Home & Garden Gardening

DIY Garden Landscaping

    • 1). Determine what your garden style will be, such as Japanese, patriotic, tea, fragrance, cottage or some other garden type. You can simplify your landscaping decisions, and enhance your garden's appeal, by choosing a garden type or theme and expressing it consistently in your landscape design elements.

    • 2). Choose colors that complement or contrast each other and the surrounding structures. You might choose different tints and shades of one color, or plant masses of a single kind of flower in varied colors. To create a garden landscape focal point, plant hot colors, such as oranges and reds against a cool-colored backdrop, such as a green climbing ivy or a gray brick structure.

    • 3). Define the lines of your garden consistently. For a soft, natural design, create flower beds with curving edges and pathways that twist and turn gently through the garden. For a bold, dramatic look, choose geometric shapes, straight lines and sharp corners in your garden.

    • 4). Plant tall flowers and plants in the back third of a flower bed, with medium-height plants in the middle and dwarf plants in front and along the edges Keep plantings in their proper proportions. A huge rhododendron in front of a tiny bungalow will make the home appear smaller.

    • 5). Design a balanced landscape. Install planting and décor elements in patterns that the eye can easily recognize. Abundant plantings in one half of the garden, with a few plantings on the other half, is an example of landscape imbalance.

    • 6). Allow a gradual transition from tall plantings to shorter plantings. You might punctuate a short-growing flower garden with a single tall planting in the center or on an end.

    • 7). Landscape with native plants whenever possible. Native plants already have adapted to your area's climate, soils, pests and invading fauna.

    • 8). Consider using natural materials such as wood, rocks and water to unify your garden landscape design. Line your pathways with rocks of similar size and shape. Use the same type of wood for fencing, in different parts of your property.

    • 9). Note the changing sun and shade conditions from season to season, and as surrounding trees grow and lose their leaves. Select plants that will thrive in your sun and shade conditions in a three-season garden. Plant bulbs for early spring and late summer color.

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