Backyards have become a true extension of the home. When properly landscaped, a backyard will provide additional outdoor living space where you can spend time with family and friends. Backyards have become areas for recreation as well as relaxation. And many amenities that used to be just for the indoors, such as fireplaces and fully equipped kitchens, are finding their way into backyard decorating ideas.
With so much refurbishing and repurposing going on these days, you can pretty much make a cute little garden planter out of anything. Take this wheelbarrow for example, you can use it to fill with actual dirt and seeds, or just use it as a holder for other pots or planters. Not only is it adorable, but it’s a great way to find new life in something either old or just worn down. Again, a little paint or wood stain goes a long way and you can easily recreate this to look fantastic in any landscape.

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.
Hanging containers are a simple way to bring gardens to limited spaces, or to add beauty to your space in simple yet unexpected ways. For this unique design, a mix of structural succulents gives the arrangement a bold internal architecture, and takes center stage in a simple hanging fiberclay planter. Purple fan flower punctuates the lush greenery. Fan flower is unique because all its blossoms have their segments on one side. In the Tropical South, these plants can also be evergreen. Given their bold, bright color, they offer a refreshing contrast to the deep, dark container suspended in the air.
Depending on soil type, core disintegration may take a few days to several weeks. Irrigation helps wash the soil from the cores. Dragging a piece of cyclone fence or an old metal door mat can speed the process. Running over the cores with a rotary mower can be effective but can dull the blade. Many commercial companies that perform core cultivation break up the cores with a power rake. If the cores are removed from the lawn, compost them before using them as a mulch or soil amendment.
There’s just something about pools and rock gardens that sync so well together. Pool areas can be a bit expensive to maintain, so in order to add some creative flair without having to spend a lot of money, use items you have on hand. If you have a pre-existing garden, odds are you have some garden rocks or stones that could easily be transformed and used in a funky rock garden like this one depicted. Since this is a pool area, you’d want to steer clear from using tiny stones or pebbles since these could make their way into the pool easier.
Using simple mulch in old flowerbeds is not only good for your plants, it also provides interesting color and texture to the landscape. The deep, fresh brown of the mulch and even the earthy tones to it can help give your garden a facelift and your plants will definitely thank you for it. Better yet, create a composting bin out of the old wooden pallets in an earlier tutorial and make your very own composting material that can easily be substituted as mulch! This would be a great hobby for someone with a very green thumb or home gardener.
It’s not all about flowers, though. Incorporating architectural elements and pathways into a landscape design is a good way—one that’s often overlooked but always welcome—to add big impact in a yard or garden. Paths and walkways can direct visitors through the space and can also allow you to more easily enjoy the fruits of your DIY landscaping efforts.
Consult an Expert Even if you're convinced that you have what it takes for do-it-yourself landscaping, it may be worthwhile to budget a small fee to have a landscape professional help evaluate your ideas and come up with a concrete plan. "People have a fear of getting ripped off," Miller says. "But a designer can sit down with you and help you think about activities and goals and pull together a realistic budget. It's a shame when folks do a small area and later think, 'Oops, I put that in the wrong place.' They really need to think through all the pieces they might want, even if they won't put it in for years." Get tips to work with landscape professionals.

This is a good time to talk about soil quality too. There is a big difference between dirt and soil. Soil is rich in microbial life and has a lot of organic matter in it. Dirt comes in many forms and it's a challenge to get anything to grow in it. If you are getting "topsoil" delivered to your house, be prepared for it to bear more resemblance to "dirt". You may want to have compost also delivered to your house so that you can mix the two and have the beginnings for "soil". One part compost to two parts dirt is a good mix for lawn care.

An outdoor room, like the space created under a pergola, can be a welcoming place to mix your containers. This grouping has a lush, vibrant assortment of planters and hanging pots. Combine complimentary colors and plantings to ensure you will have the feeling of a unified, welcoming space that you can settle into on a warm, sun-filled summer afternoon. Hardscaping defines a space for seating under the pergola, which well-placed containers will soften and enhance. Then, sit back and listen to the sweet chirp of birds, watch the butterflies on wing, and enjoy the fragrances from your beautiful container garden.
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.

Don’t confuse Plectranthus, or ‘Mona Lavender,’ for the lavender you think of when you imagine the beautiful-smelling plant that fills the fields of Provence. This gorgeous tropical nature shares its beautiful color, but is not the same thing. Use a pot of ‘Mona Lavender’ plectranthus as your container garden to add an unexpected pop of color to any outdoor space. It will brighten the shorter days of fall and add wow to your yard.
Just like clothing retailers, nurseries try to push last season’s plants, shrubs, and trees out the door through clearance sales to make room for new merchandise. These price cuts can result in huge savings for consumers who are willing to bide their time. Look for deeply discounted plants at the end of spring and summer. Even if the leaves and flowers look scorched and unkempt, a healthy, green stem means that they are perfectly salvageable as long as you plant them quickly and water them sufficiently.
My name is J.D. Roth. I started Get Rich Slowly in 2006 to document my personal journey as I dug out of debt. Then I shared while I learned to save and invest. Twelve years later, I've managed to reach early retirement! I'm here to help you master your money — and your life. No scams. No gimmicks. Just smart money advice to help you get rich slowly. Read more.
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.

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.
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.
42. Nothing beats the backyard privacy of your own fence. Before you begin the building process, you'll need to be sure of a few things: Verify your property line, check with your city or township about the limitations and height-restrictions of your fence, have someone from the city come and check for gas lines, and have a neighborly chat with anyone you'll be sharing the fence line with.

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.

Heat-tolerant geraniums, calibrachoas, and mecardonias in bright red, yellow, and purple shout a welcome in a cheerful way. For the most part, we’ve filled these whitewashed pots to bursting with a single color of each, showing how to create harmony from the variations between each element. This approach works well, creating a single environment for each container, making the task of watering and fertilizing, and sun simple. Whatever plants you choose, make sure they thrive in similar conditions. All three of these plants are heat-tolerant, making them perfect for grouping together.
This deck-top container garden is a study in variation in similarity, proving just how beautiful the simple repetition of a shape or color can be in creating a relaxing outdoor space. Here, three ceramic containers in a subtle shade of turquoise hold a variety of beautiful plants. In the largest pot, working from back to front and tallest to shortest, densely plant 'Liberty Classic Yellow' snapdragon, 'Bouquet Rose Magic' dianthus, and 'Tickled Pink' veronica. Place 'New Look' dusty miller and 'Lemon Ball' sedum in the front to trail over the edge. Pack a powerful, single-note punch in the two smaller pots by planting 'Supertunia Vista Bubblegum' petunia in the midsize container and more sedum in the smallest.
Consult an Expert Even if you're convinced that you have what it takes for do-it-yourself landscaping, it may be worthwhile to budget a small fee to have a landscape professional help evaluate your ideas and come up with a concrete plan. "People have a fear of getting ripped off," Miller says. "But a designer can sit down with you and help you think about activities and goals and pull together a realistic budget. It's a shame when folks do a small area and later think, 'Oops, I put that in the wrong place.' They really need to think through all the pieces they might want, even if they won't put it in for years." Get tips to work with landscape professionals.
An easy way to add color in your garden is to integrate potted plantings of annuals. These containers of petunias surround a trellis of climbing vines. Some petunias are grown from seed, and some from cuttings, but all petunias have become move treasured by gardeners in the South. If you choose white petunia, its fragrance will be intoxicating, while if surfinias enhance your garden you’ll be amazed when they bloom all along their stems. Whatever your preference, petunias will beautify your back yard spaces as part of your favorite container gardens.

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.

Crushed brick or gravel is a beautiful and low-maintenance paving option for small gardens. It's also easier to use and less expensive than brick or flagstone. Just be sure to spread a layer of landscape fabric underneath the gravel to keep weeds from popping through. On this California hillside, the gravel also allows rainfall to percolate through to the soil instead of running off down the hillside.


Three truly is the charm—flowers, that is, since the third flower brings together the two prevalent colors in this fantastic container garden arrangement. Simply adding a bicolored viola to this planter is a way to create a bold sense of visual interest while keeping all of the ease of maintaining this container garden. This fantastical planter has a cast relief of a gryphon on its side, bringing a sense of history and drama to the quiet softness of the flowers themselves. When considering this approach to your garden, look for a single planter that can form the centerpiece, and then complete your design around it.


Have some broken down furniture you don’t know what to do with? Use them in the garden to create a rustic landscape! You already have the stuff – so you might as well put them to good use. Anything from broken wooden benches, stools or wagon wheels (like the ones depicted) can easily create some character in any sort of garden setting. I can imagine a steer or longhorn skull somewhere in this scene – so if you by chance have one lying around, that could also be used! Don’t go and kill a steer, though. That would defeat the purpose of “refurbishing!”
Calibrachoa looks like a miniature petunia. Forming a trailing mound, it’s perfect for pots and hanging baskets. Be careful to ensure that your calibrachoas have good drainage, because they require it—so they are better in containers than they are in garden beds. You’ll love the names of your calibrachoas too: Million Bells, Mini Famous, Cabaret, Can-Can, and the positively powerful Superbells are just a few of your choices. So whether you want to ring a ton of bells, have a little fame, do a little dance, or see a show, these are the perfect solution for your container garden.
Contrary to popular belief, not all boxwoods are dark green—nor are they shaped into topiary, or complex geometrical forms, even though the easily can be. A popular choice for container gardens, known as variegated American boxwood (‘Elegantissima’), has green leaves accented with a white color. White violas, highlighting and reinforcing the color of the boxwoods, illuminate this garden corner, and in the larger planters are even mixed in with the boxwoods. Everything is tied together with the consistency of the terra cotta pots. These are simple and natural, and reflect the brick pavers.
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.
Trees and shrubs are some of the most important players in gardening ideas, and gardeners often give them the least amount of attention. It's easy to use them to make an impact, especially if you select varieties that have colorful foliage. Go a step further with this landscape idea: Execute some creative pruning. Here, for example, sheared golden false cypress and columnar holly make for a delightful contrast against sheared purple barberry.
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