Using stone or concrete slabs like the ones depicted are great when creating outdoor paths. Stone or concrete slabs shouldn’t cost you that much to purchase, but if you have a larger outdoor landscaped area, odds are you might already have some extras on hand. If not, you can easily find materials to create walking paths throughout your outdoor space at garden centers or home improvement stores. You may even have some friends or relatives that are getting rid of older garden materials. You can use virtually anything when it comes to constructing garden paths.
A month after we received our plans, a local nursery had a 40%-off “going out of business” sale.  With the designer's list in hand, we were able to purchase about a third of our total plant materials at a substantial discount. We were worried because we weren't anywhere near ready to put them into the ground yet. Fortunately, we live in a mild climate, and the plants survived several months in pots. 
A superior backyard makes for superior living, period. It is a reminder that you needn’t invest large sums of money and time to fly to the far ends of the earth for a little R&R, but need only step outside. The best backyards combine all the simplicity of time-honored joys with the eye-appeal of modern design. No more mismatched lawn chairs and unsightly patches of neglected turf; it’s time to take your backyard to the next level. And with warmer seasons just a month away, now is your moment to seize these cool backyard ideas and unique possibilities.

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.
Here's a can't-miss tip for beautifying your yard: make sure you're providing something of interest in each of the four seasons. Do-it-yourself landscaping for 4-season interest begins with a well-researched plant-selection plan. The goal is to have flowering trees and/or shrubs throughout spring and summer, fall foliage in autumn and good structure in winter. This article describes how to achieve that goal.
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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.
This is not something you need a chicken hutch to have in your back garden. Instead, these beautiful low-growing Hen and Chicks plants fill this vintage metal planter. The silver undertones of the leaves mirror the copper finish of the tub. The Southern Living Garden Book describes Hen and Chicks as Mexican natives with 'rosettes of fleshy leaves,' and that is simply the perfect description for these succulent perennials. Available in a wide range of colors, you will be able to choose the Hen and Chicks that best fit the tone of your container garden. Or, mix and match to your heart’s delight and revel in their subtle variations.
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!
Just because you want to give your landscape a facelift doesn’t mean you need to go rush out and purchase a whole bunch of expensive plants. There are so many plants you could incorporate into the scene that won’t set you back big bucks. In most garden centers, they typically showcase discounted or “out of season” plants that you could easily incorporate with spending too much money. If you’re feeling extra garden savvy, you could easily purchase seeds to plant instead of buying already sprouted plants. It may be a bit more difficult and it may take a bit longer, but it would be totally worth it in the end because you nurtured these plants to flourish and grow!
Cluster containers in one space for high impact. Look at the group as a whole composition, and plant it as a cohesive unit with complementary and repeated colors. If you don’t feel confident with how you choose colors, think of your plants like you might think of a artist’s color wheel—or use the idea of a color chart, or the colors from the paint chips at a home improvement store, to get ideas for how you might like shades and tones to go together. Then, select your plants and your containers to create the feeling you love in the space that makes you feel comfortable.
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.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.


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.
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