Mom’s Personal Garden Retreat


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Mom’s Personal Garden

Personal Garden Under Tree

The perfect gift for Mom on Mother’s day is giving her her own personal garden retreat. A private sitting area under a tree where she can drink tea and read or have a glass of wine and watch the sun set. I did mine over a weekend out front under the big oak tree. I like socializing with the neighbors and one has a dog named Oli who loves playing ball in my yard (he thinks it’s a park). You may choose a more quite spot in the back yard. I also have these squirrels that think that if they leave little rocks on my table, that I will feed them. Bad idea as when my mother in law fed her squirrels and then stopped, they tore up everything on her patio.

This project is for supervised kids with an older person’s help, hi Dad! Consider whether you want this to be a surprise or whether you want Mom involved to make the decisions so she can have it her way. Some of us Moms know exactly what we want and some of us just do it ourselves.

Where to Find Items for Her Personal Garden

Chances are you have some of the items listed below hanging around. For the other items I would suggest by starting this project early so you can watch Craigslist to get items free or relatively cheap. To do this project you will need to remove enough lawn for the table and chairs to sit on once the pavers are laid down. To determine how many pavers you will need, set your table and chairs where your sitting area will be, keeping the chairs opened up as if you were sitting down. Take your lawn hose and create a circle or oval around the area and measure how wide and long the area is. When you buy your pavers, or get them free from Craigslist, try and get pavers as big as you can. Think about how far you will want your pavers spaced out. I was able to do this project for free through networking. If I didn’t have contacts, I always got free stuff from driving down streets looking for construction sites. They pay by the pound taking it to a dump and they would love to have their load lightened.

Possible Supply List for the Garden



  • Enough pavers to create the pad. You can use small pebbles, sand, whatever you have on hand or can get for free. Sources for supplies: Craigslist, construction projects (they have to pay by the pound to dump), friends you may know that are landscapers, garage sales, etc.
  • Small table with 2 chairs – This is where we up-cycle. You can get an old table and chairs at a garage sale. What you do with it will depend on the color. Consider whether you want wood versus metal for durability and weather conditions were you live. Mine is metal and can withstand weather conditions. It was originally black and then white washed so both colors show through. I considered painting it one color, but it has so much character of being old there’s no reason to re-finish. That’s the beauty of up-cycling.
  • A few of Mom’s pots lying around -You may want to add flowers if the pots are not already full. If mom has arranged all her pots with flowers, this simplifies your project. Just note if you’re moving Mom’s pots from a sunny area and putting them in a shady area or visa versa, that won’t work. Use shade plants in shady areas and sun plants in sunny areas.
  • Filler between pavers – Pebbles, ground cover, black topping, etc.
  • Add any quirky little things that bring it personality, i.e. driftwood, a special stone with profound writing on it, a humming bird or bird feeder.

Once you have your supplies for the personal garden, and the grass has been removed to level the area out the best you can, you can begin with pavers. Just remember they are not the same thickness so you want to have a level and a hand trowel to either dig more dirt out for a thick pavers or add dirt for a thin pavers. Use the level from side to side and front to back to keep it all level. Consider if you want to add anything between your pavers, do you want pebbles? Do you want a ground cover? I put a black topper down knowing that I’ve been growing flats of babies tears to take over.

My Thoughts On My Own Personal Garden

I have tried all three in my life time and here is my opinion; the multi colored pebbles were awesome, the problem was when we blew the leaves out of the yard, we inadvertently took the pebbles as well. The ground cover was equally awesome and the only issue was that the weeds poked through which required regularly weeding or in this case I used a pre-emergent to keep weeds from growing.

Whatever you do with her personal garden, have an awesome time doing it as a family. Have the kids locate free supplies like going on a treasure hunt. The memories will last a life time. Have all of your supplies on hand before starting your project. It makes it faster to finish the project if you’re not stopping constantly to go get something else.

Have a great Mother’s Day!

Happy Gardening~ Gale

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Photo Credit: Piston Cars

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