If you spend any time online, you’ll see planters made from items like cinderblocks, wooden pallets, and rain gutters. Available at home improvement stores, these make very unusual and creative vertical planters. One caveat: When planting edibles, use only new, clean cinderblocks lined with plastic (punch drainage holes into bottom), and wooden pallets that have not been chemically treated.
While many of you know something about gardening, the subject of lawn care may be another thing altogether. Let us help with that. Our lawn care section can help answer questions about various types of grass and how to grow them, common lawn issues, alternative solutions and general lawn care. Don’t let questions become a burden to your piece of mind. Instead, get the answers and use the lawn care tips and information provided as a guide to growing a healthy, lush carpet of grass that will make others green with envy.
Choosing to do your own landscaping will ultimately save you money in the long run. Yes, there may be some up front costs of purchasing your own tools and buying the wrong fertilizer a time or two, but you won’t be paying to have a service come and do the landscaping for you. Many homeowners who choose to do their own landscaping work have other family members that can help out with the chores like spouses or kids. Tending to your own landscaping is a budget friendly option that many homeowners choose in order to save money.
Transforming yards into imaginative outdoor living spaces is what Backyard Designs, Inc does. We approach each project on an individual basis, using space, sound and color to capture the essence of your home. We use Pool Studio 3D design software to make your ideas come to life. This helps you envision exactly what your dreams will loom like in your very own backyard.
Nothing could be more relaxing than enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning surrounded by the lush greenery of your backyard refuge or taking a well-deserved break in the evening after a long days work in your own garden sanctuary.  Whether you are searching for front yard garden ideas or a lush exterior remodel, remember that creating a unique landscape is quite easy when you are given the correct tools and ideas to learn how to plan your new space.  Begin by looking for pictures of landscaping plants if you are unsure of how a particular variety will fill out your area and then review pros cons of your flower and plant options in order to choose the best varieties for your space.
Pebbles are an easy way to bring different colours and textures to your backyard. You can use them to fill up empty spaces in your garden beds or as ground cover to compliment a paved or decking area. For a clean, decorative look you can use pebbles to create a border or landscape a path. There are a range of colours and styles to choose from including white, blue, orange, red, green, lime, silver and gold. By using the same colour pebble you can keep it simple or mix the colours to create a more vibrant look.
If you don’t have a whole lot of space to work with, you can easily transform an already existing area into a backyard or garden area. Take this converted driveway, for instance. If you have a driveway you aren’t using, you can easily add some plants, fencing and a great sitting area to create the illusion of a backyard. Have a garage you don’t use, either? You could transform it into a pretty great covered patio area or even a sort of garden area. Add a skylight to let in all that natural sunlight.
Consider a Hybrid Approach It's a newer approach but one that Miller finds more and more landscape designers and homeowners using: a combination of professional installation and do-it-yourself landscaping. "Most homeowners either can conquer much more or much less than they think they can," Miller says. "They'll begin a project and get overwhelmed. So you really need to think if you want to spend your next ten weekends breaking your back, or have someone help you."
This sturdy galvanized-metal washtub—a flea market gem—is filled to an overflowing beauty with a hearty mix of lantanas and impatiens. Arranged with maroon Joseph’s coat, green coleus, and yellow creeping Jenny, this dense container was designed to highlight a back porch, or greet guests with its sense of joy and happiness on the front porch just as easily. Coleus varieties were first introduced into Europe in the 1700s, and their popularity remains high today. Given their tropical history, they are not particularly cold hardy, so don’t plan to make them a part of this container too early in the spring.
For big impact, use big pots. They’ll accommodate more and larger plants, and the added soil means they won’t need watering as often. This simple, straightforward, and direct advice is great to remember if you want to create large-scale drama in your container garden. Trailing Algerian Ivy is the perfect choice in this case, with its large, wide leaves. It is also an aggressive grower. The other perfect plant selection here is the Needle Palm, which may well be the hardiest plant in the world—so tough Southern summers won’t prove any challenge for this powerful palm. Add in some colorful annuals, and your perfect containers are full, fun, and fit for anything.

Forgiving succulents are both heat and drought tolerant, so they'll look great all summer long. There are many novel ways to plant succulent containers, particularly since they are so resilient. Terra cotta pots work particularly well since they transfer moisture well and help succulents retain water. They also share a desert color palette with succulents, making the two appear as if they were always intended to go together. You may group a variety of succulents together, or create a container for your garden filled with a single type. Whatever your choice, water carefully and selectively, and these resilient plants will reward you with a beautiful container garden.

Nobody likes lawn mowing or weed eating (well, we do). With Lawn Care Plus, there is no reason to not have a professionally managed lawn and sprinkler system. We have been serving Northern Colorado since 1994, providing expertise and assistance, professional maintenance, and well managed landscapes and sprinkler systems. We are efficient, fast and leave a great looking yard. Oh, and we are right within your budget with programs tailored for your individual care needs.
Though it can be a pricey option, bluestone has a dense composition that makes it incredibly durable. Despite its name, the versatile stone comes in a variety of colors such as blue, brown, gray, and orange. "It's a natural stone and it feels great when you're walking around barefoot, which I love to do all summer long," says Chris. For a less expensive option, consider crushed stone such as pea stone or white stone.
Let's hear it for elephant's ear! Its oversize leaves—the secret to this stately combination—create drama through scale. And they allow you to fill in the blanks with tiny, colorful flowers. This arrangement is set in a concrete urn with an aggregate texture to give it a weathered, antiqued finish.  You’ll love how the delicate flowers soften the feel of the urn itself. One of the beautiful wonders of elephant’s ear is that it flowers first, and then fruits. The fruit has been described as making the stem look like corn on the cob. Whatever you think, it looks gorgeous in your summertime container.

We’ve just built a small guest house behind our home in Southwest Mississippi. Red clay surrounds the house! I’ve sprinkled rye grass seed and covered it with hay, but I realize (now) that I need some top soil. What should be my next steps? The rest of the yard is covered with a mixture of Bermuda and who-knows-what. It’s pretty patchy too! (I can’t afford to re-sod the whole 2 acres…)
Although it is sometimes confused with the completed unrelated plant the Bougainvillea, mandevilla is a beautiful, bright flowering and climbing vine found throughout the South. Mandevillas can thrive in containers—as with the one pictured, which twines its way through the railing on a rooftop deck. Reveling in hot weather given its tropical origins, mandevilla can grow more than 10 feet a year, and will bloom continuously from spring until the first frost. And, although in the tropical and coastal South they may weather the winter outdoors, if you plant them in containers you may even bring them inside for the cold season.
Allow Your Garden to Change A garden for a family with little kids may not be the same as a garden that empty nesters desire -- and that's OK. "Our yards are a direct expression of how we want to live," says Miller. That translates into a more fluid approach to do it yourself landscaping. For example, when your kids are little you may not have lots of time to maintain gardens; instead you want a tough, durable, low-maintenance approach to landscape. As your kids grow, you may have more hours and willingness to devote to small and large projects that you do by yourself. "There are different stages and phases of life and of the garden," says Miller.
Succulents equal low-maintenance. For this simple-means-surprising container a vintage sorghum pot is filled with cold-hardy succulents that bloom in the fall. They are paired with flowers that attract masses of bees and need also need little water. What this means is that you’re helping the natural ecosystem while putting few additional strains on its resources—by encouraging bees you’ll be helping nature’s pollinators, but the choice of plants with few water requirements you may also allow nature to meet their needs. That’s smart container gardening. Since the container itself—a vintage sorghum pot—is also repurposed, this is a wonderful way to approach your rustic backyard back yard container garden.
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Using evergreen plants in a container means that you will always have a base that will look good for years. Once this element of your container is established, you can fill in with beautiful plants that may need more attention, but that will be easy. Choose something like a cast-iron plant, and then add in some caladiums, some impatiens, and even a creeping fig. This will give you the classics to thrill, fill, and spill. Any shade-loving combination that works well in a container can add color to an entry. If you need more structure, or balance, simply create an additional container of the same size and materials, or do a smaller one as a complement.
You’ll be planning window boxes everywhere you can once you see how beautiful and simple this arrangement is—and how much it brightens this once-empty shady space on the side of the house. 'Aaron' caladium, holly fern, 'Key Lime Pie' heuchera, 'White Nancy' lamium, ivy, and light pink periwinkle come together in this eye-catching window box. This box emerges in a subtle sea of layers, each adding depth and color to the other. What is so unexpected is how easily this box stays in a palette of greens and yellows, relying on tone and variation to create a melody of color and shape. It may be a window box, but it is anything but boxed in.
Feeling creative? This is an amazing DIY tutorial on how to create a fantastic little hose holder garden box! Not only is it adorable, but you could easily create several of these on the cheap to spruce up a garden area. As far as small backyard landscape ideas on a budget, this is one of the easiest, most affordable ideas out there. You can choose to make larger or smaller boxes depending on the size of the outdoor area. Get the kids involved and make this an easy family fun project!
Use unique containers like vintage wooden boxes and buckets is a great way to bring harmony and symmetry to any container gardens. Since these are not designed with planting in mind, to make them function well be sure to drill drainage holes in each before planting. For a new take on the living and eating local approach, this variety of planters is filled with a mix of simple to grow and harvest edibles, like lettuce, and decoratives, like marigolds and geraniums. How better to bring the useful and the beautiful together in one simple, enjoyable idea—container gardening?
Ortho Grass B Gon Garden Grass Killer is Ortho Grass B Gon Garden Grass Killer is a ready-to-use selective systemic grass killer that can be used to kill existing weedy grasses in and around ground covers plant beds landscapes individual shrubs and trees. And it won't harm listed landscape plants when used as directed. No mixing is required ...  More + Product Details Close
As they say, things that look like they are alike always reveal their little differences, and things that seem at first like they may be different often turn out to be quite alike. If you adopt this approach to your container gardening, you’ll find that grouping flowers by form or by color becomes a great way to rethink your approach to planting if you have a tendency to keep your flowers all the same. Instead of only one flower, use several flowers of the same color for a greater impact in a small planting. Tall yellow daffodils, medium-size pansies, and small violas are a happy mix in this terra-cotta planter.
Retaining walls are a great way to create levels of interest in your backyard. You can use them to create a raised garden to surround your entertaining space or make a quiet corner to relax. Retaining walls are also a good way to flatten out areas of a sloping block and add extra space for the kids to play or for you to entertain. Depending on the look you want, retaining walls can be built from logs or treated pine sleepers. You can also use purpose-built materials for retaining walls that are interlocking, long lasting and come in a range of colours.
This is another great example on how you can bring some plant life into even the smallest areas. Plants not only make an area vibrant, but they add so much character to a space, too. As stated before, you can virtually make anything into a planter just as long as it’s big enough to hold some dirt and plants. Just make sure your irrigation system is sufficient for the types of plants you are planning on using. Overwatering can easily kill plants if there isn’t holes at the bottom of a planter.
Unlike cut blooms, a living flower arrangement planted in a container will give you color and beauty for months. Combine plants that thrive in the same growing conditions and offer colors and textures that complement each other. These six plants do precisely that: Coleus id perfect for adding color to pots, and loves shade; fan flower, with all its segments on one side, brings a unique shape to any garden container; and Joseph’s Coat, which has been described as having 'wonderfully gaudy foliage,' brings color like bright fire to any arrangement it is a part of. So let these six flowers be like a sextet, and share a harmony. You’ll love the sound of their voices alone and together.
When creating areas of defined space in your landscape, it’s important to establish and maintain borders. This is key because edging can draw the eye to different areas, keep things looking tidy and organized, and allow you to add some style with your materials of choice. Be sure to check out the Southern Living Plant Collection for border planting ideas.

Through the myriad of inexpensive landscape ideas, we found a super cute way to refurbish an old bathtub by turning it into a planter! Not only is this an adorable idea, but really, how great is a bathtub as a planter? Bathtubs are sturdy, spacious and a sure way to keep your plants protected from pests like rabbits or rats. This would be especially cute for a mini vegetable garden. The circle lining in this photo is also great because it features tiny shrubs. A really great concept for turning old furniture or appliances into something new and fabulous!
Impatiens is one of the best options for flowers that can take heat and humidity, which makes them the perfect choice for container gardens in the South. Although they love the shade, as long as you keep impatiens well watered, they can manage some sun. Some hybrids like ‘New Guinea Hybrid’ will even tolerate bright light. In this design, large, low containers are filled with lush mounds of potted impatiens. Kept pinched back, your impatiens will remain full and bushy, and their blossoms can last until the first frost. Get your container garden going—you know these can’t wait!
One way to create a sense of space in a small garden is to put some curves into your garden paths. A slightly meandering walkway is always better than a straight path because it will give visitors the sense that they are traveling through a large landscape. Just be sure to make your path wide enough for two people to walk side by side comfortably. This curved concrete path is especially appealing because a ribbon of tile separates each slab of concrete.
I can understand hiring professional help when something is not your area of expertise, but to “take advantage” of undocumented workers because they’re willing to work for pennies on the dollar is unethical at best. I’m disgusted by the idea that an American man’s day job is more exhausting or grueling than that of an undocumented worker’s. Myself and my husband work in jobs that are high-stress and require long hours, yet we still manage to do our own landscaping, home remodeling, cleaning and cooking. Not only does doing it ourselves save money, the sense of accomplishment and pride in the work we’ve done with our own hands is absolutely priceless.
Cluster containers in one space for high impact. Look at the group as a whole composition, and plant it as a cohesive unit with complementary and repeated colors. If you don’t feel confident with how you choose colors, think of your plants like you might think of a artist’s color wheel—or use the idea of a color chart, or the colors from the paint chips at a home improvement store, to get ideas for how you might like shades and tones to go together. Then, select your plants and your containers to create the feeling you love in the space that makes you feel comfortable.

VSI The cobblestone driveway was designed and installed by Neel Reid during the period of his ownership of Mimosa Hall. The 9-acre Mimosa Hall, built circa 1840, is a landmark of neoclassical design with extensive gardens in the vibrant historic district of Roswell, Georgia, 20 miles north of Atlanta. The 6,000-square-foot temple-style home has heart-of-pine floors throughout, a black-and-white marble hall, soaring ceilings, and 10 fireplaces. Famed architect Neel Reid made Mimosa his home in the 1920s, creating a double parlor and designing a long fieldstone driveway and courtyard. The gardens include century-old trees, imposing boxwood hedges, rare specimen trees, stone walls, paths, parterres, a swimming pool, and a 19th Century grist mill refashioned into a barn. In addition, 21 acres of adjoining woods are for sale, one of the few remaining tracts of developable land of its size within walking distance of Roswell’s old town square.
You should feel encouraged to do the smaller landscaping projects around your home. If you mess something up, just pull it out of the ground and try again. The larger projects that require a little more knowledge and skill are probably best left to the pros, but what you can do is watch them do the project and learn first hand exactly what goes into building a koi pond or a brick paver patio. As you dig around more in your yard and figure some things out, sometime later you will know exactly how to go about the larger projects, and will have a good time planning and completing them.
Choosing to do your own landscaping will ultimately save you money in the long run. Yes, there may be some up front costs of purchasing your own tools and buying the wrong fertilizer a time or two, but you won’t be paying to have a service come and do the landscaping for you. Many homeowners who choose to do their own landscaping work have other family members that can help out with the chores like spouses or kids. Tending to your own landscaping is a budget friendly option that many homeowners choose in order to save money.
Flowers are great, but don't forget the characteristics of a plant's branching pattern and foliage. In landscape design, varying form and texture is one way to spice up a yard with diversity. Evergreen conifers, while lacking flowers altogether, nonetheless have foliage that offers a myriad of different forms and textures. While browsing these do-it-yourself landscaping tips, you'll discover many ways to enhance the beauty of your yard.
Nearly every county in the United States has a county extension office. The word "extension" means that the office is an extension of the the state agricultural school. This office is staffed by people who are paid to answer questions about plant life in the county (including lawns). If people don't call, they could lose their jobs! Call! Ask lots of questions! Visit! Take weed samples to them for identification! Bugs too!
A hardened or toughened lawn, attained through less frequent, deep irrigation, often withstands minor drought and generally has fewer disease problems. It is important, however, that the turf not be allowed to become overly drought-stressed between waterings. This weakens the turf and makes it more susceptible to insect and disease damage and to weed invasion.
A sure sign that turf requires irrigation is a wilted appearance. One symptom is “footprinting,” footprints on the lawn that do not disappear within an hour. This symptom is soon followed by actual wilting, where the turf takes on a grayish or purple-to-blue cast. If only a few such spots regularly appear in the same general location, spot water them to delay watering the entire lawn for another day or so. These indicator spots help predict when the entire lawn needs watering.
My blender rarely sees daylight, but now it might just get the chance to see the kitchen counter with this genius tip! I’m starting to understand the idea behind compost a little more now that I’m dabbling in the garden, so this just makes a lot of sense to me. Just like grinding your food makes it easier to digest, grinding eggshells makes it easy for your garden to absorb the calcium egg shells provide.
Plant trees for a good cause, and you can quickly transform your yard into a shaded paradise. By joining the Arbor Day Foundation for just $10 – or more, if you’re able – you will automatically qualify for 10 free trees. You can pick any trees you want for your yard, including oaks, flowering trees, and other beautiful varieties that are hand-selected for your region.
Let's hear it for elephant's ear! Its oversize leaves—the secret to this stately combination—create drama through scale. And they allow you to fill in the blanks with tiny, colorful flowers. This arrangement is set in a concrete urn with an aggregate texture to give it a weathered, antiqued finish.  You’ll love how the delicate flowers soften the feel of the urn itself. One of the beautiful wonders of elephant’s ear is that it flowers first, and then fruits. The fruit has been described as making the stem look like corn on the cob. Whatever you think, it looks gorgeous in your summertime container.

Planting a conventional turfgrass lawn is not a water-wise solution in the arid West. Nor is paving a big area always practical, since that much hardscape creates a lot of heat and glare, says Nate Downey of Santa Fe Permaculture. But if you lace paving stones with ribbons of native buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides), you'll achieve an eye-calming "soft patio" effect, as Downey calls it, that needs much less water than a traditional bluegrass or fescue lawn.
If you make the perfect plant selection for your container garden, no summer will see you shedding tears over a poor selection of plants. Instead, great growers like these Mini Cascade ivy geraniums will take the South’s harsh summer heat and just keep on blooming. Geraniums work wonders as part of a hanging container garden, blossoming to a rich, full, and verdant cascade of flowers spilling over and out of their planters. You’ll be excited by the rush of color, but even more thrilled with how simple these Cascading Geraniums are to maintain.
Mary McCoy, LMSW is a licensed social worker who works closely with individuals, families, and organizations in crisis. She knows first-hand how financial choices can prevent and mitigate crises, and she's therefore passionate about equipping people with the information they need to make solid financial decisions for themselves and their loved ones. When Mary isn't on her soap box, you can find her hiking, jogging, yoga-ing, or frolicking with her family.

This container is as sensual as it is beautiful, creating a multisensory sensation. It combines a burst of daffodils with bold hues and fragrant seasonal blooms for colorful containers that keep on giving. This trio combines floriferous 'Superbells Dreamsicle' calibrachoa, the delicately fragrant and easy-to-grow 'Snow Princess' sweet alyssum, and cool-weather 'Sunsatia Lemon' nemesia. Tonally, these bolt towards the warm end of the color spectrum, and are rich with deep oranges and yellows, tempered by touches of white throughout. Even separately, every one of these would be a visual delight. Together, the interplay of each with the other is intoxicating.

You can follow all the above do-it-yourself landscaping tips and still not be happy with your yard. For, besides giving your yard a pleasing appearance, you must also be sensible in planning for its maintenance. Beautiful or not, you'll resent your yard if it causes you too much work. Unless you don't mind spending hours each weekend on upkeep, plan your design for low maintenance.
We’ve just built a small guest house behind our home in Southwest Mississippi. Red clay surrounds the house! I’ve sprinkled rye grass seed and covered it with hay, but I realize (now) that I need some top soil. What should be my next steps? The rest of the yard is covered with a mixture of Bermuda and who-knows-what. It’s pretty patchy too! (I can’t afford to re-sod the whole 2 acres…)

Southerners used to have to choose between geraniums that could handle high temperatures and humidity and those that produced lots of flowers. But this sad state of either-or is no more since Calliope-series geraniums were developed to offer the best of both worlds. This one's called 'Dark Red,' and it forms the centerpiece of a container filled to bursting with bright color and subtle greenery. Here, the filler forms a backdrop to the bold geraniums, and bring height, while the weathered container gives a sense of contrast against the masonry-and-mortar design elements of the courtyard. Let these geraniums burst forth with color in your Southern garden—temperature and humidity are no problem at all!
Prized for both its flavor and its aroma, mint can be an incredible herb to have growing in a garden container. What’s more, its bright green leaves can bring in a pop of color. Left uncontrolled, however, mint can have a tendency to overrun an outdoor space. With this in mind, you will want to keep more invasive herbs, like mints, contained in pots in your kitchen garden. Pick your mint based on the flavor you want and whether you’d prefer it for tea or for flavoring food—you’ll be thrilled by mint’s wondrous varieties.

Wooden pallets are seriously nifty to have on hand. If you have any leftover after making some sweet patio furniture, you can easily use them to create some adorable garden boxes, too! Plant tomatoes, herbs, squash, onions or whatever you want! You can basically create your own vegetable patio without ever having to go to the store to get fresh veggies. Add some wheels to the bottoms of the boxes for easier mobility and to prevent your plants from flooding or getting too much sun.

Incorporating pots into landscaping not only makes a yard more low-maintenance, but also more versatile. "We love to use pots, especially for clients who want color in different parts of the yard," says Peyton. "Plus, pots are easy to move around. If you're having a party on your patio, you can move them to that area." For an added pop of color, coordinate the flowers to the season — try whites and pinks in the spring and summer, and switch to yellows and reds in the fall.

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