Shady lawns and areas protected from the wind require less water over the growing season than more exposed turf. However, the roots of mature trees and shrubs also need water. You may have to water more in mature landscapes where the roots of many plants compete for water. Healthy turf, encouraged by proper mowing, fertilizing and cultivation, uses water more efficiently.
Figure Out Your Style Depending on the current condition of your yard and your desired end result, your gardening style may determine how much or how little you're able to accomplish with do-it-yourself landscaping. "A landscape is really a direct expression of a homeowner's tastes and attitudes, and it also can be a place that provides a thoughtful and deliberate spot for activities they wish to do," says Michael Miller, president of Walden Backyards.
Flagstone skirting a simple columnar fountain gives the impression of a path winding through a canyon. Yellow- and blue-flowering plants, such as agastache, butterfly bush, and Spanish broom, provide plenty of color near the entry and along the driveway and attract desired winged guests. The fountain in the center provides butterflies with a necessary supply of water.
To finish last year's backyard work, we put in the lawn.  The ground was level and the soil was adequate, so all we had to do was rent a roller ($7), add minimal nutrients, and it was ready to go.  We chose to lay sod because we have children and a dog, and it would have been very difficult to keep them out of seed-sown grass for an extended time.  The small area lent itself to sod, and provided instant green for minimal cash outlay. 
Add vibrant color to your yard without sweating in the garden. "I like to always have color, so I try to have plants that flower all season," says Chris. "When something's always blooming in the yard, there's a sense of added life." Black-eyed Susans are a good summer choice because they bloom throughout the season. In the autumn, consider Montauk daisies.
The owners of this home in Potrero Hill near San Francisco asked Seed Studio to redesign their backyard so that it could feel intimate for two, yet accommodate large gatherings. Along with an outdoor living room that offers views of nearby Bernal Hill, the space includes a seat-height deck that surrounds a Corten steel wood-burning fire pit. Plants that work with the rocky soil include succulents, bamboo, and even a vegetable garden.
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.
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. 
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.
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.
Bigger is not always better, and a judicious use of these tiny succulents is a case in point why. Rather than overwhelm small spaces with large plantings, here is a great lesson in how to use containers to fill bare spots in your garden. This concrete planter, tucked into a planting of dianthus, is filled with tiny textured succulents, pulling you in for a closer look. This creates a contemplative moment of intimacy and pause, a time for simple reflection, and a sense of communion with these delicate plants. These tiny plants are like a whisper in the garden, quietly asserting what it is they have to say.
Peppers grow nicely on a balcony or patio. They are a good choice for growing in a window box, as long as the container can hold at least 12” of soil and has holes for good drainage. After you fill your garden container with potting soil, spread the seeds around and then cover them with 1/4″ of soil. When your peppers begin to sprout after a couple of weeks, consider trimming down some of the plants to allow the others to really thrive. Peppers require at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. Water them enough so the soil remains moist but not soggy (usually about every 2-3 days depending on how dry your climate is). Most peppers will be ready to harvest in about 2 months.
There are a lot of vegetable plants that will grow in containers outdoors, making them good choices for apartment gardening. Yes, you can grow veggies on your balcony! Most vegetables will need to be grown in a pot that’s at least 30″ in diameter and has holes for drainage. You’ll need at least 1 foot in depth, plus room for good drainage material, like pebbles or stones. And don’t forget to put something underneath to catch any water. Be a good neighbor as well as a good apartment gardener. Here are a few vegetables that grow well in pots:
With respect to its 1959 Midcentury Modern origins, (fer) studio, LLP oversaw site improvements of a Sherman Oaks hilltop home owned by Davis Factor, photographer and founder of Smashbox. Preserving its post-and-beam construction and rhythm, (fer) studio added a carport, cabana, and a gym with private patio to the master suite. Along the way, Factor bought the property next door and his home was expanded to include a 2,700-square-foot guest house.
Many landscaping plans and plant options available for backyard gardening is head-spinning! Professional landscape designers agree that the best way to start designing your dream garden is to first determine the size and shape of your new space. Begin by browsing online photo galleries, diy magazines and even your own neighborhood for beautiful flower bed designs. Current 2017 trends in easy garden planting ideas show designs with exotic tonal color combinations that have similar rather than contrasting shades. After determining your layout, head to your online plant nursery or home improvement center with a list of region appropriate plants to ensure that your new garden beds will thrive.
But, JD, you have made decision to deny their existence, even though they are role models for frugality, etc. (sending many billions of dollars back to Mexico etc. even though earning very low wages). I embrace them for the cheap labor they are, and I believe we should all take advantage. I have traveled all over the world, and have specialized in Latin America, and have traveled extensively there, and I have met guys and even some girls from all over South & Central America who have swam across the Rio Grande risking literally everything they had in order to earn a couple of extra bucks in America. In my opinion they are the shit, they are bad asses who work very hard, and can earn a buck anywhere they go, they are role models for all of us aspiring to be frugal, to save money, and to get rich slowly. But, yet, you pretend they do not exist.
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.
Unlimited Lawn Care is a premier residential and commercial lawn care company serving clients in Atlanta, Georgia, and throughout the region since 1998. We deliver a wide range of lawn care programs and use only the best products in our lawn treatment service, resulting in the green and weed-free lawn you desire. At Unlimited Lawn Care, your satisfaction is our success.

Purple fountain grass looks great in containers. Its vertical shape creates an exclamation point in the border. Then, its purplish-red leaves and fall plumes combine well with the red coleus below. This grass and the coleus are not winter hardy in most areas, but new plants bought in spring are inexpensive and grow quickly, so you can enjoy this pairing from early spring until late in the fall. You’ll have its beautiful memories to get you through any harsh winters, and the anticipation of it growing again will have you excited to be back in your garden at the first opportunity in the spring.
When it comes to paths and patios, gravel is a much more affordable surface than paving. To lay it in place; mark out the area, then scrape away loose soil or grass, pin down a permeable membrane to stop the weeds coming through and spread the gravel over it. Aim for a depth of 2.5cm. Choose a pale gravel, like Honey Stone, to contrast with your lawn and planting. A large bag will cover around 20 sq metres.

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.
Choosing the best plants, grasses, mulches and soil blends all differ by the region you are in.  Typically, local landscapers will have amassed this knowledge over time.  If you’re doing your own landscaping work, you may find conflicting knowledge about what to do simply because different authors live in different areas, and are only familiar with the best practices for their own area.  If you do decide to DIY, be sure to check out sites like WikiLawn Lawn Care and Plant Native that provide locally relevant information, as well as your state’s turfgrass extension.
Choosing the best plants, grasses, mulches and soil blends all differ by the region you are in.  Typically, local landscapers will have amassed this knowledge over time.  If you’re doing your own landscaping work, you may find conflicting knowledge about what to do simply because different authors live in different areas, and are only familiar with the best practices for their own area.  If you do decide to DIY, be sure to check out sites like WikiLawn Lawn Care and Plant Native that provide locally relevant information, as well as your state’s turfgrass extension.
Using a color palette based on the tones of a tree in the center of the garden, O Plus L blended the interior with the exterior of this California Modernist home in Pacific Palisades known as the Ravoli Estate. This was achieved by using the same surface and flooring materials inside and out and echoing the home's horizontal lines in the backyard.  
You can grow your very own mini-orchard on the balcony of your apartment. There are a number of fruits that are well-suited to apartment gardening and grow beautifully outdoors in a pot or window box. For most of these, you’ll need a pot that’s at least 30″ in diameter and has holes for drainage. You’ll need at least 1 foot in depth, plus room for good drainage material, like pebbles or stones. And don’t forget something like a pan underneath to catch any water, especially if there’s another balcony below yours. Apartment gardening means being a good neighbor, as well. Here are some fruits that you can grow:
We spent a couple of seasons moving dirt around, trying different types of landscaping materials. This left us lighter in the pocketbook, but still unsatisfied with way things looked. Finally, we decided to contact a landscape architect. But we were worried that we couldn't afford such a luxury, and doubted anyone would want to work on a small project like ours.
You should do both during the cooler parts of the spring and fall. In southern states, you can do it in the Spring between February and April. in the Fall, you would look at doing it between October and November. In the northern states, the Spring seeding would be handled from April to early June, while the fall seeding might occur between September and early October.
Planting in layers is an integral part of putting together this stunning container. Though the handmade bowl that makes up the centerpiece of this gorgeous arrangement may look delicate, it’s made of concrete and recycled materials. Its wide shape accommodates many of the same flowers and plants used in the other two 'Romantic Containers,' just in a more whimsical container display that looks like a flourishing flower arrangement. If you select flowers like dianthus, you will certainly be starting this Romantic Tabletop Container with the right colors, tones, and shapes. Its impact will be elegant, and entirely beautiful. Settle in at the table for an evening drink, or a casual conversation, and let the romance blossom.
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.
Certain ornamental grasses, like maiden grass, are resistant to dog traffic without having sharp blades that will cut or otherwise injure your pup. This greenery holds its shape throughout the year, and will give your dog plenty of space to play. That being said, what’s more important than planting dog-resistant plants is planting species that are not harmful to dogs. Some flowers, like azaleas and daffodils, can be toxic to dogs and should not be planted in a place where they might accidentally be ingested.
Also, the Better Homes & Gardens website offers many free plans, and you don’t have to subscribe to the magazine. I was able to tailor one of their plans to my yard with amazing results. Even better, I was able to re-use some of the materials already in my yard (bluestone walk I found buried under grass, re-set them in a new walk; was able to capitalize on shrubs which were hardy enough to be moved). Total cost was just $200, plus the labor I put in myself.
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.
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.
Hi Cathy! I myself was having same problem as you are. Just bought my home in February and when spring came I noticed my lawn was brown and dead in places but it is improving as green sprouts are coming in. To answer your question have a soil test done. I did and it showed me what my soil lacked and what fertilizer i needed to apply. You can find out your self if your grass is diseased by insects by grabbing your grass near the soil if it pulls out with no problem this is an indication of insect disease to your grass. You can get a soil test kit at lowes or home depot. it will let you know what your soil needs to green up your lawn. Some people just by any fertilizer but you need to be careful if you dont know what your lawn soil is lacking you could burn your lawn with applying the wrong fertilizer.
Go-to grasses and can't-fail lantanas mark the advent of a bright new season. And the coming of fall doesn’t mean the end of container garden beauty. It simply means you have to pay new attention to what needs to be planted—and where. Consider moving your planters indoors; consider plants like fountain grass, which is sun-loving and forgiving; and add in some lantanas, or some sweet potato vines, for color, thrill, and excitement. Focus on your fall containers too. Use bright pops of color, particularly if you plan to bring your containers inside. Or, use a clean neutral, like black, or white, and let the flowers and foliage truly shine. 
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!
Nothing ruins the view in a small backyard faster than a set of garbage cans blown over in the wind. Instead of having your garbage in plain sight, build a wooden surround to keep them contained. Here, a set of stylish wooden panels camouflages the homeowners garbage with a little space left over for bags of potting soil and extra garden tools. When the gate panel is closed, everything is completely hidden.
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.
Container gardening is an easy and fantastic way to add a bit of pizzazz to your backyard, especially if it's on the smaller side. While container gardening may sound like a lot of work, you can minimize upkeep and the frequency of re-potting with the right plant and pot choices. Low-maintenance cacti and succulents are obvious options, but perennials, herbs, and shrubs can also thrive in a container. As for pots, choose something larger (colorful or sculptural pots also add personality) and a good potting soil mix specifically made for container plants. Overwintering your pots is also a possibility provided the pot is frost-resistant.
Animal feed is often sold in very large, colorful plastic bags* that could almost double as works of art. Make a unique vertical planter by poking drainage holes in the bottom, cutting handles into the top for hanging, then adding potting soil and plants. It’s recycling at its best! (* If plastic begins to flake off over time, replace or keep away from water sources.) Photo courtesy of Chris McLaughlin.
Here it comes—a beautiful container in the sun, that is. This high-drama, low-maintenance container spotlights 'Variegated Spreading Salmon' SunPatiens, but leaves room for a foxtail asparagus fern and a 6-inch pot of 'Neon' pothos. Everything is set in a glazed-ceramic container, its bright green finish complementing the natural colors of the plantings. This is a beautiful example of the keeping it simple container-garden aesthetic. Let the SunPatiens—a strain that resulted from a cross between a New Guinea hybrids and a wild species—be the bright, central focus of this arrangement. Then, let everything else simply help them shine.  
Good landscape designs are anchored by focal points. One of the hottest trends is to use water features as focal points. This is one trend with "sound" reasoning behind it: water features are not only visually appealing but emit soothing sounds. Using pre-formed rigid plastic liners, durable pumps, flexible tubing and cheap fountains, they're also a lot easier to install than you think. Once you've experimented with ponds, you may even decide to advance to the next level: simple waterfalls.
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.
But for those who shun such a laissez-faire approach to landscaping, the resources below will provide some handy tips on pest control. Deer (and the ticks they bring) are a major pest in some regions. But you can stay organic and humane while still keeping the deer at bay, by using fencing or restricting yourself to deer-resistant plants, such as lavender

A simple galvanized-metal toolbox is an unexpected container-gardening vessel that fits into an all-natural springtime setup. Here, it showcases a classic arrangement of bright green spearmint, red geraniums, and white sweet alyssums, for a container that feels both light and fresh. You’ll also love how easy it is to move this around the garden thanks to the built-in handle. What you’ll love the most, though, is the rustic charm of the weathered metal contrasting with the soft and subtle colors of the flowers. This is a beautiful study in hard and soft elements in container garden design.
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.
Sprinkle a little sawdust on the spot and give the spot a little attention from your hose. The sawdust will hide the poop and it will counter the excess nitrogen. Combining with the nitrogen, it will, in time, turn into compost - enriching the soil. The sawdust will also reduce any odor by about 95%. The water will wet the sawdust and dilute the nitrogen source a bit, thus helping the beginning of the composting process.

Divide and Conquer Just because you've come up with a plan doesn't mean it has to be implemented in a single year. In fact, most homeowners should look at an overall vision that's phased in over several years at a minimum, says Miller. To gain the most in curb appeal, start in the front yard and work your way back. Phasing in a project may also allow you to pay for some landscaping tasks in later years while doing some yourself up front.
Don’t forget that your landscape is more than just a way to increase the curb appeal of your home. Indeed, a welcoming landscape is the perfect way to turn it into an inviting outdoor space for family and friends. Incorporate small elements of your personal aesthetic into your design to increase comfort and warmth. It’s perfectly okay to splurge on a couple of items that you absolutely love, especially if the building blocks of your landscape design are both frugal and beautiful.
This one is especially fun if you have kids that like to spend time wandering around outdoors with your four-legged friend. Consider using plants and other hardscaping features, like tunnels, balance beams, and pipes, to create a fun obstacle course for your dog. This will help him burn off some of his excess energy, even if you don’t have a ton of backyard space.
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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