Prayer Garden – Life Hacks Tips

Prayer Garden

I was given a small check and asked to ‘plant’ a tree in memory of my mother in law when she passed away. It turned into our beautiful sanctuary. I hope you enjoy. First, I spent DAYS looking through Pinterest for inspiration. Given that I really didn’t think a tree could do justice to her memory, I thought we could do a small, fenced garden. I had a spot of land at the end of my driveway and against the house where it would fit nicely. It is approximately 21′ x 24′. First and foremost, I hit Craig’s list and picked up any and all free stuff I could find that ‘might’ fit with my vision. I purchased old doors for $15 and found as many free bricks that I could haul. I found a concrete table and pedestal (free) as the owner simply wanted it hauled away. 3 guys later, it was in the truck.

You can see 2017 Spring pics of this garden here:…>

I also hit garage and estate sales. I found this cool birdcage for $25 and shutters for $4 each. Look at all this glorious stuff! I am sure the neighbors were cringing! I searched the city for wood and fencing and seating, going to everywhere I could find on Craig’s list for free lumber. Nothing was going to work as I had envisioned and probably wouldn’t hold up. So, I decided to spend the money about $1000 for fencing materials – primarily pressure treated wood – 4″x10′ posts, 2″x 4″x 8′ boards, and deck wood. I also purchased quick-crete to secure the posts into the ground. To keep my maintenance to a minimum (and because I thought the wood lattice looked flimsy and cheap), I did purchase trex like lattice in 4’x 8′ sections. Framing out the lattice, we created sections of fence that we then secured together and ran a piece of deck board on top to finish the look.

Anchoring in the posts to the house and in the ground with Sak crete. We than attached the rest of the sections together and left spaces for the doors.

I added in a small pergola to provide a bit of cover for my sun/seating area. While the evening shade protects it, the morning sun is brutal here. After a $700 trip to the landscape store, we purchased 3 trees, 3 climbing hydrangeas, climging wood vamp, clematis, Brunneras, Jack Frost and more. I then started laying out the plants, bricks and pieces of decor to get an idea of the best layout. I used red spray paint to lay out my design for the seating area. It is important to note that this garden is on the north west side of my house. I have mostly shade in 3/4 of the garden, most of the time and it is rather moist on this side of the house. So, I had to pick plants that would do well in that climate. I choose the climbing hydrangea, even though it is slow growing, because ultimately, I would like this garden to be ‘mostly’ hidden from outside view and the lovely flowers will make the look all that more enchanting – in a few years. I hope the hydrangea will cover 3/4 of the shade part of the garden. For my sun corner, I choose clematis in two colors.

update: if you use old doors, remember that generally, one side is an indoor side with indoor paint and one side is an outdoor side.. I didn’t have the time or energy to sand down, prep and paint this fall. MISTAKE! I have loads of paint chips from the white inside of the door all over my yard. Given the age of the doors, you can bet it is loaded with lead.

I then spent several days making sure my layout was just right. It is one thing to do it on paper, which I highly suggest, but it also is important to physically lay it out before you dig.. that will save some payoff in the end.

We then installed a brick border, using landscape fabric underneath to minimize weeds. I cleaned the bricks, let them dry thoroughly and used paver sand to set them into place. *I was really excited to find super old brick (without the holes) that looked old. This gave the garden a sense of age, even with the brand new plantings! From there, planted and mulched.

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