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Landscaping: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Did the Groundhog See His Shadow This Year?
The spring equinox falls midway between the solstices and March 21. Groundhog Day falls midway between the winter solstice and spring. It's no coincidence. Page 5.
10 Ways to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard
I'm often asked how to keep cats out of the yard. The answer is cat repellents (commercial or home-made) and understanding how feline pests think.
How to Build Great Rock Gardens for Small Spaces
This tutorial illustrates how to build rock gardens. They're enhanced if attention is paid to color choices (both for the stones and for the plants).
10 Shrubs That Thrive in the Shade
Shrubs that grow in shade are a boon to folks who toil to find bushes to fill shady voids in the landscape. This top 10 list is designed with variety in mind.
How to Keep Dogs Out of Your Yard
A problem with dog repellents sprinkled on the soil is the need to reapply after rain. On the upside, 2 products in this class lie right on the kitchen shelf.
How to Keep Voles Out of Your Yard
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >You've heard of
Are You Shoveling Snow Properly?
Snow shoveling can be difficult enough without making the job tougher on yourself. Read these tips to make the job of clearing a driveway easier.
Pictures of Landscaping for Front Door Entrances
View my pictures of landscaping showing examples for front door entrances. Using symmetry is popular, but there are many possible styles for entryway plantings.
10 Ways to Landscape Your Property Lines
In landscaping your property line, are you hoping to minimize maintenance, maximize privacy or enhance the beauty of your yard? I help you with all 3 here.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Roses
What do black roses mean? My answer is 1 of 11 facts about roses I give here, ranging from which are easiest to grow to what they have to do with the rosary.
What's a French Drain, and How Can You Install...
Installing French drains is an option for providing yard drainage on land where there is excess water. Learn how to make one in this piece geared to DIYers.
What Shrubs Make the Best Hedges?
Hedge plants serve the practical function of giving a property security and are also decorative. Here I discuss some of the best shrubs to use for hedges.
How to Build Beautiful (and Cheap!) Waterfalls...
A simple, cheap way to build outdoor waterfalls is to erect cascading stone spillways that hang right over your pond. I show you how in this tutorial.
5 Good Shade Vines and 5 Shady Characters
Learn about perennial vines for shade, including that rarity, a cold-hardy, flowering one that grows in shady areas. I also warn about invasive vines.
12 Interesting Landscape Designs to Inspire...
Before you contemplate specific backyard landscaping designs, you have to ask yourself some basic questions.
Pictures of Poison Ivy
View pictures of poison ivy and similar vines for identification. See what poison ivy looks like at different stages of development in the course of the year.
How Not to Landscape Your Yard
The 10 mistakes I present in my article will help beginners learn how not to landscape a yard. Avoiding these errors means you won't mess things up.
Fill in a Bare Landscape Fast with these...
Fast growing shrubs are great for homeowners needing quick privacy hedges. I list several bushes for those who need privacy in a hurry, linking to plant info.
How to Protect Your Lawn from Moss
How do you get rid of moss in a lawn? The real question is what causes it to grow there in the first place.
Weed Pictures
My weed pictures include photos of plants you probably know, but not by name. Here's some help in identifying common types of weeds.
16 Flowers that Bloom All Summer Long
Long-blooming perennials give continuous garden color with just a little deadheading or dividing from you. Learn about flowers that bloom all summer.
Plan Your Garden With This Climate Zone Guide
My definition of planting zones refers to USDA hardiness maps. I tell you how to use them but explain why gardeners needn't follow them slavishly.
You'd Have to Be Nuts to Grow Any of These Plants
What are the 10 worst plants to grow in a yard? It varies depending on your region, health, tastes and whether you have kids or pets, but this list is a start.
Try This Project to Increase Landscape Drainage...
Learn how to build dry creek beds for landscape drainage. It's an easy landscaping project if the soil you'll be excavating isn't strewn with roots and rocks.
Are Any of These 12 Poisonous Plants in Your...
Pictures of poisonous plants can help you to identify and avoid them. My list includes more than just toxic leaves, berries that you shouldn't eat.
How to Plant the Perfect Flower Beds
Practice layering when planting flower beds, plus preventative weed control. These are just 2 tips I offer here, as we go from back to front row of a sample bed.
Easy and Cost-Effective Ways to Remove a Tree...
Removing tree stumps is possible without using stump grinders. Do it manually with mattocks or by applying nitrogen and waiting, which is cheaper.
Landscaping Ideas for the Botanically Challenged
Front-yard landscaping ideas suited to suburbia may not work in rural areas, and vice-versa. But these basic design ideas will point you in the right direction.
Fence Pictures
These fence pictures illustrate some of the different materials and styles available. Among these landscaping photos are examples of fence plantings.
How to Determine When to Plant Your New Trees
I am often asked when to plant trees. To answer the question, we first have to know if we're talking about the best time for deciduous or evergreen types.
Incorporating Red Twig Dogwood Shrubs in Your...
Red twig dogwood shrubs are so named for the color of their bark in winter. But these stunning bushes offer much more than just colorful winter bark.
Finish Off Flower Beds in Style With Landscape...
Landscape timber edging installation is simple and looks spiffy. Using photos, I relate how to install it to build an attractive edging with minimal effort.
Beginner's Guide to Landscaping
Need some simple landscaping ideas? From designing front, back and side yards to how to start a garden, read my tips to help with your yard makeover.
Pictures Illustrating the Concepts Used by...
If you need some ideas for the yard, study these landscape design pictures showing some basic principles and learn about the concepts the pros use.
Help, My Snow Blower Won't Start Up
Don't you hate it when your snow blower won't start up? But don't reach for that shovel just yet: Ariens offers troubleshooting tips to help you.
How to Control Moles in Your Lawn and Garden
Mole control is an one element of lawn care and garden pest control. But before you can get rid of them, first learn the difference between moles and voles.
Help! My Dog's Pee is Killing My Landscaping!
Landscaping with dogs means compromise. You must alter plans you'd otherwise have for a yard, e.g., avoiding extensive lawns that will only be stained by urine.
How to Get Rid of Crabgrass for Good
What's the best way of killing crabgrass? Using preemergent herbicide is one way to get rid of this weed, but proper ID must come first (pictures).
Care Tips for Healthy, Lush Privet Hedges
Privet hedges (Ligustrum shrubs) are traditional favorites, being amenable to pruning. But these bushes are invasive plants in North America.
How to Incorporate English Ivy in Your...
I discuss growing English ivy plants (picture) as a groundcover here. But my tips come with a warning: they have fallen out of favor due to their invasiveness.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Planting Boxwood...
This step-by-step tutorial walks you through the steps in planting hedges. Through pictures I show you how to plant boxwood shrubs in a straight row.
Choose the Best Flowers for Your Landscape with...
The lists of flowers (with pictures) here are organized by color. Browse these galleries to gain ideas for creating colorful landscape designs.
What Is the Difference Between a Mole and a Vole?
Garden pests include the mole and the vole, those subterranean, mouse-like garden pests. But what's the difference between a mole and a vole?
Top 10 Trees and Plants That Love the Shade
My list of the 10 plants that do best in the shade includes flowering dogwood trees and one each from all major categories of landscaping plants.
Native Lilies: 5 Beauties Northeasterners Need...
These five native lilies grace the woods and meadows of the Northeastern U.S. Native plant lovers can grow them in that suitable shady or sunny spot.
The Landscape Design Principles Do-It-Yourselfe...
The basic landscape design ideas (color, form, line, scale, texture) are introduced with pictures to illustrate how they play out in designing a garden.
Don't Know Much About Landscaping? Start Here!
If you're wondering how to get started landscaping your yard, I offer every type of resource available under the sun. See which one is right for you.
10 Components of a Beautiful Yard
Home landscaping pictures give numerous ideas for creating your own beautiful yard. My photos illustrate components found in the best landscapes.
Build a Stone Retaining Wall in 15 Steps
This tutorial deals with building stone retaining walls 3 feet in height or less. When you build without mortar you have limitations but also some benefits.
Everything You Need to Know about the Rose of...
Rose of sharon bush is a deciduous flowering shrub, sometimes thought of as a small tree. Learn about pruning it and other growing tips here.
All About Mountain Laurel Shrubs and Bay Laurel...
My description of mountain laurel shrubs is supplemented by pictures. I distinguish between these shrubs and the bay laurel trees made famous by the Greeks.
How to Care for Shade-Loving Climbing Hydrangea...
Climbing hydrangeas solve a problem for people with shady areas to plant, being shade-tolerant vines. But they'll flower better if they receive some sunlight.
Your 11-Step Guide to Transplanting Trees and...
I present 5 easy steps to take to transplant trees and shrubs. Learn how to dig holes and move the plants; also learn about care after installation.
Pictures of Flowering Shrubs
Pictures of flowering shrubs can give you ideas for your own landscaping. Browse my shrub pictures to view photos of some of the finest blooming bushes of spring and summer.
Build Your Own Floating Deck in 10 Easy Steps
It's easy for DIYers to build floating decks, because they are not attached to a building. This tutorial (includes pictures of the small structure constructed) shows you how it's done.
Everything You Need to Know About Using...
Emerald Green arborvitae trees are popular privacy screens. Learn how to grow this evergreen: zones, problems, sun/soil requirements, when to prune.
Landscape Design Photo Gallery
Check my landscape design photo gallery for front-yard design ideas. Let these landscaping pictures inspire you in your DIY projects.
Poison Sumac Pictures
Consult these poison sumac pictures for identification purposes. My photos include closeups showing what the leaves, etc. of these plants look like.
The Meanings Behind the Different Colors of Roses
Rose color meanings are detailed in this article, so you can look like a smart gift-shopper for Valentine's Day, following a longstanding convention.
7 Shrubs That Are Compact but Colorful
I discuss 7 types of small evergreen shrubs perfect for owners of tiny yards who crave big-time color. Consult my list of compact bushes before you shop.
10 Shrubs You Really Need to Grow
Consult this list of shrubs before you shop at the nursery. This list describes popular and more unique kinds of bushes for the yard.
Breaking Ground: How to Open Up a Garden Bed
To start a garden from scratch, take stock of the conditions where you'll be opening up the new bed. I supply all the basic info you need here.
Think You Know About Living Privacy Fences?...
Options for privacy fences are divided into building hardscape structures vs. using shrubs in hedges as living screens. I list the pros and cons of each here.
Did You Know That Prince Albert Made the Yew...
English yew bushes are widely used for foundation plants or in hedges, while a number of cultivars of Japanese yews exist and can serve similar functions.
10 Ways to Care for Your Lawn Before Mowing...
If you neglect spring lawn care, you'll pay for it the rest of the year. Happily, it doesn't require nearly as much time as mowing does in summer.
10 Perennials That Thrive in Full Sun
Full-sun plants are often perfect for rock gardens, for example. Learn about some types of drought-tolerant perennials before you buy a plant for that hot spot.
What's the Difference Between Annual Plants and...
What is an annual? In distinguishing between annual plants and perennials, it's all a matter of the life cycle; I explain the difference here.
Pictures of Landscaping: Framing a Front Entry
A planting doesn't have to be located smack up against a front entry to have an impact on it. The planting in this image frames the door but is not located near it. Page 13.
Cultivate a Healthy Lawn by Following This...
Tips are provided in this resource for fertilizing lawns. I also give you a care schedule you can follow for spring, summer and fall.
What Are Landscape Fabrics and How Can I Use...
Learn how to install landscape fabrics, a high-tech solution for weed control. Weed barriers suppress plant pests without suffocating everything under them.
Rock Star From the Lily World
Learn how to plant and care for Stargazer lilies, a popular Oriental type. Read my growing tips and begin enjoying the flowers of these exquisite bulb plants.
These Plants Put Your Dog at Risk
Many plants poisonous to dogs are very common in back yards. These bad plants may be only mildly toxic or cause more serious canine health problems.
What's the Difference Between Rhododendrons and...
Read this intro to learn how to care for azalea and rhododendron plants. I give tips on planting these popular flowering shrubs, including pruning azaleas. Page 3.
How to Use Vinegar as a Natural Weed Killer
Organic gardeners use vinegar as a natural weed killer. It's non-selective, so don't spray it on your good plants. Here's how (and how not) to use it.
The Right Way to Care for Your Lantana Plants
Lantana plants are a tropical shrub and a symbol of Florida landscaping, their salt-tolerance making them a favorite flower in seashore communities.
Planting Urns on Porch
This picture of a front entry shows the use of wrought iron fence and symmetrically arranged pots. The overall effect is of a landscape filled with grace and charm. Page 12.
USDA Maps for Growing Zones
These maps for growing zones from the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) show average extreme minimal temperatures broken down by region.
Leyland Cypress Trees: Option for Fast-Growing...
Leyland cypress trees are slender evergreens, planted for fast-growing privacy screens. But they do have problems, so you need to read my care tips.
Browse These Landscaping Pictures to Get New...
My landscaping ideas and pictures give design help to novices looking to perform yard makeovers. It's just the boost you need for your yard improvement project.
Deer-Resistant Shrubs
Deer-resistant shrubs aren't Bambi's favorite foods, although he'll eat anything if hungry enough. Consult this list of bushes if you're not anxious to draw Bambi to your landscape.
Symmetry for Front Doors
This front entry picture shows a symmetrical landscape design. Symmetry draws attention to front doors. Page 11.
Tulip Trees: Tiptoe Through the Fall Foliage
Tulip trees are referred to as yellow poplars, although they are related to magnolias, not poplars. These tall specimens provide yellow fall foliage.
All About Flowering Quince Shrubs
Should you grow flowering quince shrubs? These spring-blooming bushes have their good and bad points, which I relate while telling you how to grow them.
How to Build Your Very Own Concrete Patio
Learn how to build concrete patios, including forms, installing drainage, using automatic cement mixers and pouring. This tutorial is for beginners.
How to Care for Your English Boxwood Shrubs
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Plant Taxonomy
American Holly Trees and Other Great Winter...
Holly plants vary in size and shape. Some are bushes, but the focus of this article is on the growing requirements and uses of American holly trees, Ilex opaca. Page 2.
Plants That Your Skin Will Hate
Itchy rash plants are the weed equivalents to yellow jackets in the bug world. For example, like stinging insects, stinging nettles can also burn you.
How Much Slope is Needed Near a House?
Will you be doing any land grading near a foundation to correct drainage issues? To grade properly, you must first know how much slope you need.
Looking for Info on a Specific Plant? Browse My...
Need to find information about a particular type of plant? Search my clickable database. It's organized by both common names and scientific names.
Step-by-Step Instructions for How to Lay Your...
Laying flagstone patios in sand is not difficult, although the stone itself can be heavy. This DIY project is like building a puzzle; I show you how here.
Wondering What to Grow in Your Rock Garden?
My list of rock garden plants focuses on sun-loving perennials. I have organized my list according to plant size.
Types of Flowering Trees
If you're not already convinced of the beauty of the various types of flowering trees, then I hope my photos of some of the different kinds serve to sway you.
Types of Roses
The pictures in my photo gallery give examples of some of the types of roses available, by color. All are AARS selections; learn more about them here.
Deck Pictures
Browse these deck pictures for design ideas. The images are supplemented with links to information discussing their designs.
Die Crabgrass, Die!
What are the best crabgrass killers? I discuss 3, with a focus on post-emergent herbicides; the other 2 consist less of killing than of prevention.
Pictures of Deck Railings
These pictures of deck railings illustrate a few of the types available to homeowners. Use these photos to help you decide on a style that's right for you.
Pave the Way to Easier Mowing With a Mowing Strip
Learn how to install lawn edging to lower maintenance. Edging keeps grass stolons out of garden beds; incorporating a mowing strip into your lawn facilitates mowing.
How Do You Drain Water Off of Lawns?
In answering how to drain water off lawns, you must know not only about water drains, but also what to do with the runoff (dry wells are an option).
Plants that are Great for Wet Areas
Use plants for wet areas as a solution to drainage problems. Vegetation (native plants are often a great choice) has the advantage of offering good looks.
Pictures of Flowering Trees
Why view these pictures of flowering trees? Not only will they give you ideas, but I also supplement the pics with links to resources on growing them.
Attract Hummingbirds with These Flowers and...
Grow the top 10 flowers to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Besides attracting the winged jewels, these plants will excite the envy of other gardeners. Page 1 of 3.
All About Butterfly-Friendly Milkweed Plants
Learn facts about common milkweed plant (picture), including its uses and growing requirements. Learn what these host plants for Monarch butterflies look like.
Cultivars vs Varieties: How Do They Differ?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Definition: Cultivars
Everything You Need to Know About Canadian...
Eastern or 'Canadian' hemlock trees are long-lived evergreens. Many cultivars have been developed for landscape usage, including more compact ones useful in privacy hedges.
Need a Vibrant Shrub That Blooms Early or...
Forsythia bushes are shrubs renowned for ushering in spring with their vibrant yellow blooms. Learn how to care for the plants (including pruning).
Deck and Pergola Design
The work of an expert on decks and pergolas is shown in these pictures. My picture shows what the landscape looked like before this pergola design. Page 11.
The Top 10 Weeping Trees for Your Home's...
Of the weeping trees, some Japanese cherry trees are among the most spectacular. Such specimens give your landscaping a drooping habit and lovely blossoms.
Flowering Ground Covers
Flowering ground covers combine beauty and functionality, giving floral color while fighting weeds and erosion. These pictures help you with selection.
Is Crushed Gravel a Good Driveway Material?
Gravel driveways offer pros and cons distinct from asphalt or concrete. E.g., because they don't have a solid surface, they are hard to shovel. Learn more here.
10 Best Plants to Grow in Shady Areas With Dry...
Plants for dry shade meet a dual challenge: little water and little light. The tough plants discussed in this article will tolerate these difficult conditions.
Deck Screening Pictures
See my pictures of deck screening for privacy design ideas. The screening pictures are supplemented with a link to information discussing their designs. Page 13.
Why Dwarf Trees are the Ideal Choice for...
Dwarf trees (evergreen and deciduous) are popular in small yard design. You can plant them with the knowledge they won't quickly spike out of control.
10 Trees That Laugh at Thirst
My list of drought-tolerant trees gives a diversity of choices, based on traits offered by specimens that are valued by folks landscaping their yards.
What Are Some Common Types of Palm Trees?
Beginners are bewildered by all the different types of palm trees. To help, I offer a list of some of the various types, including cold-hardy kinds.
What Is Hardscape?
What is hardscape? Here I not only define the term but also supply examples, linking to tutorials that introduce beginners to the topic.
How to Grow and Care for the Lenten Rose
Lenten rose flowers are perennials with long-lasting sepals. Its dark, shiny green leaves set off its Hellebore sepals (which provide the real show).
15 Steps to Building Your Own Brick Patio
Learn how to build a brick patio the easy way. These instructions are designed for beginners, so the sample project doesn't involve cutting a single brick!
How to Grow Elephant Ear Plants
Elephant ear plants are tropical but can be overwintered in cold climates in containers. Keep your plants in a cool, but not freezing basement or garage.
Grow a Piece of the Ivy League in Your Own Yard
Boston ivy is related to another vine, Virginia creeper, but mature plants have simple, not compound leaves. Learn how to grow this classic vine here.
All About the Lombardy Poplar Tree
Lombardy poplar trees may be planted for quick privacy screens or windbreaks, as they are fast-growers. However, they are not long-lived trees.
Which Types of Landscaping are Best for Around...
Landscaping around swimming pools has a set of design principles unique to it. Take care of safety first, then privacy in case you wish to skinny dip!
Screens
Browse these deck screen pictures for design ideas. The deck screen pictures are supplemented with a link to an information discussing their designs. Page 12.
Learn the Correct Way to Prune Your Shrubs
Familiarize yourself with the basics of pruning shrubs in this introduction, including the proper cutting angle to use when cutting. It's easy once you learn how.
Why the Landscaping Along Your Fence Matters
Impressive fence line landscaping can result only from careful attention to both aesthetic and practical concerns. Here are some ideas to get started.
What Kind of Driveway Should You Have Installed?
This FAQ series presents various driveway materials to consider for new installations, as well as tips on sealing, repairing and landscaping existing driveways.
Wrought Iron Fences
This photo of a wrought iron fence shows why this material is considered so elegant. It won't give you privacy, but it's decent security fencing. Page 26.
Top 10 Landscape Trees for Year-Round Color
What are the best types of landscape trees, especially for autumn? In this piece I help you make great picks to create seasonal interest year-round.
Pergola Photo
Lawrence Winterburn is an expert on pergola designs, as shown in his pergola pictures. View these pictures for some ideas, including how to create courtyards. Page 10.
Daphne: Beyond the Myth
Daphne shrubs are plants that bear fragrant flowers. Carol Mackie plants have white to light pink blossoms and variegated foliage.
Landscaping Pictures: Faux Entryways With White...
My picture shows a faux entryway, using a white picket fence gate. Such gates make a homey statement -- with or without an accompanying house entry. Page 10.
Which Kinds of Spring Flowers Bloom the Earliest?
Spring flowers cheer us after surviving the long winter! But before selecting posies for a vernal garden, learn which ones are the earliest bloomers.
Philadelphus: the Shrub That Mocks the Orange
Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius) is a deciduous flowering shrub. My article discusses growing both P. coronarius and Minnesota Snowflake plants.
Flowering Shrubs: Andromeda
My picture shows andromeda shrubs with white flowers. The Latin name for this bush is Pieris japonica.
Saucer Magnolias: a Staple of Spring
I describe saucer magnolia trees in this article and offer growing information. I also supply pictures and introduce other types of magnolias.
Winterberry, a December Favorite
The use of winterberry holly shrubs in yards enhances the winter landscape and entices songbirds, who eat the shrubs' bright red berries.
How to Build a Stone Path or Walkway
Learn how to build stone walkways, if you need to create a sturdy, attractive path from Point A to Point B. You can build a stone walkway that is either curved or straight.
15 Flower Borders That Sizzle
If flower borders are planted properly, they enhance your landscaping greatly. Here are ideas to help you get it right, with photos to illustrate the concepts.
This Locust Tree Won't Plague You With Messy Pods
Learn about Sunburst honey locust trees which, like Shademaster, are classified as thornless, podless and non-messy. This makes them good street trees.
Pictures of Red Flowers
Red flowers can be used to make a yard look bigger. View my pictures to help with plant selection and expand your gardening repertoire with this vibrant color.
10 Perennials That Shine in Shade
My best perennials for shade run the gamut from flowering floozies to subtle foliage plants. See what they look like here and learn how to grow them.
A Pencil-Thin Shrub That's Popular in...
Sky Pencil holly presents an option for small spaces. These narrow, columnar shrubs lend themselves to usage near house foundations, especially at the corners.
Wheelchair Access Ramps for Front Door Entrances
Picture showing example of landscaping for front door entrances needing wheelchair access ramps. Colorful geraniums divert one's gaze from the ramp. Page 9.
Should You Grow Ornamental Grass?
Description of the types of ornamental grasses (short, medium and tall), and why they are the best examples of low-maintenance plants.
It's Emerald, It's Gold, and It's Bright
Emerald 'n' Gold euonymus shrubs are low-mounding, evergreen bushes. The plants have variegated leaves (pink in winter) on stems sticking straight up.
The Natural Way to Kill Grass and Open Up...
Organic gardeners wonder how to kill grass and eliminate lawns without using herbicides. I explain a natural way to get rid of grass in this article.
What's the Difference Between "Cement,"...
The terms cement, concrete and mortar are used interchangeably by laymen in conversations about cement mixing, but they serve 3 different purposes.
Why You Should Avoid Trumpet Vines
Trumpet vines are invasive plants, with showy blooms often of an orange color. Campsis radicans climbs trellises, and its salmon flowers attract hummingbirds.
Practical Scarecrows, the Modern Version
Scarecrow Sprinklers are better than animal repellents that you spread on the ground (and that you'd have to reapply after a rainstorm), as I say in my review.
Grow Ginkgo for a Different Fall Foliage Tree
Ginkgo biloba trees are great for fall foliage, especially if you're tired of the usual maples, etc. Just be sure to avoid the females; here's why.
These Trees Are in As Big a Hurry to Grow As...
Need info on fast-growing shade trees? Here I describe some types known for their rapid growth rate that give you flowers, fall color, evergreen leaves, etc.

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