10 Best Landscaping Ideas
Your home may be your castle, but rather than surround it with a moat, use any of these ten wonderful yard landscaping ideas to add warmth, color, and texture to the place you love to live. From growing blooming shrubs, to planting annuals and perennials, to deer-proofing your garden, there are many beautiful and wonderful ways to make your home inviting and appealing. Some of our best landscaping ideas include adding height with planters and baskets, and creating spaces where outdoor party guests can sit, relax, and enjoy drinks and company. Each of these yard landscaping ideas is both attractive and functional, so let them stir your imagination. Then, use our best landscaping ideas to help you create the stunning outdoor living spaces you know you will cherish.
1. Greet Guests with Flowers
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.
If you have a small space beetween your house and the street, try putting a low fence in front. It gives the illusion that your house is farther from the street than it really is, and it also makes for a great space for planting flowers and vines.
2. Plant Rambling Vines
Another way to make the most of your yard landscape is by planting lovely rambling vines. There’s nothing more stately or romantic than deep green tendrils winding around fences and columns, especially when you’ve chosen a delicate, flowering vine species. Clematis is one of the showiest vines we have, and it would look great in your yard. It offers blossoms of blue, purple, red, pink, or white. We recommend growing this versatile vine on a fence, on a trellis, or in a container. Or, for a more laissez-faire gardening style, let them ramble and scramble over your shrubs and perennials.
Clematis Planting Guide
When to Plant: Fall and spring are good times, because the weather is cool.
How to Grow: Plant clematis in fertile, loose, well-drained soil with lots of organic matter. It likes cool roots, so plant where the leaves get sun but roots are shaded.
How to Fertilize: Feed monthly in spring and summer with an organic fertilizer labeled for roses or tomatoes.
When to Prune: Some types bloom on new growth and some on old growth. When you buy, ask at the nursery what type you have and when you should prune.
Where to Buy: Local garden centers have lots of choices in spring. Good mail-order sources include Brushwood Nursery and Joy Creek Nursery.
3. Dress Up Your Driveway
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.
4. Plant No-Fuss Lilies
When we talk about a rough-and-tumble, resilient plant, this is what we’re thinking of. Crinums laugh at drought, don't need fertilizer, and welcome hot, humid summers with lily-like flowers that perfume the air. Because they grow into huge bulbs over time, they're practically indestructible. If you need a low-maintenance, high-impact flower, this low-fuss lily will be your go-to plant. They come in an array of rainbow hues, ensuring that your yard will be adorned in your favorite vibrant colors. These plants like sun and don’t care much about the sort of soil in which you plant them. We wish more plants were this low-maintenance.
Crinum Planting Guide
Why You'll Love Them: Fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers in many colors appear in spring, summer, or fall.
How to Grow: Most prefer at least five hours of sun a day. They're not picky about soil.
Where to Grow: Most do best in the Lower, Coastal, and Tropical South (zones 8-10). Some, such as Crinum x powellii 'Alba' and 'Ellen Bosanquet,' are hardy farther north.
Where to Buy: Order from Jenks Farmer or Plant Delights Nursery.
5. Deer-Proof Your Garden
To keep your flowers from being gobbled up by deer—one of the most heartbreaking of all garden misfortunes—choose flowers that people find glorious and deer find disgusting. It’s not as hard a chore as you might imagine. We recommend that you choose deer-averse perennials like butterfly weed, globe thistle, 'Royal Red' butterfly bush, or even purple cornflower. Deer won’t touch them, and, at the end of the day, you’ll still have a flowerbed full of gorgeous leaves and blooms. You can find any of these varieties at garden centers, but be sure that you plant them in well-drained soil.
6. Add Height with Planters and Baskets
You don’t want a one-dimensional home, so why would you want one-dimensional landscape design? Add lovely, eye-catching layers to your yard with elevated planters and hanging baskets. This strategy creates visual interest with minimal effort. Adding elevated planters and hanging baskets also creates a sea of beautiful color from high to low, and the visual effect gives the impression of waves of blossoms rising and falling all across your yard. If you want to create an immersive escape, this is a foolproof way to get started. As an added bonus, plants love the good drainage and aeration that raised planters provide.
Basket Planting Guide
Each basket should contain three types of plants-a "spiller" (something that hangs down over the edges) like begonias and variegated sage, a "filler" (something that mounds and fills in) like Kong coleus, and a "thriller" (something that is tall and eye-catching for the center) like purple cordyline.
7. Grow Blooming Shrubs
If you ask anyone what the easiest way to transform the look of your home landscape is, they’ll definitely tell you: blooms. Blossoming flowers, shrubs, and trees make an incredible impact across a yard, and you can add color in just one lasting step. For major impact, we recommend Chinese snowball, which we think is one of spring's showiest shrubs. White flower clusters—that grow 6 to 8 inches across—festoon its branches in late spring. It’s a thrill to behold. The plant gets big; we’ve seen them grow from 12 to 20 feet tall and wide. And by the way, though it looks like a hydrangea, it's actually a viburnum.
Chinese Snowball Planting Guide
Where to Plant: Find a prominent spot where it will have room to grow.
How to Grow: Give it full to partial sun and fertile, well-drained soil. Prune, if necessary, just after it finishes flowering in spring.
Where to Buy: It's available at home-and-garden centers.
8. Hide Outdoor Structures
Sheds, garages, and outdoor workspaces are not always the most attractive accents to your carefully constructed yardscape. Simultaneously hide these structures and make the most of these spaces by using them as a setting for a beautiful display of plants and flowers. Try adding brackets and a wooden plank to create a shelf on the exterior of a structure above the entrance or windows. Then, set lightweight fiberglass planters filled with flowers atop it to hide the structure and also add natural ambience to the entryway. Potted ferns are great additions for the base of the structure and they give an earthy accent to the threshold. Bringing plants both nearer and actually onto the walls of the structure will make it seem like a seamless complement to the greenspace.
9. Plan a Garden Surprise
Create a garden paradise, an escape, an oasis in your yard by constructing intersecting trails, meandering streams, inspiring vistas, and hidden rooms. Design small hideaways where people can gather for drinks and try mixing formal with informal for stimulating visual tension. Each turn of the pathway brings its own lovely garden vignette. You can also get creative and save the biggest garden surprise—a wall of plants, a fountain, a statue, a bench, or a special flower display—for the farthest spot in your yard instead of putting it directly next to the house. You’ll create your own secret garden just moments from your front door.
10. Enjoy Color Year-Round
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:
Seasonal Flower Guide
Spring: azalea, daffodil, forsythia mandevilla, dogwood, wisteria, bearded iris (pictured), peony
Summer: hydrangea, daylily, gardenia, crinum, lantana, crepe myrtle, impatiens, zinnia
Fall: pansy, aster, sugar maple, beautyberry, ginger lily sasanqua camellia, holly, autumn crocus, mum
Winter: winterberry, Colorado blue spruce, amaryllis, Lenten rose, rosemary, saucer magnolia, flowering quince, crocus