A Green Transformation I Never Knew I Needed!

Once upon a time, I bought an outdoor sofa set. I also bought a rug, matching pillows and a nice little vase with a faux, bright green shrub. It felt like being in nature but also separated from it with the railing that surrounded the verandah. It looked wonderful as it was, but there was an important element missing. I didn’t know how much this setting needed some greenery, until one early morning, as I was leaving for school, I noticed my dad unloading plants from the back of his car. From a distance, I could see they were small, green and spiky. 

They were the famous Aloe Vera plants. 

    I was kind of excited because all my life, I’d only ever had the opportunity to use Aloe vera gel from a manufactured bottle. That, despite claiming to be 100% aloe and nothing more, had a faint chemical smell.

    The great thing about Aloe plants is that they make the perfect accessory. Aloe plants look really elegant and sophisticated sitting at the edge of your work table, or as table toppers in your verandah seating area. They have no funky odours, are easy to take care of, and the best part about them is that they hardly attract bugs! (Knock on wood!) 

    With the addition of the two Aloe Vera plants, it was apparent the front verandah needed a green makeover. Over the course of several months, the plants in our front yard increased - transforming the verandah from a second living room to a front yard oasis. 

    Here is a list of the best plants, including the aloe plant, to add to your garden in the summer, to give you the most amazing, relaxing seating arrangement in the fall! 

     

  1. Queen of the Night also called the Night Blooming Jasmine

This plant can either grow as vines or as an upright tree in a large enough vase. In the day time, it can deceivingly look like an ordinary plant. Green leaves and light green, elongated closed flowers. Nothing special. However, this plant wasn’t named Queen of the Night for no reason! When the sun starts to set, and the sky lights up in hues of reds and oranges, the Queen of the Night awakens. Her flower buds, however small they may be, open and the most wonderful fragrance blossoms in the air. This scent is so strong that on several occasions, I’ve been able to get strong wafts of the Queen of the Night's fragrance from the backyard! It’s considered one of the strongest smelling flowers in the world and according to DenGarden, its fragrance boasts a range of  300-500ft. Sitting outside, with a cup of tea, embraced by the soft smell of jasmine makes one feel like they can forget about the world for as long as the jasmine blossoms. 

 

  1. Day Blooming Jasmine or also known as White Chocolate Jasmine

The Day Blooming Jasmine is a plant that can be easily grown in a vase and placed on a table. As the name suggests, it is the day counterpart to the Night Blooming Jasmine, however, it looks completely different. It’s a smaller plant, with more compact leaves, and tiny flowers that have a thick, rubbery feel to them. In fact, despite its name, the Day Blooming Jasmine is not even a Jasmine plant. Its fragrance doesn’t resemble the Jasmine plant either.. It has a more sweet, earthy smell. Although this flower closes up at night, it is during the period where the sun sets and the sky begins to darken that I find the Day Blooming Jasmine is the most fragrant. As if it’s letting all the fragrance go before it closes down for the night. The combined fragrances of the Queen of the Night and the Day Blooming Jasmine is a scent that can’t be described. 

 

  1. A Small Crab Apple tree 

Moving away from fragrant plants, the Small Crab Apple tree is just for the visual appeal-until it begins to bear fruit, that is. This tree is one of the prettiest trees year-round - its got large green leaves, and tiny pink flowers at the end of each branch. These flowers were white at the start of spring, but in the fall it has turned into a pleasant, sunset pink hue. It adds a splash of colour to your front yard garden and the fact that its low maintenance is another added benefit! It adds a bit of pizzazz to a garden full of green!   

  1.  Evergreens

These plants are popular mainly for the bright, deep green colour they offer and the rich, pine, earthy scent they sometimes omit. They grow tall, so you can clip them into any shape you prefer. Our evergreens once upon a time were clipped to beautiful spirals. They now resemble lopsided corn cobs, but that’s okay because, at night, they reflect the most vibrant dark green against the light of the verandah and remind you of the beauty of nature all year round. 

    Plus, need I say it? They are extremely low maintenance plants - just don’t forget to water them occasionally! 

 

  1. Chili Plant 

It is one of the more unusual plants in the front yard, but trust me, Chili plants look absolutely stunning, and you can even use them in your meals! The plant has a satisfying contrast between its rich dark leaves and bright red, yellow and orange peppers that dangle down like ornaments. It emits a soft, spicy scent that’s not overbearing, and can be quite comforting even. Its aesthetic value is through the roof, and you will not be surprised at how wonderful it sits in any setting! 

 

  1. Mint

 The mint plant has a very strong smell that’s quite pleasant. Because it’s a weed, this plant grows super fast and needs to be watered often, but other than that, it’s weed-y heritage does the rest and it flourishes! Make sure to not plant mint with other plants, because this little bugger will take over the whole yard if you let it! 

    Plus, you can pop a few leaves in your cup of tea and enjoy the sunset in your front yard. 

    Although they can be bitter, they can be chewed, and leave your breath smelling minty fresh! 

 

    Add a bit of mother nature to your front yard this fall season and spend the last remaining days of relative warmth before winter strikes relaxing and appreciating the complex beauty of nature. Before you know it, it will all be covered in a crisp, cold blanket of snow. So make the most of what’s left of fall!