The real difference between a project that you do yourself and one that is professionally done is performance, speed and repair. If you are looking only at how much money you can save, what does that matter if what you’ve done isn’t right? A landscaping project is one place where this thought is made clear. The act of sodding, planting trees, and creating flower beds, among other things, is back breaking, but doable. The knowledge can be learned by reading several books and studying up on different schools of thought, but you don’t need to know codes, understand how to calculate soil compaction, or cubic water pressure.
Use the same thoughtful approach to hardscaping as you would with plants: Evaluate your choices based on budget to buy, install, and upkeep as well as time you have to maintain it yourself. "People don't do the research and spend time learning about how to do projects successfully," says Miller. "Do your prep and be patient, but if you really want it and are not patient, hire somebody to do it right." Check out our landscaping materials guide.
Citrus trees can be grown on a balcony in a surprisingly small area. Whether you start from a seed or a small indoor fruit tree you will love enjoying fresh fruit year after year. Citrus trees require at least 6-8 hours of sunlight. They like humid weather so if you live in an area with low humidity, spray your tree with a lukewarm mist about every other day. You will want to make sure to keep the soil moist but more on the dry side, so weekly watering should be sufficient.
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.
It's easy to plan all your beds and borders along the perimeter of your property, but adding an island bed that floats in your lawn is a simple landscaping idea for making a good-looking yard. Make island beds extra effective by adding height to the middle of the yard. Plus, you need to walk around the planting to see what's behind it, so it adds a bit of mystery.