Clematis - garden stairs

Garden Stairs How to: Tips on Gardening with Stairs

Garden Stairs / Gardening with stairs in the way can be a nuisance. So how do you turn stairs into a decorative garden focal point, and a useful area too?

Flower pot ideas - garden stairs

Clematis integrifolia – climbing plant on trellis – garden stairs

Garden Stairs as a Garden Focal Point

It’s understandable that you may see gardening with stairs as troublesome, but it doesn’t take much to turn this nuisance, into a garden focal point to be proud of. By using the areas in the garden we have to our advantage, instead of battling against them, some great looks can be achieved.

Make a visual impact on your stairs by using exterior paint, to add year round color to your garden. If the stairs are visible from an interior room then consider painting them in the same color scheme as the room. This technique will also have a positive impact on the interior room, making the space feel bigger as your eye is drawn outside, beyond the room. You don’t have to stick to solid color either, try using vertical stripes for a contemporary feel.

Adding an eye-catching balustrade will make the stairs look very grand, as an entrance to your garden stairs. Or alter the balustrade you already have with paint, and hang lanterns from it.

Garden Stairs as a Useful Area

If you have garden stairs, there is a huge area of garden just begging to be utilized. Small containers, especially those used for Bonsai trees, look particularly pleasant, placed on the edge of the stairs – effectively using the stairs as a plant bench. Not only does this define the stairs‘ boundary, it also adds an aesthetic touch. Make sure not to add too many, or use large pots, as the stairs can become cluttered, and a hazard before you know it.

If you think of the sides of your stairs as a garden wall, then you will start to see more potential in its use. Fixing a trellis to the outside “wall” of your stairs is a quick and easy way to add an area ideal for climbing plants such as clematis or climbing roses. Alternatively utilize this area as a garden organizer. Thread old slate tiles onto some garden string, hanging from the trellis, and use it as a memo board for garden “to do’s” or even just for kids to scribble on with chalk. If you add hooks to it you can: hang your jacket up, as you build up a sweat doing all that gardening; use it to hang tools from; store twine; even hang children’s toys and small watering cans from it.

Add larger decorative hooks to your stairs wall to hang baskets or window boxes from, or use it as a bird feeding station. A DIY bird feeder can be made easily from a log of wood: drill large sections out of the log without going right through to the other side; insert a used tea light tray into each recess, and put the bird food into these areas; and hang from a hook using hanging basket chains.

Lighting your Garden Stairs

Gardening with stairs / garden stairs can be a particular problem in the evening, as the light fades but you still want to get out and enjoy your garden without the worry of falling down the stairs. This can be especially problematic with children in the garden stairs.

Hoi An lanterns at night

Hoi An lanterns at night – lighting garden stairs

Use small plant pots as tea light holders to define the edge of the garden stairs, or make your own lanterns by drilling through old metal buckets, or plastic plant containers. You could also try stringing up small paper lanterns, or use brightly colored glass votives with wire handles, to hang off the balustrade. If you used the idea of fixing trellis or hooks to the side of the stairs, as detailed above, then use this area too, for hanging your lights.

By following these tips, your garden stairs will remain a garden focal point, whatever time of year, whatever time of day.

Sources & Image credits for garden stairs

  • Gardening Advice and information; https://www.gardenseeker.com/
  • Recycle!: Make Your Own Eco-Friendly and Creative Designs – Over 60 Projects for Home and Garden stair; Kyle Cathie Limited, 2006
  • Clematis on trellis – KENPEI: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clematis_integrifolia2.jpg
  • Lanterns at night – www.viajar24h.com: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hoi_An_lanterns_at_night.jpg

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