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.
Strawberries can be grown in a window box, a pot, or on a balcony. They don’t need more than 12″ soil depth but do need to get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Make sure to water them enough to keep the soil moist but not wet. Harvesting strawberries is a little like a treasure hunt, with many at leaf-level but much more hiding down by the soil line. Don’t overlook any!

This is my first year having a true garden, and so far I’m loving the time I get outside playing in the dirt and absorbing the sunshine. It’s certainly a nice break from my computer! As a beginner, I’m learning a lot of things that will make next year’s garden easier, and hopefully a little healthier, too. I don’t want to win the prize for the largest squash (not there yet), but I do want enough juicy tomatoes to last all summer long.

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Many factors influence lawn water requirements, and no two lawns are exactly alike. A healthy, high-quality bluegrass or ryegrass lawn may need up to 2.25 inches of water per week under hot, dry, windy summer conditions. It may require much less when the weather is cool or cloudy. Turf-type tall fescue may perform well with less water than a bluegrass lawn, if it can grow a deep root system. In many cases, however, tall fescue requires as much water as bluegrass to look good. Buffalograss and blue grama lawns can remain green for weeks without watering, even during the hottest summer weather.
A simple-to-follow formula is all you need to create drama in a container. Here, it takes only four plants to convey the sweeping illusion of a floor-length gown. The key to pulling this off is starting with an elevated planter so the vibrant 'Celebration' and 'Florida Sweetheart' caladiums pop at eye level. Clusters of white wishbone flower fill the empty spaces between the caladium stems and also conceal the actual container, which means you can use just about any freestanding vessel. The final attention grabber is the graceful creeping Jenny spilling over the sides. Position this planter in the shade and water regularly for a gorgeous, easy-to-maintain display.
Around your outdoor living space, add beds of mulch instead of grass. "It's one of the best investments you can have in your yard because mulch breaks down, fertilizes your plants, and prevents weeds," says Chris. "It's low-maintenance because you don't have to mow it or water it. It's also inexpensive and you only have to replace it in the spring." An added perk: Mulch also provides a pleasant aroma for your yard.
Another way to make the most of your yard landscape is by planting lovely rambling vines. There’s nothing more stately or romantic than deep green tendrils winding around fences and columns, especially when you’ve chosen a delicate, flowering vine species. Clematis is one of the showiest vines we have, and it would look great in your yard. It offers blossoms of blue, purple, red, pink, or white. We recommend growing this versatile vine on a fence, on a trellis, or in a container. Or, for a more laissez-faire gardening style, let them ramble and scramble over your shrubs and perennials.

Outdoor fairy lights can be bought online all year around and they're a quick, simple and cheap way to bring a pretty glow to a patio and beyond. You can arrange them through tree or shrub branches, attach them to fences and furniture, or suspend them from canes stuck into the ground. They can be run from a plug inside the house, so you don't need an electrician.


When you plan your garden, think about how it’s going to look in all four seasons. Many gardens look terrific in the spring and early summer, but by fall they fade. Choose perennials and annuals that offer late-season color and shrubs and trees that bear colorful berries or interesting bark in the winter. In this tiny front border, a bevy of tulips provide plenty of spring color. After they fade, they are replaced with summer beauties such as geranium and verbena. Holly shrubs, which flank the front door, develop showy red berries that keep the landscape looking good after frost.
Very informative article I’m sure that many do-it-yourselfers have gained alot of knowledge from visiting your site. I like that you’ve mentioned about the soil testing that you can have done or do yourself, I’ve found that to be extremely helpful with my lawn care clients that I service. AffordaLawn is the name of my Lawn Service, we service customers in both Missouri and Kansas and doing a soil test along with the first service for new clients have made us alot of happy customers later in the year. Many tell us they’ve never seen their lawns look so good. Kinda makes it easy though when you know what their lawns in need of.
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.
Install new grass: aerating and reseeding doesn’t have to be handled by a pro. If your grass needs a boost every spring and fall, consider renting a small tiller (if you don’t have access to one) and church gently through your yard at a depth of about an inch. Follow tilling with pre-treated seed and straw. Water daily. Fertilizer can burn seedlings, so wait until the grass stand is about a month old before feeding it chemical fertilizers. If switching grass species, till the yard at a 3-inch depth and make sure to rake the yard well after tilling to avoid cross contamination with old clippings. Sodding a yard is slightly trickier, only because it requires that the ground beneath be cleaned and prepared to accept the sod. Consult your local garden center to see if you’re up for the task.
As mentioned previously, using natural elements such as wood and stone are great ways to make an outdoor space feel more close to nature. Since you’d be utilizing elements you’d typically find in nature anyways, these are usually cheaper items you can easily incorporate to any outdoor area. These wooden stumps in the picture make great outdoor patio tables or even side tables, depending on your preference. You could easily find stumps like these in wooded areas or in neighborhoods with a lot of trees if you don’t have them on hand already.

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 month after we received our plans, a local nursery had a 40%-off “going out of business” sale.  With the designer's list in hand, we were able to purchase about a third of our total plant materials at a substantial discount. We were worried because we weren't anywhere near ready to put them into the ground yet. Fortunately, we live in a mild climate, and the plants survived several months in pots. 

You don’t want a one-dimensional home, so why would you want one-dimensional landscape design? Add lovely, eye-catching layers to your yard with elevated planters and hanging baskets. This strategy creates visual interest with minimal effort. Adding elevated planters and hanging baskets also creates a sea of beautiful color from high to low, and the visual effect gives the impression of waves of blossoms rising and falling all across your yard. If you want to create an immersive escape, this is a foolproof way to get started. As an added bonus, plants love the good drainage and aeration that raised planters provide.
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