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Create a Garden and Patio Design To Enjoy Year-Round

Retreat to a garden and patio design that’s beautiful year-round, and takes minimum fuss. What makes this possible? Carefree plants with continuous blooms, and a well-planned garden structure.

You don’t need to be a lawn and garden expert or landscape designer to do this. Here are a few tips for creating a super yet simple garden and patio design that will be a knockout!

The first step is to take a birds-eye view of your garden and patio area. Make a rough sketch of your space, and play around with a few designs until you like what you see. As you’re doing this, get some great ideas from existing garden and patio decorations. Pay a visit to other people’s gardens, or public gardens. Look through home landscaping and gardening magazines, find what you like, and develop plans of your own.

Decide what style or theme is right for you… formal, casual, rustic, Southwestern, Japanese… there are enormous possibilities. Then stay with that style and theme so the overall effect does not become confusing. For instance, you wouldn’t want to combine bronze garden sculptures of saints or cherubs with rustic wooden wagon wheels.

Imagine what your patio area will most often be used for. You may plan to entertain lots of outdoor dinner guests. If so, be sure your patio space has plenty of room for the largest number of people right from the beginning. Your patio may be more of a private, reflective retreat for enjoying the sun, reading a book, or gazing up at the stars. Determine the use of shade, open sun, or even covering it with a roof.

Now take your favorite ideas and put them into your rough plans – and soon you’ll have a design that is ready for action.

The next step is to create your garden and patio design to scale – you can use landscaping software for this, or do it by hand. Choose the flowers you intend to plant, noting how many you will need for each month of your growing season, and select the landscaping structures that will give your design its form.

Some say the secret to a beautiful garden and patio design is having a good amount of hard structure. This is what landscape designers refer to as “good bones” – walls, fences, garden bridges, gates, garden arbors, landscape statues, garden fountains … even a strong line of evergreen plants.

Garden structures such as these create forms and lines, giving your garden and patio design definition and dimension. Plus, in the winter when most plants are empty and bare, your garden will preserve its shape and sense of completeness. It’s amazing how just one or two structures can produce this satisfying effect.

Most garden and landscaping structures are built to withstand the elements. Treated pine, cedar and teak garden furniture, trellises, arbors, and decorative fencing are great choices. Stone, copper, and bronze garden statuary will never let you down. Garden fountains bring incredible beauty and atmosphere to any garden and patio design – in fact, entire gardens have been built around them.

Next, choose annual spring flowers and perennial plants that will give you blooms from one season to the next. For instance, select carefree roses that need no pruning or spraying, and bloom continuously from spring through fall. Fill planters with beautiful blooming flowers such as Oriental lilies or verbena for different colors all summer long. Establish flower beds in corners or along walk ways. Always consider your local climate and plant according to the sun and shade needs of your plants.

As you plan your garden and patio design, create paths or walk ways that lead from one area to the next. Rambling garden paths are relaxing and charming… and if laid out thoughtfully, will be a big help to you as the gardener. Paths can be of stone, brick, flagstone, gravel, or mown turf, although grass paths require more upkeep. Garden sculptures or sitting benches thoughtfully placed along the way provide wonderful expression.

If you want garden and patio designs that are pre-drawn, there are ready-made plans available in books and magazines. This is another fine way to get off to a solid start. Use pre-made garden plans from start to finish, or incorporate parts of them right into you own creative plans.

Copyright 2006 Robert Mosse

Landscaping Borders – Creating Privacy and Boundaries

If you have a garden that’s overlooked by other properties, or you want to create boundaries to section off different uses in your yard, then landscaping borders are just what you need. The great thing is that landscaping borders come in different shapes and sizes so you can still have the theme that you want for the overall landscaping design of the garden, while at the same time putting up a restrictive border.

Trees are a natural boundary, but the downside is that they take time to mature. Unless you can afford to buy mature trees that are several years old and are tall with many leaves (or evergreens), you are going to have to wait some time before your ideal privacy limit is reached. If you only need one tree, then buying an older tree isn’t going to be to expensive, but if you are using trees for your property outer perimeter landscaping borders, then things start to get very expensive.

One alternative that you could use is to set up a wooden fence just behind younger trees so that for a while it’s this fence that creates the landscaping border around the property. This will allow you privacy from neighbors, block out busy roads, provide security for your children who won’t be able to wander out of the garden so easily and yet is temporary and can be removed once the trees grow to the required height.

If you do create an outer perimeter landscape border whether using higher trees, or fences you need first to check if there are any local laws that control how high these can be. Often there is a maximum height for any given area and you must keep your fences under this. There could be a separate law that pertains to each tree, but if not, you will need to make sure that you cut your trees across the top just before they reach the legal maximum height – this will stop them growing upwards, but allow them to bush outwards instead.

Creating landscape borders within your garden are wonderful for providing separate places for kids to play football, or to hide garden toys from the rest of the house, create a secluded retreat where you can escape to when things get overly stressful, or just to separate a kitchen garden from the rest of the lawn. Landscape borders of this kind are can be low concrete blocks (some of these are very decorative and come in a variety of colors and designs) that edge your lawn, or higher trellises that allow you to also grow climbing flowers, shrubs or even vine fruits. The trellises in particular make for pretty garden features that don’t look as if they are landscape borders. Another idea would be to create a path in your garden that divides the kitchen garden from the rest of the yard. Edge the lawn and keep the earth in the kitchen garden in place, and this can be a perfectly functional and yet attractive yard.

Whatever landscape borders you choose, make sure they fit into the kind of design that you want, and that they match with the garden lifestyle that you have. Don’t create a fancy garden with lots of fragile borders if you have small children, but on the other hand, if you do have small children, a border is a perfect way of restricting them to certain parts of the yard so that you protect the shrubs, flowers, and/vegetables that you’re growing there.

Ten Design Tips For a Perfect Landscaping Project

Warm weather, sunshine and rolling green landscapes provide the perfect panorama of Phoenix landscapes. However, those that create picturesque landscape and pool design have their work cut out for them. Designers must be knowledgeable about how to work around mountains and hillside drainage and irrigation. The following tips will help you decide what you want in pool and landscape design and the reality of what can actually be done.

Combine the design of both pool and landscape at the same time.
Designing the pool and the landscape at the same time, can head off any construction problems that might involve irrigation or drainage. It is always easier to find an alternative route to a foreseeable problem from the front end. Designing plans for both from the beginning, will also ensure there is enough room for the project.

Design the Largest Pool and Patio Your Budget Will Allow.
Phoenix is known for its outdoor entertainment. Design this party spot with the maximum number of people you anticipate would be entertained at any one time.

Protect Your Scenic View
A good landscape designer will help you design the patio and pool with the best view. You chose your house to be where it is for a reason. If the view was one of the reasons, make sure it can be seen when you can see it. On the other hand, if the view is what you want to cover up, make sure your landscape designer knows this also.

Follow the Rule.
The rule for interior decorating is to place items around the house in singles or in groups of three. Use the same rule outside when landscaping. Plant trees, shrubs and potted plants in singles, by their self, or in groups of three.

Winter spring, Summer, Fall, Plant Something Pretty for them All.
A good landscaper will know plants and what season they bloom. Make sure something pretty will be blooming in each season.

Create a Focus of Attention.
Focal points grab your attention and then guide the eye to the rest of the project. A large strategically placed fountain or beautiful large outdoor fireplace and kitchen, will easily attract attention.

Add Texture to the Design.
The creation of texture will increase the visual affect. This can be done economically by the simple addition of fish ponds, little rivers, walking trails or other breaks in the entertainment area.

Add personality by the Addition of Decoration.
Make your new patio area ooze with you. Add ferns, yard ornaments, outdoor furniture and other decorative items that depict your personality.

Seek Advice From a Contractor.
Let a reputable contractor go over the design plans. He may see something that could save you time and money.

How Will Time Treat This Project?
Take note of any suggestions the landscaper may make to increase value and longevity. You want to use your new pool and designed for you landscape for a lifetime.