05 Jul

A Beautiful Example of Contemporary Garden Design

Bricks, concrete blocks, pebbles, rocks and stones are material for contemporary landscapes and gardens. These contemporary materials are used to design gardens and landscapes that are low on maintenance yet high in water efficiency. The whole idea is to cover the ground with ‘hardscape’ elements to reduce evaporation and retain moisture. The hardscape is filled with drought-resistant or water-efficient plants. Hardscape elements also minimize the need to control weeds and use pesticides by naturally controlling weeds and preventing pests.

See more information and resources on water-efficient garden designs and a list of water-efficient plants.

Recommended Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Designing Beautiful Xeriscapes

Also browse these beautiful examples of contemporary garden design by Folia Horticulture + Design.

18 May

Top Tips: Landscaping a Small Backyard Garden

Landscaping a small backyard garden should not prevent you from growing your favorite plants, building a nice deck, or using it for outdoor living. With careful selection of plants (compact shrubs, low-maintenance succulents, hardy ground covers, and nice border plants), and a minimal design scheme you easily turn your small backyard space into an enjoyable retreat.

 

Browse the following examples and see how easy it is to create a nice landscape design in a small backyard.

Use Vertical Space

You cannot change size of your small backyard but by using vertical space effectively you can make your small backyard look roomy. You can use small trees and slender bushes that grow in columnar fashion. You can also use tall objects like over-sized planters and vertical lighting effects as in the following picture. Also notice a Mandevilla growing horizontally to give an impression of expansion.
Small Backyard Design

Add Multiple Levels

By adding multiple levels, as in the following picture, you can maximize the use of vertical space. Terraced levels can also be used to create multiple focus levels. You can incorporate plants of different sizes (taller at the back and smaller on front terraces) with landscaping objects like rocks to create an overall impression of a small terraced garden.
Small Space Backyard

Divide Your Backyard into Functional Areas

To make maximum usage of real estate, you can divide your backyard garden into small functional areas. The backyard garden in the following picture is divided in multiple functional areas: outdoor living, vegetable beds, a BBQ pit and a small lawn bordered with ornamental plants. Each functional area integrates with others to form a useful backyard garden.
Small Backyard Garden

Create a Useful Central Area

Create a central area and then border it with minimal plantation. The small backyard garden in the following picture uses a functional central area that can be used for outdoor living bordered with compact and low-growing plants.

Small Backyard Design

Create a Single Focal Point

The small backyard garden in the following example uses a garden pathway as the only focal point. It is bordered with a mix of annuals and perennials grown in a country garden style.
Small Space Landscape
Create an Outdoor Living Area
The best usage of a small backyard garden in to turn it into a functional outdoor living area. The backyard in the following example uses most of the available space for day-to-day usage – plantation is minimal, furniture takes most of the space.
Deck in Small Landscape

Incorporate Indoors and Outdoors

By incorporating indoor and outdoor space, you can effectively maximize the use of limited real estate. The small backyard garden in this example is integrated with the living room.
Indoor and Outdoor Space Integration

Pave Your Small Backyard Garden

You with pave your small backyard garden with stone or interlocking bricks. A paved backyard gives you a plenty of space to use for outdoor living as well as container gardening.
Small Landscape Backyard

Use Garden Border

If you do not have enough depth in your small backyard garden, as in the following example, plant along the border. Mix and match plants of different sizes, colors and texture to create an attractive landscape.
Garden Border in a Small Backyard Garden
30 Dec

20 Modern Pergola Designs for Your Landscape

Modern landscapes use many architectural elements such as pergolas to make landscape designs attractive as well as useful. A pergola is often used to form a shaded passage or an outdoor sitting area in a garden or landscape. The history of pergola can be traced 3000 years back to the Roman gardens. The art of landscape and garden design has evolved in to many different design concepts but the use of pergola has been popular all through these years.

Modern gardens and landscapes use pergolas not only as design elements but as a practical part of the landscape. Modern landscapes use pergolas as important part of outdoor living. Traditionally pergolas have been built using wood , metals and some times bricks and concrete. The introduction of modern building materials such as vinyl, PVC, aluminium and fibreglass.

Modern Pergola Designs

Browse these wonderful examples of modern pergola designs for your landscape projects. You can use these designs and add garden lights, trailing plants, outdoor furniture and other elements to customize these designs to suit your taste and requirements.

Modern Patio and Pergola

Shop Modern Pergolas Online

If you are looking for a modern pergola or pergola accessories, there are plenty of pergolas and accessories you can buy online.
17 Dec

7 Modern Waterfall Designs for Garden Landscape

Waterfalls make excellent design elements in a landscape design. Not only do waterfalls add music to the garden but also give a sense of freshness and openness. Modern landscape designs emphasize on maximum utilization of space and simplicity of design in order to keep cost and use of real estate as low as possible. With introduction of many new materials, it is easier to design modern waterfall designs that are both space and cost-effective.

Also see: Ideas for Water Features and Fountains for your Landscape Design

Following are a few examples of modern waterfall designs that you can try in your landscape design. Notice how the use of space and modern materials can do magic when it comes to designing contemporary waterfalls.

Modern Waterfall Designs

Modern Waterfall on a Pool
06 Dec

How to Use Best Ground Covers in Your Landscape Design

Ground covers are excellent landscape design elements. When used effectively, ground covers not only protect the ground from drought and erosion but also supplement your design scheme by supplementing additional colors, forms and texture.

Besides the type of soil and climate, selecting the best ground covers for your landscape design depends on a number of factors:

Growing Conditions: You can find ground covers for almost any purpose and for all spots in your landscapes. Some ground covers grow in shady spots where very few plants can survive. Some are drought-tolerant and they make best ground covers when you want to design low-maintenance landscapes.

Formation: Ground covers have different growing habits. Some ground covers produce lateral branches, some form small mounds, some miniature ground covers stick to the ground whereas some develop upright branches.

Color and Texture: Besides their formation and growing conditions, ground covers offer interesting colors and textures. Some ground covers are evergreen and provide excellent ground coverage, some are used for their interesting colors. Depending on your landscape design, you can pick best ground covers in many different texture: soft and evergreen foliage, woody and deciduous, and so on.

Best Ground Covers for Your Landscape Design

The following is a selection of the best ground covers that you can use in your landscape design.

Kennedia prostrata

Kennedia prostrate is a low-growing plant from tropical and summer rainfall regions. It is hardy to heat and spells of drought and makes the best ground cover for low-maintenance landscapes. (Zone 9a – 10b)
Sedum album

Sedum album or Coral Carpet spreads horizontally and effectively covers empty areas with its succulent growth and tiny, star-shaped flowers of white or pinkish color. Flowers usually appear in midsummer. Sedum album can be propagated from cuttings. It requires bright sunlight and moist but well-drained soil. (Zone 3a – 9b)

Callisia elegans
Callisia or Inch Plant is a genus of low growing plants with delicate and lovely foliage. Native to dry climate of Mexico,these sprawling plants server as best ground covers for dry as well as moderate climates where they are protected from long spells of freeze and frost. (Zone 8a – 10b)

Soleirolia soleirolii
Soleirolia soleirolii or Baby’s Tears is an evergreen and low growing ground cover known for its round cascading leaves. It is the best ground cover for rock gardens and landscapes where it can easily take up empty spaces and form thick mounds of attractive foliage. It can also be used as alternate of grass because it would survive cold and shady spots easily and serve as nice ground cover throughout the year. (Zone 9a – 11)

Convolvulus cneorum
Convolvulus cneorum which is commonly known as Silver Bush grows as low growing plant and usually forms a think carpet of evergreen foliage. Because of its capacity to withstand drought and grow in poor soil, Convolvulus cneorum is a best ground cover for sandy or poor landscapes. (Zone 6a – 9b)

Using Ground Covers in Your Landscape

Browse these beautiful examples of best ground covers used in landscape designs.

15 Nov

How to Use Ferns in Your Garden Landscape

Ferns make excellent landscape plants because of their attractive fronds and their ability to thrive where many plants fail. You can plant them under shady trees, use them as border plants, grow them as ground covers or line garden pathways, and fill empty landscapes with low-maintenance ferns.

Most ferns are easy to maintain. They grow under fully or partially shaded parts of gardens where they benefit from moist but well-drained and loamy soil and moderate watering at regular intervals. When provided with these conditions ferns will produce abundance of lush fronds.

Ferns come in large and small sizes. Some are dwarf and some grow taller. Some form small clusters and some sprawl to cover the landscape. Depending on the size and layout of your garden, you can use ferns in your landscapes for many purposes. They can be used as companion plants with other flowering plants. You can use ferns to provide a lush-green background to your flower beds. You can also incorporate them in your landscapes as specimen plants grown in containers or hanging baskets.

Ferns in Garden Landscape

Here are a few examples of ferns beautifully used in garden landscapes.

Contemporary Landscape with Ferns by New York Architects & Building Designers Princeton Design Collaborative
Tropical Landscape by Sydney Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Secret Gardens
Mediterranean Landscape by Miami Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers orlando comas, landscape architect.
Traditional Pool by Thetford Center Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Shepard Butler Landscape Architecture
Rustic Landscape by Winchester Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC
Contemporary Landscape by Pasadena Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers EPT DESIGN
Traditional Landscape by Greenville Garden & Landscape Supplies Roots - An Urban Gardener's Oasis
Traditional Porch by Mill Valley Architects & Building Designers Sutton Suzuki Architects
Contemporary Landscape by Sausalito Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture
Mediterranean Landscape by The Woodlands Architects & Building Designers JAUREGUI Architecture Interiors Construction
Contemporary Deck by Sydney Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Harrison's Landscaping
Modern Landscape by Winters Photographers Dave Adams Photography

 

Some of the ferns suitable for garden landscape include:

  • Adiantum pedatum, Maidenhair fern
  • Athyrium vidalii, Japanese lady fern
  • Blechnum spicant, Deer Fern
  • Cyrtomium falcatum, Japanese holly fern
  • Dennstaedtia punctilobula, Hay-scented fern
  • Dryopteris clintoniana, Clinton’s wood fern
  • Dryopteris tokyoensis, Tokyo wood fern
  • Matteuccia struthiopteris, Ostrich fern
  • Cyrtomium Falcatum, Holly fern
  • Nephrolepis exaltala, Boston fern
07 Nov

15 Ideas for a Beautiful Stone Pathway for Your Garden

Pathways provide a nice solution when you want to control the flow of traffic in your garden. They are also useful when you want to replace uneven and muddy paths with a neat, even and functional pathway.

There are a number of natural and manufactured materials available for laying out garden pathways. My favorite material is stone. It is cost-effective, durable and easy available. Stone is also available in many colors and sizes. Depending on the size and layout of your garden, you can carve out neat and attractive garden pathways using stone. Be creative with you designs but make sure that your design in practical. Do not add unnecessary curves because mowing around curved path is a bit difficult. Also make sure that the surface is even and provides smooth flow of rainwater.

Ideas for a Beautiful Garden Pathway

The following is a collection of 15 impressive ideas for beautiful pathways built with stone.

Mosaic pathway built with stone:

Mediterranean Landscape by San Diego Landscape Contractors DeMaria Landtech, Inc.
Large rectangular stepping stones in this garden look nice and form a symmetrical design.
Traditional Landscape by Atlanta Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Howard Design Studio
A simple and cost-effective design made with gravel and stone.
Southwestern Landscape by Bryn Mawr Interior Designers & Decorators Fred Albert Design
Another simple and attractive pathway made with small rectangular pieces of stone.
Mediterranean Patio by Newport Beach Architects & Building Designers Homer Oatman, AIA
Nicely trimmed and cemented pathway made of stone.
Traditional Landscape by Upland General Contractors Rob Clark Construction Inc.
A modern pathway design made of gravel and stone slabs.
Contemporary Pool by Sydney Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Dean Herald-Rolling Stone Landscapes
Another simple and cost-effective for smaller gardens.
Tropical Landscape by Key West Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Craig Reynolds Landscape Architecture
Another modern and attractive design.
Contemporary Landscape by Coral Gables Architects & Building Designers OBM International
A simple yet beautiful pathway leading from the front door right into the garden.
 Traditional Landscape by Scottsdale Architects & Building Designers Matthew Thomas Architecture, LLC
Beautiful pathway design with two columns of stepping stones.
Traditional Landscape by Wilmington Building Supplies Chadsworth Columns
Gravel and stone used to form a nice, durable pathway.
Industrial Landscape
Attractive side walks made with tiles of stone.
Traditional Pool by Franklin Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers The Office of Joel Tomlin III, LLC.
Mosaic pathway made of stone.
Traditional Landscape by Seattle Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Studio AB
A beautiful example of pathway made with stone.
Contemporary Patio Pathway by Lake Forest Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Architectural Gardens, Inc
A traditional designed with stone.
Victorian Landscape by Minneapolis Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Heidi's Lifestyle Gardens
30 Oct

Landscaping with Ornamental Japanese Blood Grass

Ornamental grasses add a nice texture, unique formation and stunning colors to landscapes. Take the example of Japanese Blood Grass. Known for its fiery red color, this beautiful grass offers great ornamental value especially in the fall.

Imprata cylindrica’Rubra’ or Japanese Blood Grass grows up to 2 feet and forms tight clumps of green and red leaves this making a good choice for filling landscapes. 

Japanese Blood Grass can be planted along pathways where it grows as a low-maintenance ornamental grass.
Japanese Blood Grass can be grown in large containers and used as accent plant. When grown in containers, it is easier to control its otherwise aggressive growth.
The contrasting colors of Japanese Blood Grass make it a nice border plant. The colors depend on light conditions. Bright sunny exposure result in sharp and deep red color.
Japanese Blood Grass makes a nice accent plant.
Japanese Blood Grass can be grown as ornamental plant along ponds and pools.
There are so many ways you can use Japanese Blood Grass in your garden and landscape.
29 Aug

How to Landscape Your Driveway Like a Pro

Look at these simple and lovely driveways. They prove you do not have to be a professional designer to landscape your driveway. All it takes is careful selection of plants and a little maintenance.

Pro Tips: How to Landscape Your Driveway

  • Select plants that do not require regular maintenance. Consider planting flowering shrubs and bushes, ornamental grasses or small trees.
  • Make sure that the plants you use along your driveway are compact and do not block the driveway.
  • Select drought-tolerant plants such as succulents. They do not require much watering and thus reduce the need for drainage and also the amount of water that touches your driveway.
  • If you do not have enough space to plant, use container-bound or hanging plants.
  • Use ground covers and creepers around your driveway to avoid soil erosion.

Also see:

Examples of Beautifully Landscaped Driveways

18 Aug

Interlocking Brick Designs for Backyards and Patios

I recently paved my backyard with interlocking bricks. Yes, I do not have my not-so-lush lawn now but the backyard looks neat and still gives me plenty of room to plant my favorites in the bordering raised beds. As I have observed and experienced, interlocking brick designs dramatically improve the landscape. They are durable and easily withstand long spells of freeze and thaw.

As opposed to concrete or brick and mortar floors, interlocking bricks can be installed in various patterns and offer a variety of material (clay, concrete, stone etc.) texture and color.

If you are considering interlocking bricks in your patio or backyard, this is a useful article on cost, material, pros and cons of installing interlocking bricks. If you want to do it yourself, follow this link for step-by-step DIY instructions on installing an interlocking brick pattern in your backyard or patio.

Examples of Interlocking Brick Design

Browse these beautiful examples of interlocking brick designs for your inspiration.