Garden Theory

Garden Items

Three local gardening gurus recommend ways to take your garden to the next level.

By Kate Rader . Photos by Jessica Snyder, Guten Tag

No two garden spaces are alike.They can be showy and bold, or very personal — tiny spaces for only the gardener to enjoy. They reflect the style and needs of the people who enjoy them. 

With so many options, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details. However, with a little planning, a garden can be an important space that you enjoy for many months — if not year-round. Luckily, three area businesses were willing to share their knowledge with our readers, offering suggestions for building the landscape of your dreams.


Jessica Snyder opened her garden decor shop, Guten Tag, in 2009. Influenced by German and Swedish floral designers, she turned her passion into a business that sells vintage and vintage-inspired garden, patio, and porch decor out of a 200-year-old cottage in Funkstown, MD. 

“I blend European design, which uses a lot of natural textures like dried vines and coconut fiber, with some Williamsburg style. I like to follow the seasons and incorporate rabbits, eggs, and little things you see outside.”

WiYNN: What are some great foundational pieces for a garden?
Jessica: I think tall or large urns are great because you can easily decorate and change them up with seasonal flowers and plants. You can also adapt them to your style. If you have a formal garden with a more modern look, try an urn with a matte finish, or for a cottage garden, use a terra cotta or old stone urn.
Also, creating an entryway to your garden is important. Even if you don’t have a big place you can add an arbor or gate to set the tone for your space. For a modern style, a steel arbor with straight lines looks good. If you have a cottage or farmhouse-style garden you could get a wooden arbor and grow grapevine around it. 
WiYNN: What decor items elevate the look and feel quickly?
Jessica: I love to finish off my space, even down to the planters, because the little details matter so much. You could surround a planter with a grapevine wreath and then plant a boxwood or a flower in the middle. Or use a texture spray on a plastic pot to make it look like stone. I have a “secret garden” in my yard where I put two old chairs, stone bunny rabbits, and some salvaged items planted with flowers and herbs for decoration. In gardening, there’s nothing you can do wrong because it’s always changing or you can change it. 


Garden Herbs

Garden Bench

Chair with pink flowers
Adding Details like potted plants and benches can be a great way to quickly elevate the look of your garden.

Lurgan’s Greenhouse, located in Orrstown, PA is known for their tremendous variety of plants — and deep knowledge about how to grow a thriving garden. Partner and nursery manager Reuben Fisher says they are open year-round and sell annuals, over 1,000 varieties of perennials, vegetable plants, water gardening supplies, and tools to customers and landscapers around the tri-state area. 

WiYNN: What’s a great accent plant for a garden?

Reuben: Japanese maples — which look like miniature trees — are a very good accent plant because they have delicate and colorful leaves with a lot of texture. There are over 1,000 varieties but about 15 common ones that range from red and orange to green and yellow. 

A sculptured piece, like a topiary, also makes an excellent focal point. Topiaries are shrubs (usually arborvitae, boxwood, or Alberta spruce) trimmed into a design like a spiral or a pom pom. They do take some maintenance. Keep in mind there will be no garden that’s going to stay nice without maintenance.
WiYNN: Can you suggest some cornerstones for a beautiful landscape?

Reuben: A lot of people plant hydrangeas. They’re colorful with varieties for sun or shade. There are a lot of new ones that give you a long blooming time and are easy to care for. 

I’d also suggest adding a water feature with landscape lighting. There are many sizes, from small statuary with dripping water, to waterfalls, to disappearing fountains. The sound of water is calming, small water features are generally low maintenance, and can have a major impact on your landscape.

With a heated greenhouse open all year round, the staff of Paul’s Country Market in Waynesboro, PA takes pride in the service and knowledge they provide their customers. Greenhouse supervisor Lorinda Slothour says that they sell seasonal plants and decor, from annuals and perennials to vegetable plants and supplies, like fertilizer. They also have a large selection of indoor plants. “We are always here to help customers choose the right plant,” she says.

WiYNN: Can you recommend a few foundational plants?
Lorinda: I’m partial to the butterfly bush. It’s a plant that comes back every year and blooms from June through to frost. The flowers smell good, and they can get large, 5-10 feet tall, or you can prune them back to keep them smaller if you like. 
We also have bird baths and concrete statuary. Smaller animals are popular and handy because they’re easy to move and place around. 
WiYNN: What flowers can jazz up your garden?
Lorinda: Climbing plants, like clematis, which have large flower spring blooming stand out. Honeysuckle is summer-blooming, attracts hummingbirds, and has a great smell. Other favorites are hearty climbing jasmine and tropical Mandevilla




Guten Tag

4 Frederick Rd, Funkstown, MD

Tip: Adding herbs as accents to your garden not only gives you fresh culinary spices but makes your entire garden smell great.


Lurgan Greenhouse & Nursery

8126 Oakdale Rd. Orrstown, PA

Tip: You can still install a water feature in a small yard. All you need is a 3 ft. square space and some imagination.


Paul’s Country Market

6374 Nunnery Rd. Waynesboro PA

Tip: Choose and plant-your-own philodendron, succulent, or other houseplants at their potting station.

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