Andrea helps people design their homes and gardens. She likes to use Western Astrology and the Chinese Zodiac to help build templates.
Designing a Leo Garden
A garden designed after Leo should be inviting, friendly, colorful, and open to a bonfire. A Leo garden will be boisterous and one to remember.
- It should have images of lions.
- Red, orange, yellow, gold, and copper should be everywhere.
- The garden is based around summer treats and spices.
- Your yard should be spacious and should receive ample sunshine.
- Leo is ruled by the sun, so there should be images of the sun everywhere.
- Leo gardens look lovely with succulents. Red and orange cacti are a plus.
- There should be plenty of room to exercise, dance, and play.
Fire Pits & Tiki Torches
Leo is the fixed sign of fire. This sign loves to embrace the Sun. The garden should be vibrant and bold. For the perfect Leo outdoor space, you'll need a fire pit. I would suggest building a space where people can sit and talk and look up at the stars.
Leos love conversation, they love fire, and they also love shows of strength, power, and speed. You want there to be space in your yard where you can exercise, show off your muscles, and compete against others. You need enough space to run.
- The fire pit should be a centralized location in your yard.
- Leos like to make giant fires and not just cutesy ones for s'mores.
- You could also dot your yard with tiki torches and lanterns.
- The light never dies in the Leo garden. When the Sun goes down, the fires and electrical lights come on.
Spruce up the Yard with Solar Lights
Lighting is important for your Leo yard. Consider adding solar lights or Christmas lights to keep things glowing. Remember: Leo is the time of year when fireflies come out and sparkle up the garden. Leo wants to mimic that look throughout the year.
- If you live in a rural area, you can let the stars in the sky do their magic. Get a telescope for better views.
- Bug repellent candles are an excellent idea since you will most likely spend a lot of time outside.
Build a Stone Pizza Oven
You may also want to consider building your own stone pizza oven. This can make for a great conversation piece, and also who doesn't want to eat pizza all the time?
- Stone pizza ovens = heat.
- You can make pizzas from foods directly from your own garden.
- Homemade pizza is a great way to lure in guests to your home.
Don't Forget the Barbecue Grill
The Leo wants to show off their powers with grilling and serving meats. The Leo likes items in their yard that represent their core element. You'll want to have a barbecue grill, whether propane or charcoal.
- Grilling reminds people of summer.
- Grilling is another way to bond with friends and family.
Pathways in Bricks
The Leo should have bold pathways in stones and bricks that are red, orange, yellow, or rusted brown. The Leo wants their yard to look grand, exciting, and inviting to neighbors and guests. The Leo likes to throw parties, so their yard should be organized and multi-functional. Creating pathways can help you designate boundaries in your yard.
- Paths look great around vegetable gardens.
- Paths help guide people at night.
- Paths should be put in places to make it easier to walk and not get lost.
The lion is the symbol for Leo. Place lion statues throughout your yard. The lion will bring you good luck, and it will improve the aesthetics of your yard. The lion represents strength, courage, power, and ferociousness.
Change out doorknobs and doorbells for lion designs. The more you can incorporate lions, the more your garden will have a Leo feel. Lion scarecrows could look absolutely adorable.
The Sun is also a popular symbol for Leo. Your yard should be a place that gets ample sunshine and doesn't rely too much on shade. You can add mirrors throughout your yard to help reflect energy. The yard should be a place that feels abundantly energetic.
- Add plants into your yard that love and crave the sun.
- Add solar lights to keep the light coming even at night.
- Add symbols of the Sun throughout your yard.
- Use sunny colors: yellow, red, orange, gold, copper, etc.
- Add statues related to sun deities, like Helios.
- Shape sections of your garden to look like circles of bright color.
The Leo needs a yard where people can be playful. Leo should have plenty of games ready for people of all ages.
- Cornhole is an easy game to assemble. All you need are stands and bean bags.
- Croquet is a classic.
- Giant Chess, Checkers, and Tic Tac Toe have become popular.
- Setup a volleyball net.
- Setup a floor where people can dance.
- Horseshoes is another classic.
Kids will love a swing set, a sandbox, or a trampoline. An ambitious Leo will build a tree house. You should have a box for fun items like balls, hula-hoops, jump ropes, tennis rackets, water guns, baseball bats, NERF toys, etc.
Vegetables & Fruits: Planting, Harvesting, Picking
The Leo guide to vegetables and fruits is based around the months of July and August. You want to plant quick-maturing crops in the Northern Hemisphere. Spinach, lettuce, greens, beets, carrots, peas, and beans can all be sown now. Most of the seeds for these plants will readily germinate because the soil holds heat well into autumn.
Warm soil, in the 70s, is ideal for seed starting. For the Leo garden, I would also suggest foods that are colorful and spicy. Leo wants spice in their life.
- Most seed packets will have instructions on when to plant, how far apart seeds should be, and when to harvest.
- Look into what plants are considered native in your area.
- Consider your climate carefully. Different crops grow better in different regions.
July and August Veggies & Fruits
Amaranth: A leafy vegetable cooked like spinach. They can come in green or red varieties. It is easy to grow, especially in spring and summer.
- Plant 20-25 cm apart and between rows of 30 cm.
- Sow seeds and cover them with a light amount of soil.
- Keep the soil moist until the seedlings sprout.
- Weed by hand until the plants have grown 10 cm tall.
- As they grow, they'll shade over other nearby plants, so be careful what you plant around amaranth.
- Harvest for 30-45 days for two to three months.
Bell Peppers: They require both warm soil and high temperatures. Plant them only when all danger of cold weather has passed. Remember: hot foods grow in hot seasons. Peppers resist most garden pests, so they're easy for new gardeners. They do not contain capsaicin like jalapeno peppers and other hot peppers.
- Red and green peppers grow from the same peppers. Red bell peppers are matured longer and develop a higher Vitamin C content.
- Mature peppers tend to be sweeter.
- They're perennials in tropical climates. Annuals in colder climates.
- It is possible to use seeds from organic store bought bell peppers and to sow them. (You can place them in a paper envelope and store them in a dry location for safekeeping.)
Blackberries: The first blackberries may be ready to pick this month, as well as tayberries, loganberries, and other hybrid berries.
- Pick berries that are fully black.
- Mature berries are plump and firm.
- The berries should come off the plant without having to yank them.
- Berries do not ripen after they have been picked.
- Once you begin picking blackberries, you need to do so every couple of days.
Blueberries: Harvest your first blueberries now. Look for the plumpest, softest berries with the darkest blue-black color.
- It takes three to four years for blueberry plants to produce fruit.
- Blueberries are produced better if they are cross pollinated. Plant different blueberry bushes around each other.
Bottle Gourds: White blossoms, tender, smooth, long, light green, and cylindrical fruits.
- Direct seed sowing in pits 2X2 ft and six ft apart, three seeds per pit.
- Harvest two months later for about six to eight weeks.
- Bottle gourds tolerate light frost.
- You can harvest young gourds, which appear after flowers wither.
- To dry: place gourds in a well-ventilated area in the shade for a week. The skin should harden and change color.
Carrots: July is generally the last month to sow carrots for an autumn crop.
- Sow seeds directly into the ground rather than transplanting them.
- Sow 1/4 inch deep, and two to three inches apart in rows 1 ft apart.
- Keep the soil moist.
- Carrots sometimes germinate slowly.
Cherries: July is the perfect time to pick cherries. Pick cherries by cutting them off with scissors or secateurs. Stalks should be attached. Leaving the stalks behind can cause diseases.
- If you're wanting to know when to plant for cherry trees: you'll want to sow in the late fall or early spring, when the ground is soft and has enough moisture. Sweet cherries need different varieties to pollinate. Plant in a sunny location with good air circulation. Avoid planting near other trees or buildings.
- Pick cherries when they're firm and completely red.
- Tart cherries will easily come off the stem when they are ripe.
- Taste sweet cherries to see if they're ready to pick.
Chili Peppers: Hot foods are generally best planted in hot weather. Chilies can be delicate and prone to diseases. The seedlings are transplanted.
- Space 30-45 cm apart.
- Harvest about two months later.
- Chili peppers should be planted in moist soil. Do not over water them.
- Keep them warm: 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
- They need to be in a sunny spot, so they can worship the sun.
Cucumbers: Let them trail on the house roofs, pergolas, or bowers. Seed is sown directly.
- Space 3X3 ft between plants and rows.
- Harvest about two to three months later.
- Plant them in a spot with abundant sun and fertile, well-drained soil.
- Improve native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost.
- Cucumbers don't need as much attention as other plants. They're great for new gardeners.
- They don't tolerate frost.
- Plant from March to July in warm climates.
Dwarf French Beans: July is the last month to sow these. Sow dwarf cultivars in the ground or in containers for a tasty autumn crop.
- Sow seeds 15 cm apart. Rake the soil back over them to lightly cover them.
- If there is a cold snap, cover them with fleece or newspaper. Keep them covered until it get warm outside again.
- They don't take up a lot of space. You don't need a trellis.
- Dwarf beans flourish in full sun and need sweet soil.
- Soak seeds in lukewarm water for a couple of hours before planting.
Eggplants / Aubergines: These versatile veggies don't do well in cold weather. There are several different varieties in different colors, shapes, and sizes.
- Space 30-45 cm between plants and 60 cm between rows.
- Harvest three to four months after planting.
- Improve planting by mixing in compost to help hold moisture.
- Set plants at the same depth.
- Water well before applying mulch.
- Eggplants will fall over once they're loaded up with fruit.
Garlic: Continue lifting garlic as the leaves turn yellow and wilt. Spread the bulbs out in the sun to dry if you plan to store them. Otherwise use them while they're wet.
- If you plant a garlic clove, break up the heads into individual cloves. Leave as much of the papery covering on as possible. Plant 3" to 4" deep. The pointy ends should face up.
- Water gently to settle the soil. Cover with a layer of straw, four to six inches.
- Garlic grows in a sunny spot in rich, well-drained soil.
Lettuce: The greens for salads do well from March to September. Sow them continually through these months and enjoy fresh salads.
- Space six to 18 inches apart in an area with ample sunshine. The soil should be fertile and well-drained.
- Lettuce can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring.
- Soil should be around 40 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lettuce responds well to organic manure and doesn't tolerate acidic soil.
Okra: Tender forefinger sized okra stuffed with spices makes for a delicious summer treat. Seed sowing can be done from March to July.
- Plant 2-3 ft apart.
- Harvest for 60-75 days for two to three months.
- To prepare for okra, eliminate weeds. Mulch heavily to prevent weeds.
- Apply a layer of mulch two to three inches high.
- It grows and bears seed pods until the first frost.
- Start harvesting when the okra blooms fade.
Onions: Your onions should be reaching picking size if you planted them in spring.
- Plant onions four to five inches apart in rows 12-18 inches apart.
- Onions take about three to four months to bulb.
- Onion rows need to be cleared of weeds. You also need to do preventative care to prevent pests.
- Onions grow tops in cool weather and form bulbs in warm weather.
Peaches: Check your peaches. They're likely ready to be picked.
- Ripe peaches lose their green tone.
- They will give slightly when you gently squeeze them.
- You can test the firmness of a peach while it it still on the tree: if they're still hard when you squeeze them, then they're not ready to be picked.
- Peaches will continue to ripen after they have been picked. Other fruits that do this: apricots, bananas, cantaloupes, kiwis, nectarines, pears, plantains, and plums.
Plums: Check to see if these babies are ready to be picked.
- To find a ripe plum, hold one in the palm of you hand: it should feel heavy.
- There should be some give at the blossom end.
- If the plum is too soft, it's probably overripe.
- Apply gentle pressure with your fingers. If the skin of the fruit feels soft, then it is ready to be picked.
- Plums do not become sweeter as they ripen, only softer.
Pumpkins: Climbers creep on the ground rather than a trellis.
- Space seed sowing pits of 2X2 ft and six ft apart. Three seeds are sown per pit.
- Harvest three to four months later.
- Once pumpkins are well-established, thin them to the best two to four plants.
- Plant pumpkins for Halloween from late May in northern locations to early July in southern places. If pumpkins are planted too early, they'll soften and rot before October 31.
- Avoid planting next to root crops such as beets, onions, and potatoes.
- The pumpkin is a tender crop. It will not germinate in cold soil. Seedlings are damaged by frost.
- Place a piece of wood or cardboard under growing pumpkins. This elevates them off soggy soil. It will help prevent rot.
Radishes: Quick to mature, easy to grow, and almost pest-free. They also add color into the garden. Radishes can be grown as companions to other crops.
- Best planted in cool soil. Early spring and fall are preferred seasons.
- Plant in loose, organic material that's not overly fertile.
- Moisture and soil depth must be right.
- If you live in an area that doesn't freeze you can plant radishes throughout the year.
Raspberries: My personal favorite food for desserts and salads. Raspberries are ready to be picked when they're fully colored and pull away easily.
- They're usually ripe in July and will stay ripe until the first frost.
- Bushes won't produce a crop until the second year.
- Raspberries that have been picked won't continue to ripen.
- Keep fresh-picked raspberries out of sunlight. Refrigerate directly after harvesting.
- It is best to pick ripened raspberries every two to three days.
- Raspberries spoil very quickly.
Strawberries: Pick them regularly. Remove any that are overripe, show signs of mold, or damage from critters. You don't want the bad fruits to harm the good fruits. Strawberries may begin ripening in June.
- Harvest only fully red berries.
- Pick every three days or so.
- Cut by the stem.
- Do not pull the berry. It could damage the plant.
- Pick berries during the warmest part of the day when they're at their tastiest.
- Eat them as soon as possible; they do not keep well once ripened.
- You can freeze them, but they won't keep their shape. Frozen strawberries are great for smoothies.
Tomatoes: This is a staple crop for a Leo garden. The color and roundness reflect the personality of the Leo.
- Space them 45-60 cm apart and 60-75 cm between rows.
- Harvest 80-100 days after planting.
- Tomatoes need rich, fertile soil or peat-free potting compost.
- Tomatoes need plenty of sunshine.
- Use eggshells for compost.
Turnips: The crop provides you with two harvest. The sweet taproot can be eaten. The leaves can also be eaten. Turnips don't store well.
- They don't transplant well.
- Sow seeds 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch deep. Turnips should be one inch apart, in rows 12 to 18 inches apart.
- You can scatter the seeds with no more than 1/2 an inch of soil.
- Water consistently.
- It takes about five weeks to two months to grow turnips.
- Turnips are an easy crop to grow and great for new gardeners.
Flower Selection for a Leo Garden
Aster: The flowers grow best in full sunlight. Less flowers will be produced in partial shade. Asters grow best in well-drained, loamy soil.
Asters are daisy-like perennials. They have starry-shaped flower heads. The flower heads range in color from white to blue to purple. The two most common asters are: the New England aster and the New York aster. The flowers attract bees and butterflies. They provide late season nectar.
Asters are sometimes called "Michaelmas daisies," referring to the holiday of the same name that occurs on September 29.
Blacked-eyed Susan: The flowers are native to North America. They're one of the most popular types of wildflowers grown in gardens. The golden petals surround the "black eye" — the center is a dark, brown-purple. The plants can grow over three feet tall.
Butterflies, bees, and other insects love them. They drink the nectar, they move the pollen from one plant to another, and the wind helps spread seeds. The flowers bloom from June to October. They tend to overpower other flowers around them.
Crane's-Bill: Adaptable, compact, and long-blooming. The flowers range in colors from pink, blue, purple, and white. They're attractive, cup shaped, or frilly. Geranium flower blooms in late spring and lasts until fall. They have pretty foliage that lasts until nipped by frost.
They grow best in moist soil. As they age, they can handle drought. Growing the flowers in fertile soil encourages it to spread. The flowers thrive in sunlight or shady locations. The plants need room to sprawl. Clip the edges back if necessary to keep the flowers in their boundary.
Dahlias: Try growing the flowers first in containers while the soil outside warms up in spring. You want it to be at least 60 degrees F. Plant dahlias outside around the same time you would plant tomatoes.
Dahlias are wise to plant in May or early June. Lay tubers on their sides with stems standing up. Cover with two inches of soil. Dahlias need a location with an excellent amount of sunlight. They prefer well-drained soil, and they're great for sandy, loamy, or acidic soils. Enrich the soil with compost or well-rotted manure. Work in good fertilizer.
If you're growing tall dahlias, staking will be important. Set one or two stakes beside each tuber after you plant them. Wooden stakes can be buried or hammered into the ground. Metal stakes can be placed in the soil moil easily. Dahlias need extra support after they have grown in. Use twine or twist-ems to support the stems as they grow.
Echinacea: Commonly called cornflowers. Their cone-shaped petals are capped by a prickly sphere of seedheads. They're excellent sources of nectar for butterflies and birds. Echinacea prefers full to partial sun. The plants need four hours of sunlight daily. The plants grow in meadows and forests, so they thrive in morning shade and afternoon sun and vice versa.
The flowers grow in rocky soil, but they struggle in wet, mucky soil. Mulch plants with compost at the time of planting. Plant the flowers in well-drained soil. Most plants will bloom in the second year. It's wise to start these babies as transplants.
Larkspur: Sow seeds 1/4" deep in early spring for summer bloom or in fall for bloom the following year. The flowers need darkness in order to germinate. These flowers are easy for beginner gardeners. Larkspurs are hardy and resilient. They provide tall, colorful blooms in the early growing season. The flowers have green foliage, and pink, blue, or white petals.
They were introduced to England from Italy in the 16th century. Larkspur was brought to America, and became centerpieces in colonial gardens. The flowers make for lovely indoor decorations in hanging pots and in vases.
The flowers can be transplanted, but it will require significant care and attention. They're best grown from seeds. Moving them can negatively influence their roots. Larkspur needs a cold period before they germinate.
- You can chill your seeds in the refrigerator before planting.
- Seeds need to be protected for two weeks before they're planted. You can put them in a Ziploc bag with damp perlite which will help provide moisture.
Marigolds: A Leo garden should be full of marigolds. They have the right color, shape, and size to identify with the astrological sign. The same goes with sunflowers.
- The flowers have shades of gold, copper, brass, red, yellow, and orange. All the colors symbolic of the Leo.
- They look excellent in summer and fall gardens.
- They have daisy or carnation like flower heads.
- There are approximately 50 different species of marigolds.
- Young French and signet marigolds can be planted from spring through midsummer.
- Sow seeds directly into the garden once the soil warms up.
- Marigolds sprout within a week in warm weather. Plants produce blooms in about eight weeks.
Stonecrop: The stonecrop is ideal for arid areas of the garden. Stonecrop is one of the easier plants to grow because their resilient. The stonecrop thrives in hot locations with plenty of sunlight. Stonecrops can get a foot tall.
Stonecrop is usually bought in plugs or pots. The flowers are transplanted into gardens. The best time to plant: spring, right after the threat of frost and before it gets too hot outside.
Plant in early spring in well-drained, average to rich soil. Low-growing and vigorous species will tolerate partial shade.
Sunflowers: The sun worshipers need six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. They have long tap roots that need to go several feet into the ground. Sunflower plants prefer loose, well-drained, and somewhat alkaline soil.
- It takes about 70 to 100 days to grow.
- They can get up to 12 feet high in three months!
- They need evenly moist, well-drained soil.
- Annual sunflowers bloom during summer and into fall.
- You can keep growing these until the first frost.
- Water them with one inch of water per week, depending on how much rainfall your area receives.
- Bees of all types love sunflowers.
Zinnias: These beauties grow best in full sunlight. The soil needs to be fertile, well-drained, and high in organic matter. Zinnia seeds should be spaced a few inches apart in rows or clumps.
Plant zinnias in spring after all danger of frost has passed. You want to plant zinnias around the same time that you plant tomatoes. The flowers have bright, daisy-like flower heads. They're great as food for butterflies and other insects.
Zinnias reseed easily. Major bonus: they're not toxic to your pets.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Andrea Lawrence
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on April 30, 2021:
Thank you! This was a time consuming one to write.
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on April 28, 2021:
I imagine my Sagittarius sign is quite similar.
I love the fire pit...something about gazing into the fire that makes life come alive.
The vegetables and flowers you mention are a few of my favorites.
You did sn excellent job of telling how to grow & pick them.
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on April 28, 2021:
Same! A fire pit is a dream of mine.
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on April 28, 2021:
Very interesting. I'm not a Leo, but I'd love a fire pit.