Out is in! In recent years, there’s been a boom in building and refurbishing outdoor rooms and spaces. More and more, homeowners, landscape designers, and builders are transforming backyards, side yards, and patios into comfortable, attractive, and usable living spaces that provide a beautiful setting and improve curb appeal. Landscaping Ideas that Work is the most comprehensive resource of inspired design ideas and practical solutions for all landscaping and outdoor living spaces. With practical design advice as well as over 350 innovative ideas and photographs, this is the only sourcebook you’ll ever need for smart design, buying, and installation decisions for your outdoor digs.
On 2 days notice, you came to blow out my sprinkler before the predicted big drop in temperature last night! On a Sunday no less. I couldn't have been more impressed or more appreciative. You can be sure I will be telling all my neighbors what tremendous service you gave! So rare to find a company with that level of commitment anymore. Again, thank-you!
It's easy to plan all your beds and borders along the perimeter of your property, but adding an island bed that floats in your lawn is a simple landscaping idea for making a good-looking yard. Make island beds extra effective by adding height to the middle of the yard. Plus, you need to walk around the planting to see what's behind it, so it adds a bit of mystery.
This woven wicker basket is a natural way to decorate a bare wall in an outdoor space, and it will look just as beautiful whether you set it against brick, timber, or concrete. Pink zinnias and yellow tuberous begonias are the focal points or 'thrillers'. You’ll love the variation between the tighter, round zinnias and the softer, open petals of the begonias. Blue Cape plumbago and golden lantana add an extra hint of drama—think of these as the 'fillers'. Finally, English ivy, with its delicate, well-known shape, cascades over the side—that is the 'spiller', which gives this beautiful hanging container a sense of movement.
If the soil is mainly clay, apply 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water to moisten the root zone to a 6-inch depth. A sandy soil can be moistened to 6 inches by as little as 1/2 inch. It is important to know not only how deep the turf roots grow, but also how deep your irrigation water penetrates. Watering too deeply, especially on sandy soils, wastes water and allows it to percolate past the root zone.
Another thing about lawn care watering: I have discovered that if you are going to water an inch, it is better to water half an inch, wait 90 minutes and then water another half an inch. Maybe do this once a month. Sometimes when the soil gets really dry, it will repel water. This is called "superdeflocculation" (I think Mary Poppins would be impressed with this word!). If you put a little water in first, wait, and then put more, the soil is better prepared to take in more water.
Planting grasses in a container is a simple way to include them in your garden while keeping them under control. This allows you to bring their bold verticality wherever you like. Grasses in containers can also add soft texture and billowing form when placed directly into a border. One of our favorites is the beautiful 'Morning Light’ silver grass, shown here in a blue glazed pot. It lights up in the garden as sun strikes its foliage. You never have to worry about silver grass running, because it clumps, but planting it in a container creates a bold focal point for its animated stalks.
Create a garden paradise, an escape, an oasis in your yard by constructing intersecting trails, meandering streams, inspiring vistas, and hidden rooms. Design small hideaways where people can gather for drinks and try mixing formal with informal for stimulating visual tension. Each turn of the pathway brings its own lovely garden vignette. You can also get creative and save the biggest garden surprise—a wall of plants, a fountain, a statue, a bench, or a special flower display—for the farthest spot in your yard instead of putting it directly next to the house. You’ll create your own secret garden just moments from your front door.
Mow the turf often enough so no more than 1/3 of the grass height is removed at any single mowing. If your mowing height is 2 inches, mow the grass when it is 3 inches tall. You may have to mow a bluegrass or fescue lawn every three to four days during the spring when it is actively growing but only once every seven to 10 days when growth is slowed by heat, drought or cold. Buffalograss lawns may require mowing once every 10 to 20 days, depending on how much they are watered.
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.
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.
Landscape petunias—new hybrid petunias that are well suited to growing conditions in the South—are a great choice if you would like to include these wonderful flowers in your container garden plans. All petunias need good drainage, which growing in a pot (with at least one hole in the bottom) provides. Be sure to use a cascading variety for a luxurious planting. Whether your petunias are mounding or trailing, you’ll have flowers that are dense and full and, in most places, in the South, they’ll bloom from early in the spring until late in the fall.
In days past, the best way to find a lawn care professional to service your lawn was to pull out the yellow pages and look up someone in your area or simply just choose a lawn service company that sounded good. LawnStarter has simplified the process and made it better. The process is now completely automated through our website from arranging for someone to come out and mow your yard to paying for the service. We also have friendly customer service experts on-hand to help you with every step of the process. With Lawnstarter, you can rest assured that you're only getting the top-rated lawn service professionals. We bring you the top-rated lawn care services in your area.
Even if container gardening isn't to your liking, take note of the aforementioned perennials—they're often the backbone of most low-maintenance gardens. Unlike annuals, perennials can bloom multiple years before they need to be replanted. These slower-growing and long-lived garden residents are less work and typically require fewer nutrients and water.
Extend your living space to the great outdoors with Landscaping Ideas that Work. Landscaping often involves the harmonious design of many disparate elements, which creates confusion and inertia for homeowners who are trying to decide not only what to do, but where to start. Landscaping Ideas that Work covers front, back, and side yards, and provides you with strategies for combining elements and creating spaces that work for you and your home; innovative ideas for transforming all aspects of your yard into inviting outdoor spaces; and designs for more sustainable landscapes and gardens.
A small yard in London makes the most of its space by using walls to plant vertical gardens. Designed by Living Colour Gardens, the outdoor room features an Ipe-hardwood zigzag bench with illumination underneath for fun outdoor parties at night. The patio is paved with travertine, while raised white-rendered planting beds echo the shape of the bench. Plants include African lilies, Japanese maples, and large Allium bulbs.
Caladiums are one of the most popular plants in the South for creating beauty in difficult-to-grow-in shady places. Caladiums—a tropical plant native to America—have incredibly colored foliage that can have blotches of red, rose, pink, white, and more. Some of our favorite caladiums include ‘Pink Symphony,’ ‘Iceberg,’ ‘Miss Muffet,’ and ‘Candyland.’ To bring this beautiful plant into your landscaping plan easily, integrate planters into your hardscape. This poolside scene includes a trough-like container built right into the bank. Fill it with a colorful array of caladiums and you will have created your own personal poolside tropical oasis.
By carefully sculpting the landscape and choosing the right plants and materials, you can hide an unattractive driveway. With only a few steps, that less-than-picture perfect portion of your home can be transformed into a gardener’s paradise. Start by creating a slightly raised island of lawn in the center of the drive. Then, add a low boxwood hedge toward the back of the island with roses, annuals, and perennials rising above the hedge in the front. Blend a variety of colors, textures, and heights for a great look. Try 'Crystal Fairy' rose for height, lamb's ears for texture, and 'Butterfly Deep Rose' pentas for color.