Secret Garden

As amusing as it is to watch a bunch of bedraggled children hunt for Easter eggs in the pouring rain and muck, I wish the sun would come back.  We were teased with shorts weather for three days, but we've been shivering in sweaters since.  Utterly unfair.

It's even more unfair that when Spring finally comes to stay, I won't have a yard of my own to enjoy it in.  Ah, the woes of a renter.  "Might I have a bit of earth?"  Only in my dreams.

1  I saw the ideal garden trellis on Craig's List... and I missed it.  So it goes!  Keep searching, or splurge on this gorgeous specimen from Smith & Hawken ($319).  It's traditional without being stuffy, and it would be beautiful wound in ivy.  

2  I've been yearning after these yellow & gray outdoor pillows ($24.95) from Crate & Barrel for a while now... and of course, I still don't have any outdoor place to put them!  They're both floral and geometric, with a diamond pattern that mimics the trellis.

3  This handsome free-standing lamp post would cast a romantic glow over a dinner al fresco.  The antique bronze finish makes this fixture look expensive, but you could bring it home for $90 or best offer.

4 & 10  These and other vibrant dahlia tubers are being offered up at only $1 a piece!  Planting them now will give you something bright to look forward to in summers to come.  

5  There's nothing better than a French bistro table and chairs.  For only $100, it's like a vacation in your own backyard.  (Just don't expect your boyfriend to adopt an accent and answer to "waiter," you'll still have to brew your own cafe au lait.)

6  A regal pair of potted shrubs for $100 will give an element of formality to a young garden.  Over eight feet tall, they're almost architectural.

7  This acrylic pitcher from C&B ($14.95) has a great shape, and it's practical for outdoor use.  It's perfect for pouring yourself a glass of cool lemonade on a warm afternoon.  If you'd rather serve up spiked punch for 20 friends on a Saturday evening, check out this lot of unbreakable tumblers for $85.

8  How could anyone not fall in love with a luscious white peony?  These are the flowers of elegant garden parties- very Portrait of a Lady or Room With a View.  Swishing petticoats, tilted parasols, coy comments to admiring gentlemen.  *Sigh*  Anyway.  Pick up a bunch for $3.

9  I've already acknowledged that I adore rabbits.  I'm not looking to start some crazy collection (seriously, collections breed like... well, you know), but this rabbit lantern ($34) from Smith & Hawken... oh, he's just irresistible! He'd certainly add a little flicker of magic to your patio or cobblestone path.

A lot of greenery for a little green- under $800!

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