Vintners Inn Rating: 3.5 Pearls

When the weather gets warm, the daydreaming begins. Lush hideaways. Hidden cottages. Your own secret garden come to life. These fantasies can very easily become a reality, with an outdoor space and a little elbow grease. We've seen a lot of beautiful gardens on our travels, and so we took what we learned to come up these 10 helpful gardening tips. From sculptures to arbors to lighting, learn about the additions that can transform an ordinary garden into a memorable haven. Photo: Vintners Inn

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Secret Gardens: 10 Ways to Transform Your Sanctuary for Summer (1 of 11)

 When the weather gets warm, the daydreaming begins. Lush hideaways. Hidden cottages. Your own secret garden come to life.
These fantasies can very easily become a reality, with an outdoor space and a little elbow grease. We've seen a lot of beautiful gardens on our travels, and so we took what we learned to come up these 10 helpful gardening tips.
From sculptures to arbors to lighting, learn about the additions that can transform an ordinary garden into a memorable haven.
Photo: Vintners Inn
When the weather gets warm, the daydreaming begins. Lush hideaways. Hidden cottages. Your own secret garden come to life.
These fantasies can very easily become a reality, with an outdoor space and a little elbow grease. We've seen a lot of beautiful gardens on our travels, and so we took what we learned to come up these 10 helpful gardening tips.
From sculptures to arbors to lighting, learn about the additions that can transform an ordinary garden into a memorable haven.
Photo: Vintners Inn Adding an arbor to the beginning of your garden path makes an immediate impression. Even if the garden that lies beyond is relatively normal, the arbor entrance makes it feel special. It also announces the space and creates a boundary, turning the garden into a true hideaway. The Captain's House Inn in Cape Cod pulls this effect off nicely. When it comes to sculptures, the prevailing opinion seems to be that it's best to display them one at a time. The utterly charming Gallery Inn in Puerto Rico proves the opposite can be true. The owners of this historic property are artists, and use their courtyard garden as a venue to display their many sculptures. The result is effortlessly Bohemian. While we love the crowde Bohemian sculpture look, for traditionalists, the statement sculpture is still a great way to go. This wistful sculpture of a young girl at Lambert's Cove Inn & Restaurant makes a lasting impression. We know, this one isn't exactly a quick fix -- but for those willing to sink a bit of time and money, it's very worthwhile. We love this reflecting pool on the grounds of the super exclusive San Ysidro Ranch near Santa Barbara. The surround of local sandstone, lilies floating on the water, and plants spilling over the side of the wall (including thyme and rosemary) contribute to the tranquil setting. Many of us have had the fantasy of stumbling upon a fairytale cottage. It's possible to recreate that vision at your own home, with the help of thickly growing ivy and a contrasting, brightly painted door. We love the bold red of this door at the Yankee Peddler Inn in Newport. (Note that it's safest to grow ivy on solid masonry walls, as it can damage other types of construction.) Not comfortable trying this on your house? It works just as well on a garden shed. There's nothing quite like dining al fresco in your garden on a summer night, with fluttering moths and soft, romantic lighting. Selecting romantic garden lights is one of the easiest ways to improve the ambiance of your hideaway. Add a few wrought iron, hanging lanterns like these ones at Hotel Oceana, and you'll be well on your way to making your garden a lovely evening spot. Pergolas, like gazebos, can provide a nice, shady spot to lounge in your garden. They can also be an eyecatching centerpiece, like this pergola at Lambert's Cove in Martha's Vineyard. If you have outdoor stairs, or a stepped wall, place potted plants on each level. It will allow you to extend the feel of your garden oasis to the outside of your home. A well-chosen fountain can make all the difference to your garden, and the noise of water playing will enhance the peaceful ambiance. We love this weathered fountain at the Simpson House Inn in Santa Barbara. When we say "grass carpet," we're not referring to anything so ordinary as a lawn. Rather, a strip of grass -- like a red carpet, turned green -- running through your garden can make it easier to view your profusion of flowers, and creates an interesting contrast between the civilized and the wild.
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