Backyard gardening with terrain [closed]

terrain giftcard #giveaway [the merchant home]
terrain giftcard #giveaway [the merchant home]
terrain giftcard #giveaway [the merchant home]
terrain giftcard #giveaway [the merchant home]
terrain giftcard #giveaway [the merchant home]

[Update- this giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Michele G, our gift card winner!]

It's an exciting day here at The Merchant Home- we've partnered with our friends at terrain to giveaway a $100 gift card, just in time for updating your fall garden. Read on for more info and to enter! - Alexandra

Upon moving to California, one of the things I was most excited about was gardening! I dreamt of something beyond the tiny deck garden I had in Philly. We're lucky to live in an amazing gardening climate, but the reality of our very vintage split-level rental home (which I do love!) is that we have a rock garden in the front yard and a rock-hard slope with 1970s landscaping (ice plant, anyone?) in the back. Since this isn't our "forever" home, I've been hesitant to really invest in much, but just recently, have started undertake a few projects to make our stay here feel just a little more beautiful. 

Neglected in these "quality of life" updates- the backyard. When terrain approached me with the idea for this container-gardening giveaway, it was just the kick in the pants I needed to (finally) start getting our outdoor space into shape. Planters are the perfect solution for us, and since having these in place, I'm able to (almost) completely ignore the parts of our landscaping that I can't really change.  And in all fairness, our backyard space does have some redeeming attributes- it's incredibly private, we can watch deer grazing just beyond our fence, and there is plenty of room for our three-year-old to run around.. 

I've been using large planters from terrain's Barnacle Collection for years now (we even had one in our living room with an olive tree back in Philly), and they were kind enough to send me a few items to update my collection- a large, low bowl container and some of their new steel plant stands. I'm a big proponent of choosing one style/look and buying multiples- it's much easier to make an great design statement with an "en masse" arrangement of like items. What first attracted me to these specific planters was the finish- a rough, textured surface with the perfect patina. The shapes are also really classic and versatile; they've looked gorgeous with every planting arrangement I've ever put in them. The plant stands were a really impactful addition- they changed the proportion of the grouping, and made my old planters feel fresh and new.  I sited the containers next to our picnic table/dining area, nestled against the retaining wall. It's my favorite area of the yard- I love that it feels like a little bit of an urban city garden. And because of the orientation, the planters get a bright wedge of sunshine from mid-morning on.

Next up- plant selection. I just love meadow and prairie gardens, and was inspired by the idea of a Californian version of this. Think Piet Oudolf meets Andrea Cochran, while being appropriate for our coastal climate. And all contained within a few square feet. With some help from my talented friend Jen, I ended up with a combination that has a ton of movement and texture: primarily stipa grass, artemisia, sage tricolor, yarrow, and an aeonium "sunburst". After a few weeks, I felt the need for a bit more color, so I added in some copper-hued succulents and a few bright pink echinacea. We've had these planted for just about 6 weeks now, and they are growing in nicely! 

So, here's the dirt on our giveaway! To enter to win the $100 giftcard, simply leave a comment in the comment box below with a link to your favorite indoor or outdoor planter on, and sign up for our email list [here]. We'll be notifying the winner via email on Friday, September 4.  

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's choices- to get us started, I'll turn you onto my personal favorites (besides the barnacle pots): the Earth Fired Clay indoor planters (I have about 20 of these, housing everything from ferns to herbs to succulents), and the Zinc Hanging Baskets (I just purchased three of these this year, and planted them with colorful, architectural plants. Next year, I want to add another three). 

Thanks so much for entering, and happy gardening!

All photos by Alexandra Sklar for The Merchant Home. Please credit and link back responsibly. 

[disclosure: as many of you may know, previous to moving to California, I was employed at terrain's home office in Philadelphia. I have also performed trend consulting work for the brand in the early stages of The Merchant Home. Currently, I have no consulting or merchandising relationship with terrain; our partnership here is purely editorial, born out of our shared spirit of collaboration and love of gardening. And of course, all opinions are my own.]