Set a Budget and Stick to it When you develop a plan, put real numbers to it and realistically decide what you can and want to spend -- this year, next year, and into the future. "Be true to your budget," says Miller. "So many people get a bid and it is over and they put off the project. That's when you work with your designer to figure out what you can change."

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.
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.
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.
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.

Hanging baskets follow the same recipe as containers as far as plant care goes. But instead of an upright thriller plant, you want more spillers and fillers—an upright thriller obviously won’t work as well. Calibrachoa in red, purple, and yellow can fill out fast with blooms that look like miniature petunias, so it makes a container overflow with interest quickly. It also covers the container, making the flowers, rather than the container itself, the center of attention. Consider planting calibrachoas by color, or mix them together, depending on your design plan and personal preference. Either way, your hanging baskets with be eye-grabbers.


As any seasoned landscaper or gardener can tell you, a home’s landscape is more than just a few haphazardly placed trees and shrubs. It requires careful thought, planning, and research – not to mention hard work. Not only can well-designed landscaping increase the pleasure you derive from your dwelling, it can boost curb appeal if you need to sell your home.
You’ll be planning window boxes everywhere you can once you see how beautiful and simple this arrangement is—and how much it brightens this once-empty shady space on the side of the house. 'Aaron' caladium, holly fern, 'Key Lime Pie' heuchera, 'White Nancy' lamium, ivy, and light pink periwinkle come together in this eye-catching window box. This box emerges in a subtle sea of layers, each adding depth and color to the other. What is so unexpected is how easily this box stays in a palette of greens and yellows, relying on tone and variation to create a melody of color and shape. It may be a window box, but it is anything but boxed in.
The Dogington Post is proud to do for the dog world what other great online newspapers have done for the dog-eat-dog world. We will show you who's bark is worse than their bite, who is most likely to be leader of the pack and who is the next bitch headed for stardom! A parody, but paws a moment. Along with all the fun, you'll find valuable information, heartfelt inspiration and a community captivated by the love of dogs.
You’ll definitely feel the power of gold when you combine the beauty of these three containers in your garden. These bright blooms of 'Ogon' golden sweet flag, 'Matrix Yellow Blotch' pansies, and 'Penny Clear Yellow' violas will make your pots and flowerbeds glow. Choose containers of similar materials but varying heights to create visual interest, and then tie everything together through the use of the shared tones of your plants. You will love how bright and bold these flowers are. You can add in height by including a grass in one of the plants if you like, or mix in some filler should you wish.
Landscaping projects suitable for DIY homeowners range from very simple projects anyone can tackle to sophisticated, complex projects that take substantial work and resources. Homeowners seeking a helping hand can follow the instructions in the resource links below, which feature many of the most popular DIY landscaping projects. Because safety should always be of paramount concern, especially when working with power equipment, make sure to refer to the article on Home Safety Tips in the section on Outdoor Living.
Drainage problems can be a real drain on your time and energy. Solving drainage problems sounds easy, in theory: Find out where the excess water is coming from, then take the necessary steps to channel it away. Sometimes it's not easy and you will need to call a pro, but there are some DIY options, like installing French drains, building dry creek beds and ensuring the proper slope for the runoff. 
Though it can be a pricey option, bluestone has a dense composition that makes it incredibly durable. Despite its name, the versatile stone comes in a variety of colors such as blue, brown, gray, and orange. "It's a natural stone and it feels great when you're walking around barefoot, which I love to do all summer long," says Chris. For a less expensive option, consider crushed stone such as pea stone or white stone.
Based on the above, grass that grows on sandy soil must be watered more often than the same grass growing on clay or loam soils. Even after a thorough watering, sandy soils hold little plant-available moisture. They require more frequent irrigation with smaller amounts of water. Conversely, turf growing on a loamy-clay soil can be irrigated less frequently, with larger quantities of water. Watering less often means more efficient water use because of less loss to evaporation. It can also reduce the number of weeds that appear in the lawn.

Bucks County, Pennsylvania landscape architects Dear Garden Associates were tasked with retrofitting existing farm buildings on a property with a new house and lots of land. Slopes that back up to the farmhouse were modified to accommodate terraces, gardens, and paths that link different components of the property. The hardscaping was softened by plants chosen for their flowers and foliage. Among the selections: Purple Smokebush, Mellow Yellow Spiraea, Russian Sage, and Smooth Viburnum.

There are do-it-yourself kits available from some lawn care services or lawn and garden shops. The cooperative extension offices in many states will also test soil for free or for a low fee. Private companies also provide kits and testing for a fee. Once you get the results returned, you will see what you may need to add to the soil in order to get the lawn of your dreams.
Customize your garden with stackable garden planters! You can grow 16 plants or more in small vertical space with this clever stackable planter. The tiers are self-watering; simply water the top tier and let the water flow down to the bottom layer in one simple step. Stacked on top of one another, they’ll create a beautiful natural arrangement. When you’re not using them, you can easily store them away.
Having fresh herbs on hand means that you can always add beautiful tastes to your home-cooked meals. You can make this simple by planting a tiny kitchen garden in a pot. Easy to create, and simple to maintain, you will love the fragrances and flavors that are contained in this one display of coriander, rosemary, and thyme. Coriander—often called cilantro—is beautiful in salads and salsas. You can choose rosemary according to your flavor preferences since there is one that is even known as ‘Chef’s Choice’. Thyme makes a delicate seasoning. Since you’ll have this all at your fingertips, plan your weekly recipes to take advantage of everything these great herbs can bring to your table.
"In a nutshell, what is the best way to go about beautifying my yard?" I am sometimes asked this rather broad question, and it's a tough one to answer. There are so many variables in do-it-yourself landscaping, such as budget, skills, the climate of your region, your personal design tastes, how you'll be using your yard, etc. But there are certain steps you can take that are so sound that they readily suggest themselves as answers to this question.
You won’t have to tiptoe around these fantastic plantings. Instead, you can create beautiful pathways through your container garden with these simple, architectural containers. When planning your flowerbeds, simply buy extra plants for accents. These containers were planted with flowers left over from the borders. Not only do the containers look great, but also they tie back into the colors of the adjacent walk.
Choosing to do your own landscaping will ultimately save you money in the long run. Yes, there may be some up front costs of purchasing your own tools and buying the wrong fertilizer a time or two, but you won’t be paying to have a service come and do the landscaping for you. Many homeowners who choose to do their own landscaping work have other family members that can help out with the chores like spouses or kids. Tending to your own landscaping is a budget friendly option that many homeowners choose in order to save money.
"In a nutshell, what is the best way to go about beautifying my yard?" I am sometimes asked this rather broad question, and it's a tough one to answer. There are so many variables in do-it-yourself landscaping, such as budget, skills, the climate of your region, your personal design tastes, how you'll be using your yard, etc. But there are certain steps you can take that are so sound that they readily suggest themselves as answers to this question.
A water feature—even a small, self-contained unit that stands alone on a patio—should look like it belongs in its surroundings. You can use natural stone to build it up, or you can use the same stone or material that you find on the house. Do not to use too many materials or the effort may backfire. A good rule is to use no more than three elements in one area, or the area can get too busy.
This pink ‘Dragon Wing’ begonia—a hybrid—is the perfect plant for a hanging outdoor container because it will grow to be about one to one-and-a-half feet tall and ten to twelve inches wide. Begonias will grow particularly well in containers in general. The ‘Dragon Wing’ begonia drips with flowers throughout the summer and into fall. For an even more exciting container, combine it with ‘Silver Falls’ dichondra for a splash of color against shimmering foliage. You will marvel at the dichondra’s heart-shaped leaves, and its silver-toned leaves will glisten.
Stacked pots offer opportunities to layer texture and color in your plantings. If you plan to use this approach, have it in mind and prepare your structure before doing your planting. Terra cotta pots work particularly well for this application because they will allow moisture to transfer from one pot to another, meaning that when you water the upper tier you may still get some benefit below. A mixture of colorful annuals and textural foliage fills this grouping, and spills from above to below. Plan a variety of colors in each to create visual harmony and interest.
Impatiens is one of the best options for flowers that can take heat and humidity, which makes them the perfect choice for container gardens in the South. Although they love the shade, as long as you keep impatiens well watered, they can manage some sun. Some hybrids like ‘New Guinea Hybrid’ will even tolerate bright light. In this design, large, low containers are filled with lush mounds of potted impatiens. Kept pinched back, your impatiens will remain full and bushy, and their blossoms can last until the first frost. Get your container garden going—you know these can’t wait!

These projects require not only muscle and time but construction knowledge and experience. You can learn anything from a book or watching a demo, but in real life problems occur. Parts don’t fit, something won’t cooperate, and knowing what to do when the book leaves something out or how to fix a problem when you have made a mistake, is where landscape professionals soar.
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.

This is a super cute idea for someone who wants to add some planters to an especially small space – like an apartment balcony or tiny side garden. I’m not sure what these tiny planters are exactly, but they look like tiny little buckets. Whatever they are, they’re adorable, and really you can use anything that can hold some dirt for a plant in it as a planter. Since these containers are especially small, make sure to use plants that can live in a smaller, more cramped space like tiny cactuses or vibrant succulents. This is a low maintenance way to bring some plants into the scene!
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.
The moment when flowers burst forth with their vibrant blooms is one of the most exciting times for gardeners…or anyone with a yard, or anyone passing by said yard. A great thing about gardening in the South is that we get treated to colorful flowers, leaves, or berries in every season. We cultivate plants that love our hot summers, our mild winters, and that look great all year. They are fantastic additions to our flowerbeds, and we love the accent that they offer to our front porches, our mailboxes, our flowerbeds, and our backyards. Look for these plants each season:
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