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Landscaping Your Yard From the Basics to the Unusual

One of the benefits of having a yard is the fun you can have landscaping it. Imagine your yard with a garden pond enhanced by a pond bridge, wooden "playscapes" for children, walkthrough gardens, and a selection of trees, shrubs, and other flora to balance the yard and enhance visual appeal. Whether your yard is big enough to include all those items or not, any yard, big or small, can be made to look appealing. Here are some ideas. Areas Repeating like elements such as plants or rocks throughout the landscape will help unify different areas to each other. Perennials and summer bulbs can be used to fill in areas that need color.

If you have children or grandchildren, a play area is needed. Wooden play sets can be attractive and a lot of fun. A gravel walkway around the yard provides a path for a tricycle or small bike and saves the grass from being trampled down. A large tree provides a place for a tree house. The possibilities are endless. There are landscaping books especially for designing child-friendly yards.

Lawn The lawn is usually the largest area of any yard. A lawn is beautiful, but if you surround your lawn with beds of flowers and shrubs and with a number of trees for shade, it turns a lawn into a Garden of Eden. Shrubs Place shrubs around the perimeter of the lawn.

In the foreground, flowering shrubs are a good choice, with the bigger shrubs behind. To add beauty to your shrubs use spread lighting which creates a spherical pattern of light to highlight groups of shrubs and flowers. Shrubs can complement the color of your house.

For example, forest green trim on a house is complimented by shrubs with yellow leaves, and homes with neutral features can always use a few splashes of dramatic color in their landscaping. Plant a few annuals near the mailbox and an odd number of shrubs or hedges in front of the house to create depth. As you drive around notice how that adds a touch of class to a house. Flowers Some people also like to place flowers in strategic places as part of the overall design to give the yard even more attitude.

With some well placed shrubs and wonderfully colorful flowers you can transform your home from a run of the mill house to a showplace of style and grace. It is easy. Pond Building a garden pond can be a very satisfying project, and if done right will be the first thing people notice. Just about every yard has grass, shrubs and tress, but a pond adds something special, especially if there is a waterfall going into it. Building a garden pond is not just a matter of digging a hole, lining it with plastic and filling it with water. You need a filter system to keep it clean and to aerate it, and you need a way to keep algae from taking over.

Rock Rock can add drama to any landscaped yard. Rock also reduces the amount of water required to keep the yard looking green. If you live in an area that receives little rainfall decorating a yard with rock, whether it is in spots around the yard or the entire landscape, is a desired alternative. Rock gardens really can be breathtaking when done right.

Adding drought-resistant plants compliments dry rock landscaping well. This is a popular alternative to the vast areas of lawn traditionally found around houses in some parts of the world. Rock can be used in several areas of the yard. Walkways, groundcover, walls, ponds and waterfalls are a few ideas where rock can be used with stunning results. When using rock for groundcover and path work, it's necessary to have a separator between the soil and groundcover.

Rock walkways provide an attractive substitute for expensive and unsightly pavement, and will go with the rest of the landscaping. Rock walls make an excellent alternative to white picket fences that may seem out of place depending on your surrounding environment and neighborhood. Water features can be as simplistic as a statue acting as a fountain to highly complex designs that mimic natural features with multiple terraces and water cascading over a rock bed. Conclusion Landscaping a yard is one of the pleasures of life.

It's a chance to add beauty to your surroundings for the benefit of yourself, your family and your neighbors. With some planning and research, and maybe some advice from a professional, anyone can design and create a yard that is stunning.

Carol Stack enjoys gardening. She lives with her husband and three children in the United States where they keep busy homeschooling and maintaining your large yard. Her website http://www.freegardentips.info covers lawn care, organic gardening, landscaping and more.

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