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Easy Landscaping Ideas

One of the easiest landscape ideas to implement – and one I always use when designing a garden or landscape — is to plant big swaths of the same plant for bold interest. Here, for example, I love how the planting bed offers a big, bold burst of chartreuse from a mass of golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’). It’s contrasted (in color and texture) by a planting of blue fescue (Festuca ‘Elijah Blue’).

Employ Repetition

It’s easy to create a hodgepodge look when planting if you try to plant one of everything. I avoid that with this gardening idea: Reusing the same colors, shapes, or plant varieties in plantings. Here’s a perfect example: To the left of the deck, golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) echoes the color of golden sweet flag (Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’). The sweet flag augments the texture of the blue fescue (Festuca ‘Elijah Blue’), which plays off the silvery-blue color of a potted false cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Baby Blue’). The shape of the false cypress, in turn, is a repeat of the Japanese maple next to the deck.

Use Plants that Do Double Duty

My yard has limited space, and if yours is anything like mine, it’s important when I review gardening ideas to make the most of it! One of my key landscape ideas is to take advantage of plants that serve more than one purpose. This espaliered apple tree, for example, offers privacy from the neighbor on the other side of it; provides an attractive backdrop for the curve in a path; and in autumn, gives a harvest of delicious apples.

Create Bold Contrasts

One of the easiest and most basic landscaping ideas is also one of my all-time favorites: Create contrasts. Consider color: When you pair rich burgundy-purple with chartreuse, the gold hues seem to become brighter and the purple tones seem to become richer and darker. Together the colors are much more effective than when used alone.

Have Fun with Plants

As a gardening idea, enhance what plants do naturally. Espalier is a perfect example of this, and a fun landscape idea. Here, for example, a simple shrub goes from ordinary to extraordinary with some training and pruning. Don’t worry: It’s easier than it looks (it just takes some pruning once or twice a year) and makes a big impact.

Mix Materials

Gardeners tend to have lots of landscaping ideas for plants and fewer for their hardscapes (nonplant materials). You can easily add a level of interest to your yard by incorporating a variety of materials. Here, the natural feel of lawn and cut flagstones makes for a delightful contrast against smooth Mexican beach pebbles and gravel. Note how the color of the flagstone mimics that of the beach pebbles and ties the two together; it’s an example of using repetition.


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