Out is in! In recent years, there’s been a boom in building and refurbishing outdoor rooms and spaces. More and more, homeowners, landscape designers, and builders are transforming backyards, side yards, and patios into comfortable, attractive, and usable living spaces that provide a beautiful setting and improve curb appeal. Landscaping Ideas that Work is the most comprehensive resource of inspired design ideas and practical solutions for all landscaping and outdoor living spaces. With practical design advice as well as over 350 innovative ideas and photographs, this is the only sourcebook you’ll ever need for smart design, buying, and installation decisions for your outdoor digs.
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:
If you like the idea of celebrating the architectural impact of some truly special containers you’ve selected, you can elevate them for impact. In this elegant semi-formal garden, a pair of oversized urns are raised, then filled with pink verbenas and white bacopas. The urns are each set on a simple, flat stone capital atop a flagstone column. They create a columned entryway onto a flagstone path through the garden. The verbenas and bacopas cascade over the sides, creating a whimsical sense of movement, echoing the graceful lines of the garden’s architecture.

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.


While many of you know something about gardening, the subject of lawn care may be another thing altogether. Let us help with that. Our lawn care section can help answer questions about various types of grass and how to grow them, common lawn issues, alternative solutions and general lawn care. Don’t let questions become a burden to your piece of mind. Instead, get the answers and use the lawn care tips and information provided as a guide to growing a healthy, lush carpet of grass that will make others green with envy.
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.
MYTH: "If I mow short, it will be longer until I have to mow again." False! Wrong! (SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!) Your grass needs grass blades to do photosynthesis (convert sunshine into sugar) to feed the roots. When you whack the blades off, the grass has to RACE to make more blades to make sugar. It then grows amazingly fast. This fast growth uses up a lot of the grass's stored sugar, and weakens the plant. It is now vulnerable to disease and pests! Tall grass is healthier and can use the extra sugar to make rhizomes (more grass plants) thus thickening the turf. Have you ever noticed that short grass in the summer is always riddled with dead brown patches?

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.


Even if you don’t necessarily have a green thumb, this is one of the best cheap easy gardening ideas out there! You can easily create bloom boxes out of old wood you have already laying around the house, or even if you have to go out and purchase some, spare wood really isn’t expensive at all. Creating bloom boxes to sit outside windows gives the area a quaint garden look without overpowering the setup, so no matter what size of landscape you’re dealing with, these boxes create just enough charm for any setting.
A beautiful backyard doesn't have to cost a fortune. With a little effort and a lot of creativity, you can create a professional-level outdoor space at an attainable price point. Think retaining walls for flower beds, pretty garden paths, and bubbling water features. These landscaping ideas for your yard are cheap, easy, and guaranteed to turn heads!

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of redoing the landscaping every time the seasons change. Don’t get me wrong, I love the time outdoors, but the shovel and I are not best friends. Here’s an idea that was a bit of an “aha” moment for me. Dig a hole for your seasonal plants and fill it with an empty plastic pot. Now you can just drop your seasonal flowers (or herbs and veggies) in there and easily switch them out once they’re ready to retire.
A woodland backyard near Chicago designed by Hursthouse Landscape Architects and Contractors features pavers and shredded bark. Care was used to respect the existing trees while also creating additional privacy for the homeowners. Plants include Annabelle hydrangeas, Pachysandra 'Green Carpet' ground cover, and Mission Arborvitae evergreen shrubs. 
My soil was only half an inch deep. Even weeds had a tough time growing. Below my half inch of soil was huge river rocks seperated by smaller rocks, sperated by sand. It bore no resemblance to soil. I added four inches of topsoil. This was done with two dumptruck loads at $100 a pop. It covered all of the weeds with enough soil that they could not work through - I could start from scratch with my grass seed of choice!
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.

If you spend any time online, you’ll see planters made from items like cinderblocks, wooden pallets, and rain gutters. Available at home improvement stores, these make very unusual and creative vertical planters. One caveat: When planting edibles, use only new, clean cinderblocks lined with plastic (punch drainage holes into bottom), and wooden pallets that have not been chemically treated.


Just like anything that you do yourself, choosing to do your own landscaping can be a big time commitment. Getting your yard to look the way that you want it to can take months, if not years, to achieve. Many nights and weekends will be spent outdoors trying to keep your landscaping looking sharp and not overgrown. Many families are overextended on schedules and have a little amount of extra time to begin with so adding in landscaping responsibilities could take up more time that you even have available for the task.
This is another great example on how you can bring some plant life into even the smallest areas. Plants not only make an area vibrant, but they add so much character to a space, too. As stated before, you can virtually make anything into a planter just as long as it’s big enough to hold some dirt and plants. Just make sure your irrigation system is sufficient for the types of plants you are planning on using. Overwatering can easily kill plants if there isn’t holes at the bottom of a planter.

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.


Mow the turf often enough so no more than 1/3 of the grass height is removed at any single mowing. If your mowing height is 2 inches, mow the grass when it is 3 inches tall. You may have to mow a bluegrass or fescue lawn every three to four days during the spring when it is actively growing but only once every seven to 10 days when growth is slowed by heat, drought or cold. Buffalograss lawns may require mowing once every 10 to 20 days, depending on how much they are watered.
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.

Measure thatch buildup by removing a small piece of turf, including the underlying soil. Try to slow buildup when the thatch layer exceeds 1/2 inch in thickness. The thickness can increase quickly beyond this point, making it difficult to control later. As the thatch layer thickens, it becomes the main rooting medium for the grass. This predisposes the turf to drought stress or winter kill and increases the possibility for insect, disease and weed problems. Also, fertilizers and pesticides applied to a thatchy lawn work less effectively.
Set a Time Budget and Stick to it Much like dollars count, your time counts, too, when it comes to do it yourself landscaping. "You have to think about when you'll get to things," says Miller. "You have to realistically look at when you can get things done and if you want to eat up every nice-weather weekend. Don't overcommit and wind up disappointed."
Creating an inviting outdoor space doesn't have to be a time-consuming, backbreaking endeavor. Although there's no such thing as a truly zero-maintenance landscape, it is possible to create a stylish backyard with minimal upkeep. Read on for six simple design ideas that can spruce up your backyard and help you spend more time enjoying the landscape—not just working on it.
If you're not ready to nix grass completely, consider which grasses naturally grow in your region. "If you plant a grass that is accustomed to your climate, that makes it low maintenance," says Chris. "You can research which grass grows best in your area, and in turn save money on watering, fertilizing, and other maintenance." For instance: In the Northeast — where the couple lives in their Cape Cod home — fescue and ryegrass grow well. Alternatively, in the Southeast, Bermuda grass is a better option.
Sometimes repetition can be a better approach than difference. Finding a simple planting scheme, then sticking with it until you’ve found the perfect amount of containers to make it beautiful, can lead to simply incredible results. So don’t think that your container garden has to be filled with every type of plant imaginable. Instead, repeat your favorite plants in containers and flowerbeds. You’ll appreciate the simplicity of these simple containers set against the natural stone stairs. Pots of bright purple and yellow violas climb the front steps, seeming to spill over and out into the flowerbeds creating a lush, fluid, yet consistent look.

On 2 days notice, you came to blow out my sprinkler before the predicted big drop in temperature last night! On a Sunday no less. I couldn't have been more impressed or more appreciative. You can be sure I will be telling all my neighbors what tremendous service you gave! So rare to find a company with that level of commitment anymore. Again, thank-you!
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.
On 2 days notice, you came to blow out my sprinkler before the predicted big drop in temperature last night! On a Sunday no less. I couldn't have been more impressed or more appreciative. You can be sure I will be telling all my neighbors what tremendous service you gave! So rare to find a company with that level of commitment anymore. Again, thank-you!
On the other hand, an easy-maintenance ground cover is a great and cost-effective alternative to grass. Thyme, bishop’s weed, and lamium spread quickly over room-sized sections of a front and back lawn, and remain hearty through temperature and drought swings. Simply plant around 10 creeping ground cover plants (more if you want faster coverage or you’re dealing with an area larger than a bedroom) for between $5 and $10 each. They should quickly germinate and take over portions of your yard with beautiful leaves and flowers.

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.
If you don’t necessarily want to use old tires as planters, why not try creating your very own fish pond? Well, the fish could be completely optional, but turning a tire into a pond is super simple and a really great way to add some interesting elements into a garden scape. Even better, they are so cheap! If you don’t have any used tires on hand, you can easily find tires at junk yards or garage sales. Creating your own tire pond could be a fun, quick and cheap way to liven up your landscape.

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.
The most cost effective way to fill flowerbeds with great looking plants is to buy perennials that you can divide. This may sound like advanced level gardening but really it isn't. It will work with clump forming perennials such as geums, astrantia and hardy geraniums. Simply tip the plant out of its pot and pull it apart into two or three bits, each with some stalks and root. Dig a hole and plant each part in your flowerbed. Next year when they've grown and spread, you can dig them up and pull them apart again to gain even more plants. You'll get a wonderful display in a couple of years for very little cash. Six geranium plants are usually enough to get going in an average sized garden.
The most efficient time of day to water is late evening and early morning (between 10 p.m. and midnight or 8 and 9 a.m.). It generally is less windy, cooler and more humid at this time, resulting in less evaporation and more efficient use of water. Water pressure is generally better and this results in optimal distribution patterns. Contrary to popular belief, watering at night does not encourage disease development.
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.
Southerners used to have to choose between geraniums that could handle high temperatures and humidity and those that produced lots of flowers. But this sad state of either-or is no more since Calliope-series geraniums were developed to offer the best of both worlds. This one's called 'Dark Red,' and it forms the centerpiece of a container filled to bursting with bright color and subtle greenery. Here, the filler forms a backdrop to the bold geraniums, and bring height, while the weathered container gives a sense of contrast against the masonry-and-mortar design elements of the courtyard. Let these geraniums burst forth with color in your Southern garden—temperature and humidity are no problem at all!
Let grass clippings fall back onto the lawn, unless they are used for composting or mulching elsewhere in the landscape. Grass clippings decompose quickly and provide a source of recycled nutrients and organic matter for the lawn. Mulching mowers can do this easily. Side-discharge rotary mowers also distribute clippings effectively if the lawn is mowed at the proper frequency.
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.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to transform your garden is to cut the lawn into a clearly defined shape – something like a circle, a square or an oblong. Mark it out with string and use a spade (try this Stainless Digging Spade by Spear & Jackson) to cut away the excess grass. It's not a difficult job and should only take an afternoon. And the best part? It costs absolutely nothing!
✢ Special price is for first tree and shrub application only and for new tree and shrub residential customers only. The special price applies to installed plant material and shrubs and excludes mature, native and specialty trees such as fruit or certain ornamentals. Application includes up to 5 trees, no more than 25 ft. in height. For the regular tree and shrub application price, please call for an estimate. Not to be combined with or used in conjunction with any other offer or discount for the same service. Consumer responsible for all sales tax.
These arrangements look best when you combine plants with three different profiles – vertical (such as upright fuchsia or fountain grass), horizontal (like impatiens or heliotrope), and cascading (like the asparagus fern or wave petunias). This striking landscape display only costs about $50 for the planters and $30 to $50 for the plants, depending on the types you purchase.
Flowers always make a home seem more welcoming. Adorn your entrance with assorted annuals and perennials to keep your home awash with color all year long. Petunia, Snapdragon, Lily-of-the-Nile, and 'Gertrude Jekyll' roses are great additions to your entry mise-en-scene. Also, if you have only a small space between your house and the street, try constructing a low fence out in front of the yard. This little trick gives the illusion that your house is farther from the street than it really is, and it also makes a great space for planting flowers and vines. Perhaps there’s something to that “white picket fence” idea after all.
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