Home & Garden

Your garden: Make the most of a small space

Esther Hurlburt has lilies that are more than 6 feet tall and packed with flowers
Esther Hurlburt has lilies that are more than 6 feet tall and packed with flowers

Esther Hurlburt's garden on Given Avenue is small, and in her 25 years of gardening at this spot, the garden has gone through many transformations.

Her tall lilies are in bloom right now. They are 6 feet tall, with about 10 blossoms on each stem. She also loves yard art.

Hurlburt's gardening tips:

1. Plant densely. It's easier to thin plants than it is to be patient while they grow to fill in space.

2. Share the plants you love. It brings me pleasure to know clippings and divisions of my favorite plants are in my friends' yards. I also love to receive plants from people I know. A former neighbor gave me a Queen Elizabeth rose and an old-fashioned chrysanthemum when she started gardening more than 20 years ago. They are alive and well, and remind me of the friendship with my neighbor.

3. Just like a house, yards need art to add interest and pleasure. I shop for art for my yard like I do for my house. I enjoy found objects and folk art. My favorite new piece is by an artist named Kyle Cleaver. It's a tree with branches made from rebar and leaves from flattened Ale-8 caps. It is gorgeous in the winter garden when frost and snow collect on the "leaves."

4. Mix it up. Who said you shouldn't plant okra in the front yard? I plant vegetables, herbs and flowers in the same areas to add interest and color.

5. Make good use of space by growing vertically. Clematis grew up the lattice before I needed the lattice to support my lilies. The lilies grew 6 feet tall with about 10 blossoms per stem. I cut them back a bit when they die to make room for tomato plants. Then, moon flowers will cover the lattice for shade and lovely evening blooms.