Small Gardens, Big Impact: Colorful Micro-Garden
As the growing season comes to a close, we will be highlighting gardens of Western Pennsylvania that inspire us with their beauty and their positive impact on the environment.
Robin Weinstein’s small garden combines the color and vibrancy of annual and perennial plants with a large central art piece and complimentary mosaic. Robin was able to transform a small “parking lot” pad in her urban yard into a lush sanctuary where something is in bloom from spring through fall. Robin describes her garden in this way, “My garden is my sanctuary. It provides me with a calm space to think and reflect. Gardening provides daily enjoyment and I also take pleasure in the maintenance and care required to keep it beautiful. My passion is to design plantings that look colorful and natural. I’m grateful to have a space that connects me to nature.”
Robin has always been interested in gardening. She has had gardens in both of her previous homes. She finds organic and sustainable gardening to be easier with less work and finds that her plants perform better when using sustainable practices. In order to make the best use of her small space, Robin selected mostly native plants that thrive within the limits of light available in her yard. She also uses potted annuals to add a splash of color and to make use of the additional light on her patio. The main structure of her garden is made up of trees and shrubs that require minimal maintenance and care now that they are established.
Structure plants include: dogwood, azaleas, lace cap hydrangea, low spreading blue spruce, dwarf holly trees, lavender and spirea. The perennials that make up her yard include: coreopsis, peony, crane’s bill geranium, pink, purple and white clematis and hostas. She includes potted annuals each yard, usually adding: canna, vining geranium, coleus, begonia, celosia, hibiscus and dahlia.
Robin spends a lot of time in her garden. She says that she relaxes in her garden every morning, and evening. She enjoys watching her garden come back to life each spring and watching the plants change through the seasons. With something always blooming in her yard, she attracts many birds and pollinators. She checks on her garden each day to admire the plants and make sure that they are healthy and beautiful. Robin has two favorite aspects of her garden. One is the bright color and beauty provided by her plants and artwork. She says, “There is always something beautiful to look at.” The second aspect that she enjoys is how peaceful her garden makes her feel. Robin describes it this way, “It is such a little oasis in the middle of a very busy business area of Shadyside. All of the stress of busy goes away when I’m in my garden.”
Photos © Robin Weinstein