Landscape Design Ideas

Part of the You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening series.
By Ken Brown
June 4, 2008

The section on landscape design will teach you how to make your yard look like it was designed by a professional. You'll learn how to add height to an arrangement in your garden or by your house. Tips and tricks of color design and most importantly, we'll present actual landscape designs that you can add to your yard.

The professionals are able to come up with award winning designs because they know the elements that are necessary to achieve award winning results. These are the same techniques you can use to get that same result in your garden. It takes more than just plopping down a plant or two in some good soil to create that garden paradise.

Coming articles will highlight the things to do right and the mistakes to avoid. What actions will lead to certain failure and the simple steps that guarantee success. Our first attempts to create beauty in our backyard resulted in just a hodgepodge of plants with a randomness of design.

Since then we have learned how to use groupings of the same plant to bring out the uniqueness of the plant and then to combine multiple groupings with the first group to make a beautiful and pleasing design.

Should you use all grasses together or just use them for accents? Do you make all the colors the same or combine a variety of colors for contrast? Should all the plants bloom at the same time, or should you develop a four season garden? When and where do you plant perennials and should you ever plant annuals? What are perennials? Once you plant your beautiful garden what steps do you take to maintain it?

We will share with you plants that require little maintenance and let you know when a grouping of flowers needs constant care and feeding. In the spring of 2004 we planted some flowers next to our mailbox and next to a road. Our main concern was how would it hold up to constant street traffic, street lights, little watering because it was so far from the house and the rare 3 year old walking through it? We chose the plants based on their ability to handle these types of conditions and to withstand a harsh Chicago winter, with the adverse winter cold, salt and wind.

We'll go into detail on how to create your own garden site.
  • How to measure the site.
  • How to prepare the soil.
  • When is the best time to plant.
  • How deep to plant
  • Long term maintenance plans.
The greatest benefit to this section of our website will be the actual photos of winning landscape designs and then the plans necessary for you to place them in your yard. If you have a fence in the back yard you want to cover, we have a plan for you. A bare spot in the front needs a new look, we can help you. How to handle that tricky slope in the back yard. And not just a photo, but the actual details you need to create that same look.
  • What plants to buy.
  • How many plants are needed.
  • How far apart to place them.
  • Even a site map for exact placement.
I think you will find this a fun place to visit again and again. Feel free to come back to this site for updates, new plant ideas and refreshers on landscape design. Your yard needs a new face lift or a total makeover? Come here for new and exciting fresh ideas.

How to Buy a Perennial Over the Internet

Have you ever bought a plant for your yard or garden over the internet or even by mail order? Does it scare you to try? It is actually very easy and if you follow these simple steps you will be very happy with the beautiful bouquet of sweet smelling flowers each summer. Here are some things to watch for to make sure your transaction is a happy and successful one.

Here are a few areas you should watch for as you plan your purchases. Will you be home when the plants are shipped? Do the plants come to you as root stock, seeds or potted plants? What is the company's guarantee for the flowers? Does the company have a reputable customer service department? Do they protect your private information and do they have a privacy policy? How much does it cost to ship the plants and how are they shipped? Are there times of the year when the company doesn't ship anything?

Read More here - How to Buy a Perennial Over the Internet.

Landscape Design for Holly, Coral Bells and Yew

This Holly, Coral Bells and Yew Landscape Design can work wonders on the eastern side of your home. This design is simple yet really adds flavor to your yard. It can handle a shady area or partial shade. The plants work together without a lot of flash and magic. The muted greens and maroons send a subtle message of warmth throughout the year.

The landscape design for Holly, Coral Bells and Yews showcases perennials that do well in partial shade.

This panorama image shows the 3 perennials used in this landscape design side by side. It gives you an idea of how they will all look together.

Read More here - Landscape Design for Holly, Coral Bells and Yew.

Landscape Design for Specimen Plants

This Landscape Design for a Specimen Bush or Tree is designed to highlight that tree or bush in your backyard that you love. It can be a Star Magnolia, a Crimson King Maple, a slow growing spruce, a Crabapple Tree or even a Burning Bush.

Read More here - Landscape Design for Specimen Plants.

Landscape Design for Full Sun Perennials

Are you looking to fill a hot, sunny area of your yard? This little Landscape Design for Full Sun Perennials may be the perfect design you need for that hot spot in your backyard. This is a full sun specialist that requires very little watering. It is easy to set up and will provide color from spring to fall and interest into the winter. You can look out your back window and watch birds and butterflies as it contains a wonderful bird bath.

Read More here - Landscape Design for Full Sun Perennials.

Landscape Design for Sidewalks and Home Entrances

Do you have a sidewalk that runs up to the house from the driveway? Does the sidewalk look bare or is there exposed foundation walls? This little Landscape Design for Sidewalks may be the perfect design you need to beautify your home. It can handle full shade, partial shade or even full sun. You can choose from a couple of different colors to complement the color of your home. Your friends, family and neighbors will compliment you on the beauty these easy to care perennials provide for your home.

Read More here - Landscape Design for Sidewalks.

Landscape Design for Side Yards

What do you do with that hard section on the side of the house? The Side Yard Landscape Design can help you solve that part of the yard that gets some sunshine part of the day and then it is in shade the rest of the day. You want some plants that will bring out beauty and fragrance, but you don't want to spend a lot of time on the side of the house. This landscape design will be perfect for this portion of your yard.

Beautiful Bouquet of Fragrant Perennials

Are you looking to add some fragrant flowers to your backyard landscape? Would you like to walk around a corner of your home and smell the sweet fragrance of lilac bush? What perennials are known for their fragrance? Here is a list that I have accumulated of fragrant perennials.

What is the first thing most people do when they see a beautiful flower? They will bend over to smell the fragrance from the flower. We all love the fragrances that are emitted from flowers. Perfume manufacturers capture the fragrance and allow the beautiful women in our lives to entice us even more with this sweet perfume. Do fragrant perennials work in our yards? What plants should we place in our backyard garden so we can enjoy the fragrance as we drift softly to sleep with a slight breeze coming through an open summer window?

Resources for Southeast Landscapers and Gardeners

Do you know some of the concerns and things to watch for as you do landscaping in the Southeast? The Southeastern United States has a challenging climate with five different growing zones. What zone is your city in and what perennials grow best there?

What are some of the concerns that gardeners and landscapers living in the Southeast encounter? Every part of the country has special needs based on weather, soils, and pests. The southeast has a long growing season that extends almost the entire year. What plants are available to gardeners in the southeast?

Read More Resources for Southeast Landscapers and Gardeners . . .

Ten Shade Loving Perennials

Do you have a section in your garden that gets little to no direct sun all summer long? Then check out these popular shade garden favorites to see if your landscape could use any or all of these perennials.

Here is a list of 10 perennials that I have in my yard that receive no sun or partial sun all day long during those hot dry days of summer in Illinois. Each of these go well with the others. They require little water each week and will look great from late spring to late fall.

Landscape Design for Shade Gardens

This is an interesting little design for a shady area in your garden. It has two varieties of Euonymus with different variegation and a visual interest. Sometimes it is difficult to find the right mix of plants for the shade garden. This design may give you ideas you hadn't considered before and it is a visual delight for the entire year.

Read More Design ideas for Shade Garden Landscapes

Resources for Midwestern Landscapers and Gardeners

Do you know some of the concerns and things to watch for as you do landscaping in the Midwest? The Midwestern United States has a harsh but beautiful climate. In the spring you can get day time highs in the 70s. But, at night it may dip to below freezing.

The summer in the midwest presents it's challenges to the Midwest Landscape designer. Hot and humid air sweeps across the plains and batters the normal home owners landscapes of perennials with hot rain, brutally dry conditions and Midwest tornados. It is tough to landscape in the Midwest.

Read More Resources for Midwestern Landscapers and Gardeners . . .

Landscape Design to Hide Foundation Wall

This Landscape Design to Hide Foundation Wall is a wonderful design to hide your ugly foundation walls. It uses only two plants but it is a real beauty. It uses two perennials, the burning bush and the globe blue spruce. The globe blue spruce stays the same color all year long showing off it's bluish-green beauty. This makes a wonderful offset for the burning bush which is green in spring and summer and then explodes in bright red in fall.

Four Season Extravaganza To Hide Fence

This Four Season Extravaganza to Hide Fence Landscape Design is great for hiding that fence at the back of the yard. It is really a very simple design with many opportunities for you to add your own ideas. It uses 5 different plants to liven up your yard during the 4 seasons.

In the spring your senses will be greeted with daffodils popping up at the first sign of warmth. Then they will be quickly followed with a rush of purple as the Salvias begin to cherish the sunshine. The Salias will have a nice green backdrop with Spireas and burning bushes in the background. But then as summer turns to fall the Spireas and the Burning Bushes will start their own colorful shows. The year ends on a high note as the tall ornamental grasses strut their seeds all winter.

SemiCircle Landscape Design Shows Flowering Love

This Semi-Circle Landscape Design will thrill you with many hours of enjoyment. It has tall flowers and small flowers and will enhance a garden wall, a fence or along a sidewalk or driveway. It is easy to maintain and will work with full sun or partial sun.

This plan has a nice contrast of a tall plant, the Viburnum with smaller flowering plants in front. The green leaves background of the Viburnum will make the flowering plants look lovely. This landscape design will also allow you to hide the old fence the neighbor's wheel barrow or other unsightly views.

Corner Hot Spot Landscape Design

Do you have a corner of your yard that gets a lot of sun? Do you see it as a dry area of your yard and you would like to place something there that can handle heat without a lot of care and watering?

Here is a plan I call the Corner Hot Spot Landscape Design. All the flowers in the plan can handle hot, dry conditions. You may need to water them infrequently, but they will provide you with a summer of beauty with minimal care. All the plants in this plan are sun loving specialists that will be happy to smile with their flowering charm.

Fall Beauty Landscape Design

You will like this design, if you enjoy the beauty of swaying grasses and big beautiful mounds of flowers. The Fall Beauty Landscape Design fits into a triangular section of your yard no bigger than 15 feet wide by 12 feet deep.

You can put it against a back wall to view from the house or place it next to the house to enhance the beauty of your home. This would survive the harsh conditions next to the mailbox. You know, that area you never get out to water. The place that is abused during the winter with salt from the snow trucks. This little grouping would handle drought conditions very well.

Ten Sun Loving Perennials

Are you looking for some summer color in an area of your yard that gets Full Sun? Many gardeners have a south facing section of their garden that receives a strong dosage of full sun. We all want to have flowers in this spot, but we don't want them to die. What can we do? What sun loving perennials will handle the hot full sun and the extra dry conditions in this environment?

Here is a list of 10 perennials that I have in my yard that receive full sun all day long during those hot dry days of summer in Illinois. Each of these go well with the others. They require little water each week and will bloom from late spring to late fall.

Ten Things to Prepare Your Garden for Winter.

I looked at the weather report and saw that we are expecting frost in the near future. That is normally a red flag that some things need to occur in the garden. At this time of the year what should you be concentrating your attention on for the best results to occur next summer? Here are some Late Fall Garden Tips.

Butterflies on Butterfly Bushes and Praying Mantis

Have you ever seen a butterfly on a Butterfly Bush? Is the name of the butterfly bush really just a hoax like the name of the country, Greenland? Have you ever seen a praying mantis? Here is your chance to get these questions answered. I think you will like the photos.

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You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening SeriesLandscape Tips
  You Can Learn Landscaping Designs Series Design Ideas
   You Can Learn Landscaping Designs Series Southeast Gardens & Landscape Resources
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  Landscape Design for shady areas of your garden.Shade Garden Design
  Landscape Design for foundation walls Landscape Design for Foundation Walls
  Landscape Design for full sun perennials adds interest all year long.Landscape Design for Full Sun Perennials
  Landscape Design for the side of house or side yards.Landscape Design for Side Yards
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  Landscape Design for Specimen Bushes and Trees Landscape Design Specimen Bush
  SemiCircle Landscape Design Shows Flowering LoveSemiCircle Landscape Design Shows Flowering Love
  Landscape Design is unique in the use of Hollies, Yews and Coral BellsLandscape Design for Holly, Coral Bells and Yews
  Corner Hot Spot Landscape DesignCorner Lot Design
  A great landscape design to hide the fence in the back yard with 4 season appealFour Season Extravaganza To Hide Fence Landscape Design

You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening SeriesFlower Planting Tips
  Sun loving perennials for those hot dry summer gardens.10 Sun Loving Perennials
  Shade loving perennials add interest to shady areas of your garden.10 Shade Loving Perennials
  An article on how to buy a plant from the internet.How To Buy Plants from Internet
  Add these fragrant flowers and perennials to your garden and landscape design. Fragrant Plants for Your Garden
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