Gardens Ablaze

Home Landscaping Ideas Introduction

Related Topics

Top 5 Front Yard Improvements

Effective use of Color in the Landscape

Borders for Beginners

Cottage Garden Basics

Landscaping with Herbs

Installing and Maintaining a New Perennial Bed

Ideas for Theme Landscaping

Site Map

Architectural Elements
Backyard Habitat
Container Gardening
Gardening Q/A
Garden Ornamentation
Ground Covers


Shade Gardens
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Home landscaping is a highly personal subject.  Some like a perfectly manicured lawn with every shrub and flower carefully placed.  Others prefer a backyard habitat-like area with tangled vines, meandering paths, and hidden garden rooms.  Designing the home landscape can be a daunting proposition, both in new homes that have to be done from scratch, and in older homes where the previous owner may have put in shrubs and other plant material that has grown too big or has not been maintained properly, but a little know-how and labor can transform any outdoor space into the beautiful haven you always dreamed your home could be.

The front yard is the part of the house that is seen by the public.  We have all fallen in love with houses that are beautifully landscaped and have heard horror stories about houses with poor front yard landscaping that sit on the market for years.  Front yard landscaping plays a critical role in the value of the house overall - as much as 10%, and as such, care should be taken to make it inviting, but without too much maintenance or fuss.  The only real rule of thumb is to keep it tasteful and to a scale that you can keep up with, but you can certainly have much, much more than the generic green shrubs on each side of the doorway that we see all too often these days. 

The back yard is a completely different story.  This is where you can let your imagination fly, putting in whatever features you like personally.  It is your own private retreat, and should be a fun, relaxing place for friends and family.  Here you can have water features, cottage gardens, BBQ pits, playground, pool, secret gardens, or whatever else would make your life perfect.  Backyard landscaping should be fun and adventurous so pull out all the stops and do what you have always wanted to do. 

Whether starting from scratch or redeveloping existing landscaping, care should be taken to plan ahead, especially as far as traffic patterns are concerned.  If you have an existing walkway that doesn't go where you want to go, then you should consider removing it and replacing it with something that works for you. The materials can be recycled into the new walk or used in an entirely new project.  Arranging the bones of the garden into a workable configuration is more important than anything else you can do out there, so take care to plan for whatever will work best for you.

Whatever you decide to do in the end, never be afraid to push the envelope as far as your landscaping is concerned, front or back.  Gardening is all about making mistakes, and you will make your share.  Lord knows we all have.  Look at your failure in gardening as just another excuse to buy a new pack of seeds or a new type of plant, and you will never tire of the hope and excitement that comes with every small success.

To this end, this section will cover the basics of sound landscaping and ideas for various types of gardens, including theme gardens, cottage gardens, water gardens, borders, basic yard improvements, color, and in-depth profiles on the plants themselves, with pictures and suggestions to help you get started on your way to that perfect home setting.  Please note links to your top left for individual pages related to various aspects of home landscaping covered so far on this website. 



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Gardens Ablaze

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