow my own rice yet, but I’m working on it!
  • Lemonade garden: This garden theme includes ingredients you need to make your own lemonade. Gardeners in the deep south, California, and other citrus-growing regions can grow their own lemons in this garden. But, you might be surprised to learn that even northern gardeners can grow their own lemons to make homemade lemonade, though they’ll probably have to supplement with extras from the grocery store. Meyer lemons, in particular, take to container growing quite well. But, even if you don’t grow your own lemons, you can grow lots of yummy things to spruce up store-bought lemonade. Grow lemon balm and lemon verbena to add an extra zing to lemonade; stevia to naturally sweeten the drink; spearmint to make minty lemonade; blueberries to create an awesome blueberry-lemonade; violets to make violet-infused, lavender-colored lemonade; and pineapple sage to add a whole new dimension to your homemade ‘ade.

Related post: Grow citrus in 8 simple steps

  • Kid’s rain garden: While the term “rain garden” typically means a garden intended to absorb stormwater runoff from the downspouts, this rain garden is a little different. This themed garden is a place where kids can hang out on rainy days. When I was a kid, I loved playing outside in summer showers, and a kid’s rain garden like this one would have been my Mecca! Elements to incorporate in this theme include upside-down umbrellas, filled with potting soil and planted with kid-friendly plants like baby tears, lambs ears, strawberries, and pansies. Fill a pair of colorful rain boots with soil and plant seeds in them. Leave a wide, empty divot in the dirt for mud puddle jumping, and grow a sunflower house to provide a bit of shelter.

    theme gardens kids

    Upside-down umbrellas make great containers for a kid’s rain theme garden.

Do you grow any theme gardens of your own? Share your ideas with us! We’d love to hear about them.

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4 Responses to 5 Terrific theme gardens

  1. Daryle Thomas says:

    Over 40 years ago, based on the square foot gardening concept, I built a ‘Pizza’ garden. It was made from 2 X 10 p.t. stock, 2 feet by 2 feet, divided to make 4 sections. The back (north) side was a simple trellis, 4 feet tall. Tomatoes and peppers were planted in the back two sections where they could climb. Herbs and onions grew nicely in the front sections. I couldn’t grow mozzarella though. Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to make.

  2. Sue Gilmore says:

    Tea Garden sounds just about perfect! I grow lemon balm and chocolate mint and chamomile. But not all in one spot. This year I’m going to grow some orange mint and peppermint (I’m adding some big pots to my garden this year). I can’t wait for my spot ‘o tea from my own garden!

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