Garden Design Archives

Spring Ideas for Your Backyard Garden

Backyard GardenA backyard garden can be a very pleasant place to spend a sunny morning or afternoon, a place to entertain friends and family, and a showcase of the plants you love. Ideas for your backyard garden do not have to be expensive or work-intensive in order to create a lush, vibrant landscape to enjoy.

Before you begin planning to turn your backyard garden ideas into reality, examine your backyard. You’ll need to know what plant hardiness zone in which you reside. This will guide your plant selection. You can learn which zone you live in by obtaining a plant hardiness zone map from your local county cooperative agent or by searching the Internet. Once you know which zone applies to your area, you can search for plants that thrive in your region.

You’ll want to place your backyard garden in an area where the soil is loamy or sandy loam rather than clay. You can amend the soil with organic material to improve drainage, if necessary, to make a less-than-perfect area become perfect for planting your landscape plants. Do not select an area that holds standing water after heavy rains because the roots of most plants will develop problems when left in standing water.

Choose Plants That Thrive In Sun

If your backyard is exposed to full sunlight, you want to choose plants that thrive in the sun. Black mondo grass, angel trumpet, daylilies, most evergreens, and many ferns are only a few of the choices for backyard gardens that thrive in full sun. The same is true for full shade. If your yard is shady, select plants such as hostas, bellflowers, rhododendrons, yews, boxwood, hemlock or some of the other shade-loving plants. You can easily learn which plants love full sun or full shade by consulting with your local gardening center or researching plants you love via the Internet.

If you live in a dry region such as the western United States, choose plants for your backyard garden that require little water. This will cut down the maintenance and expense of maintaining your garden as well as helping the environment. Cacti and succulents are great ideas for these types of backyard gardens. Add large stones or rocks to add interest to the garden and you’ll have a garden that is the envy of your friends.

Perhaps you have the perfect backyard garden environment which can support a wide range of plants. You might have wonderful soil that is loamy and drains well combined with partial shade, making your plant choices almost endless. If you are this fortunate, you’ll want to incorporate foliage and flowering plants that are low maintenance.

Displaying Your Plants

It’s a good idea to place your most beautiful plants in locations which can be enjoyed by viewing from a window of your home as well as from seating areas outdoors. Add some interesting plants near the back door and along walkways too, to get the most from your gardening efforts.

No matter what ideas you choose to implement in your backyard garden, the most important thing is that you enjoy your [gardening] efforts. Select plants you love and that hold interest for you so that caring for you garden will never seem a burden but will be a joyful way to spend some of your free time. Also, take time to sit back and enjoy your beautiful backyard garden.

Fall Landscaping Designs

Fall Landscaping DesignsWhile most home gardeners are thinking about putting perennials to bed, pruning trees and planting spring bulbs, there are plenty of fall landscaping designs that can still be in effect well into October.

Planting fall foliage trees, plants and flowers during the spring months is an excellent way to make sure you will have a beautiful fall landscaping design to view through September and October. While many homeowners select trees and shrubs based on their landscape design and pattern for the spring and fall months, you may also want to take the time to consider their display in the fall months.

Oak, Birch, Ash and Maple trees are excellent choices for fall landscaping designs, with a wide variety of fall foliage colors from a golden yellow to deep purple. As well, there are a variety of beautiful shrubs and bushes that will have fall foliage turn an array of colors in the fall. Many bushes and shrubs have their best display of berries and delicate flowers in the fall months as well. These include the firebush, red chokeberry bush, burning bush, witch-alder, and the Virginia creeper.

One of the major factors to keep in mind when planning [fall landscaping designs] is to consider how these bright foliage colors will mesh with other landscaped trees and plants in the fall. You may just want to add a splash of color with one or two foliage turning plants or you may want to incorporate all foliage changing trees and bushes, but whatever you decide it is best to try and create some consistency. Otherwise your attempt at creating a beautiful fall landscape design may just look awkward.

Fall landscaping designs can also incorporate cool season annuals and perennials. While you can wait until August or September to plant some cool season annuals, there are quite a few varieties that can be planted in the spring or summer months, trimmed back in the late summer and will create a whole new bouquet of blossoms in the fall.

Excellent choices for cool season annuals include marigolds, geraniums, dianthus, salvia, and petunias. Good choices for late season perennials are chrysanthemums, pansies, asters, and hydrangea. Most cool season perennials will have a round of blooms early to late summer and then can be trimmed to allow for another display of flowers that will usually last into October.

Another wonderful choice for fall landscaping designs that will add color and depth to both your fall and winter landscapes are evergreens. Fall is an excellent time for planting evergreen shrubs and bushes, as they do well with the cool climate. Planting evergreens in the fall gives you an additional display for your fall landscape design and gives the evergreens a chance to take root before the freezing temperatures set in.

One of the best parts about creating fall landscaping designs is being able to enjoy the beautiful design you created. During the hot summer months, it may be difficult to get outside and truly enjoy your landscape design, but the cool weather in the fall months means really enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

Wind Chime Wisdom

Wind chimes are beautiful additions to the outside of a home. They bring a pleasant sound into the house whenever the wind blows and are a nice addition to a garden or even hung near the door as a melodic welcome to your guests.


Did you know that wind chimes are also thought to bring prosperity and good luck to households that have them? Feng shui, the Asian system of organizing energy to promote auspicious changes in your life, suggests that [wind chimes] slow down or break up old energy around a home.


While the system for choosing which type of wind chime to buy for maximum feng shui benefit is rather complex, choosing a wind chime for your garden does not have to be difficult. In fact, there is only one rule: choose a chime that speaks to you.


You may pick a wind chime because you love its design. If you are a pig fanatic, for instance, it’s a sure bet you’ll love a wind chime with a pig on it. If you have a lot of suns and moons already in your garden design, perhaps you would prefer a sun and moon wind chime.


Or maybe you will choose a chime based on the sound it makes. A chime with metal rods sounds much different than a chime with bamboo rods. Both have their place; it depends on your own taste which one will be better for you.


Feng shui also has something to say about the number of rods on your wind chime. To bring the most prosperity and luck into a home, it is suggested you buy a chime made of wood or bamboo and containing eight or nine rods.


made of other materials with different configurations of rods are beneficial for other purposes, depending on where you hang them inside your home. If you want to improve your relationship with your children, for example, feng shui suggests placing a metal wind chime with three rods in the west part of your home.


Regardless of whether you believe hanging a wind chime or not or placing it in a certain location will bring you any more or less luck, there is no doubt that wind chimes are a lovely addition to any home. Pick a wind chime that you like, hang it somewhere you will be able to hear it regularly and enjoy.


You can also decorate with wind chimes inside the home. Wind chimes are a great addition to the kitchen, baby’s room or anywhere else you might like to hear the tinkle of little bells. Of course you’ll have to help the chimes along a little bit when they hang inside, but the sound is no less beautiful when supplied by you instead of the wind.


Wind chimes are also great gifts. If you’ve got a bunch of weddings to go to this year and want to get the happy couples something a little different, buy them a lovely wind chime. Write a note explaining that the chime is to bring them fortune and good wishes throughout their married life. That’s better than margarita glasses any day.