With the challenge of working around one of the largest oak trees in the appropriately named city of Oakville in Ontario, Canada, Partridge Fine Landscapes added curbed braces and sculpted ends to an organically shaped patio. The flagstone patio was set on a concrete base, with pavers individually cut to accommodate the curves. The pergola is made of Douglas fir. Lime-green hydrangeas soften the landscape.
Being a homeowner is a big responsibility, and while there's plenty to take care of inside you home, don't forget about the outside, either. If you've ever looked into the cost of hiring a professional landscaper, you know they're not cheap. Fortunately, there are a slew of inexpensive and affordable DIY landscaping ideas at your disposal, so long as you're willing to get your hands a little dirty. From the front yard to the back, barbeque pits to bistro lights, here are 59 ways you can affordably improve your outdoor space.
Your garden will seem wild, and it will certainly be full of life, when you have some 'Tiger' fern (a selection of Boston fern) in your container garden. Pair it with your tulips, Lavender Blue' and 'Purple Wing' Plentifall pansies, acorus, heuchera, and variegated ivy. These simply shaped concrete pots enhance any outdoor environment. Their angled geometry pairs well with the color and movement sprouting out of their tops. Let the plants grow and flow—the containers keep them just where you want them, creating a great harmony of color, and, as they drape over the edges, you’ll see where Plentifall pansies got their name.
Julie Moir Messervy's vision for composing landscape of beauty and meaning is furthering the evolution of landscape design and changing the way people create and enjoy their outdoor surroundings. With over three decades of experience, eight books (incuding Home Outside and Outside the Not So Big House with Sarah Susanka), and numerous high-profile lectures, Messervy is an innovative leader in landscape and garden design theory and practice. Her landscape architecture and design firm, JMMDS, is located in Saxtons River, Vermont.
As much as we love pansies and violas, they’re vertically challenged. This means that if you want to give them a sense of height or elevation you will have to do this yourself with your choice of container or through the design of your container garden. Give them a lift by perching pots on benches and tables or placing them on your steps. Then leave your pansies and violas to do their true duty, which is to be beautiful and brighten their space through bold color and soft blossoms. Grouping them will create even more interest, so don’t let a single container be left on its own. Go big, go bold, and go colorful.
Tougher than Clint Eastwood, lantana parties in heat, chortles at drought, and blooms in a slew of sunny colors from spring to fall. Plus, its nectar-laden flowers attract pretty butterflies like moths to a flame. This beautiful plant is native to America, so if you want to focus on plants that will attract or entice wildlife, this can be a good choice. Lantana is also generally resistant to deer—they don’t find it particularly attractive, even though you will. So plant a container or two of this wonderful, durable plant, then sit back and wait for your fluttering-winged visitors to arrive.
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.
An essential feature in your design is outdoor garden lighting. Exterior light fixtures can softly illuminate your garden in the evening for nighttime entertaining, as well as protect the safety of your guests by ensuring that pathways and dark corners are sufficiently lit. With the vast amount of new products in 2017 garden décor styles it can be quite daunting to choose the type of lighting that is perfect for your outdoor space. A trend this year is garden solar lights because they come in a variety of finishes, types and prices and are also very easy and inexpensive to install since they require no additional cost for electricity or professional wiring. The latest 2017 solar lighting collections feature options like faux stained glass insets or unique contemporary metal designs that can make these outdoor lights one of your best garden decorations. Remember to choose the appropriate fixture style for the job – pathway lights are smaller and designed to focus light downward, while larger task and spot lights often require mounting in order to illuminate larger areas.
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.
A pool area can be tricky to repurpose, so be careful not to get too tacky. Using things you have on hand is key when trying to save money. By creating raised beds around the pool area, you add an interesting conception of height and texture. Add deep green plants or your favorite flowering bushes to create this natural element that is both beautiful and relaxing. If you have extra wood on hand, you could easily create some fun garden boxes to place in the corners around the pool area. Your pool area would be barbecue ready in no time.
To make a terrarium, choose a glass container with an opening wide enough for your hand. Gently add an inch or two of washed, fine gravel. Top gravel with a thin layer of activated aquarium carbon. (You'll find both items at your local pet store.) Next, add moistened potting soil, and you'll be ready to plant. Create a collection of plants, or showcase just one. Good choices include ferns, succulents, mosses, miniature moth orchids, African violets, and kalanchoes. How often you need to water or fertilize your terrarium will depend upon the type of plants you choose, but this is a beautiful way to enjoy container gardening.
Assuming you are in the right zone for this type of planting, if you don't want to spend all of your time watering, stick with easy-care options in some of your containers. Succulents and bougainvilleas need little care in containers. You can choose succulents that will grow to create senses of scale and drama, such as agave, or aloe. Depending on your choice of succulent, some of these may grow as tall as ten feet high, so be are of their potential when planning your container garden. Then, prepare for a beautiful sight.
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If your yard has limited space it's important to make the most of it! One key landscape idea is to take advantage of plants that serve more than one purpose. This espaliered apple tree, for example, offers privacy from the neighbor on the other side of it; provides an attractive backdrop for the curve in a path; and in autumn, gives a harvest of delicious apples.