Landscaping: Most Popular Articles
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.
I'm often asked how to keep cats away from yards. The answer lies in cat repellents, whether by wire, water, or just plain understanding how feline pests think.
Identification is a first step in vole control (they're distinct from moles). Then you can work on getting rid of these field mice or meadow mice.
If you neglect spring lawn care, you'll pay for it the rest of the year. But while you shouldn't neglect it, spring lawn care doesn't require nearly as much time as mowing does in summer.
My pictures of dandelions will help you identify them. Then use my tips for their manual removal or killing them with herbicides.
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, so I provide pictures.
How do you get rid of moss in a lawn? The real question is what causes it to grow there in the first place.
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.
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.
Long-blooming perennials give continuous garden color, with just a little deadheading, dividing, etc. on your part. Discover some flowers that bloom all summer.
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.
Removing tree stumps is possible without the aid of stump grinders. You can do it manually with mattocks or by applying nitrogen and waiting, which is cheaper.
The organic gardener sometimes uses vinegar as a natural weed killer. It's non-selective, so be careful not to spray or pour it on your good plants.
View my pictures of poison ivy and similar vines for identification. My photos show the plants at different stages of development in the course of the year.
Tips are provided in this resource for fertilizing lawns. I also give you a care schedule you can follow for spring, summer and fall.
The definition of planting zones refers to USDA hardiness maps, to which I link. I tell you how to use them but explain why you needn't follow them slavishly.
A simple and 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.
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.
Border forsythia bushes (often misspelled 'forcynthia') are shrubs renowned for ushering in spring. Learn how to care for these plants (including pruning) here.
'Emerald Green' arborvitae trees are evergreens. Technically shrubs, they have a foliage similar to Leyland cypress and are sometimes used as privacy screens or in other border plantings.
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.
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.
Is the grass always greener on the other side (your neighbor's)? These tips for growing green lawns will remedy that, putting a green lawn within your reach.
Explore my landscaping articles for help on everything under the sun on beautifying yards. My mission is to bring easy-to-understand information to DIYers.
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.
My weed pictures include photos of plants you probably know, but not by name. Here's some help in identifying common types of weeds.
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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.
You can plant Easter lilies outside and enjoy their flowers yearly. Learn what it takes to save them after the holiday.
One option for tick control in the yard is to spray to kill ticks. There are other options for organic gardeners; I help you pick one suited to your lifestyle.
Columbine flowers come in numerous colors. Of even greater value than their bold colors is the exquisite shape of the blooms, as shown in my picture.
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.
The plants I've chosen as my ten best perennials for sun share 3 things. They thrive in a sunny spot, are hardy and bring marvelous color to the yard.
Before you contemplate specific backyard landscaping designs, you have to ask yourself some basic questions.
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.
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.
I present 5 easy steps in teaching you how to transplant trees and shrubs. Learn how to dig the holes and move the plants; also learn about care after installation.
Of the weeping trees, some Japanese cherry trees are among the most spectacular. Such specimens give your landscaping a drooping habit and lovely blossoms.
Privet hedges (Ligustrum shrubs) are traditional favorites, being amenable to pruning. But these bushes are invasive plants in North America.
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.
Use my pictures of ornamental grasses and my descriptions to learn more about one of the best examples of low-maintenance plants (deer and drought resistant).
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?
Learn about pest control for groundhog or woodchuck pests in gardens. Woodchucks (or ground hogs) are pests that emerge from a burrow to eat vegetables. Page 2.
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.
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.
Learn how to install landscape fabrics, a high-tech solution for weed control. Weed barriers suppress plant pests without suffocating everything under them.
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.
My picture shows andromeda shrubs with white flowers. The Latin name for this bush is Pieris japonica.
My list of rock garden plants focuses on sun-loving perennials. I have organized my list according to plant size.
Need some simple landscaping ideas? From designing front, back and side yards to how to start a garden, consult my tips to help with your yard makeover.
Learn how to get rid of the wild violets in your lawn. These weeds are violas, making them relatives of such flowers as pansies and johnny-jump-ups.
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.
Impatiens flowers are valued for the variety and vibrancy of their colors and their shade tolerance. The 'Super Elfin' series is one of the most popular.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Plant Taxonomy of English Boxwood Shrubs: Plant taxonomy classifies English boxwoods as Buxus sempervirens
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.
Learn facts about common milkweed plant (picture), including its uses and growing requirements. Learn what these host plants for Monarch butterflies look like.
My top 10 list of shade plants includes flowering dogwood trees, a wild bird favorite. My list is representative of the major categories of landscaping plants.
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.
Dwarf trees (evergreen and deciduous) are popular in small yard design. You can plant them with the knowledge that they won't quickly spike out of control.
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.
Creeping phlox plants (P. subulata) do best in full sun. Grow them as a groundcover on a slope with humus-rich, well-drained soil to prevent erosion.
Slender Hinoki cypress trees are semi-dwarfs, being more compact than the species trees but not as short as 'Nana Gracilis,' the true dwarf.
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.
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.
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.
See my picture of poison ivy leaves to learn what they look like when young. Their appearance in spring is different from what it is in summer or fall.
Sky Pencil holly presents an option for small spaces. These narrow, columnar shrubs lend themselves to usage near house foundations, especially at the corners.
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.
This FAQ provides tips on mowing lawns and is geared to newbies. Included is information on turf care and the best and worst times for cutting grass.
Consult these poison sumac pictures for identification purposes. My photos include closeups showing what the leaves, etc. of these plants look like.
Spring flowers cheer us up after we've survived the long winter! But before selecting posies for your vernal garden, learn which ones are the earliest bloomers.
Growing zones are not meant to be restrictive; they serve, rather, as guides. The USDA provides these zone maps, broken down by region.
Flowering ground covers combine beauty and functionality, giving floral color while fighting weeds and erosion. These pictures help you with selection.
Emerald and Gold euonymus shrubs are low-mounding, evergreen bushes. The plants have variegated leaves on stems that stick straight up.
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.
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.
Purple ice plant (Delosperma), despite its South African origins, is a hardy flower. Delosperma cooperi is one of the most popular flowers from this group and is used as a ground cover.
Individual Stella de Oro daylily flowers last only a day. Why is the plant so popular, then, with those seeking summer-long color? Find out here.
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.
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.
Organic gardeners wonder how to kill grass and eliminate lawns without using herbicides. There's a natural way to get rid of it before opening up planting beds.
Russian sage plants (Perovskia atriplicifolia), though often treated as perennials, are woody sub-shrubs. Perovskia bears silver leaves and tall flower spikes.
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.
Using seed for starting new lawns is cheaper than using sod. Learn the steps required for properly seeding lawns.
Plant Taxonomy of Bugleweed: Taxonomy classifies bugleweed (sometimes misspelled "bugle weed") or "bugle"
The false cypress group (or 'falsecypress') has some shrubs with fantastic golden foliage. Learn about growing 'Gold Mops,' 'Gold Thread' and others.
This tutorial illustrates how to build rock gardens. Their is enhanced if attention is paid to color choices (both for the stones and for the plants).
Thompson's Water Seal is one of the deck sealers used to protect against rot. Learn how to use this sealant to guard against damage to your decking.
Japanese rose (Kerria japonica) shrub blooms (single or double) in spring and has a pretty branching pattern. Its attractive bark affords winter interest.
Blue Rug juniper plants are sturdy groundcovers for sunny slopes. This article contains growing tips and information on their use as groundcovers.
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.
Learn how to install pavers, from selection to laying a base to making cuts. In this guide, you'll find instructions for all the steps required, right up to cleaning.
Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius) is a deciduous flowering shrub. This article discusses growing both P. coronarius and Minnesota Snowflake plants.
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.
Blue fescue grass (Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue') is drought-tolerant. This colorful ornamental grass is grown in zones 4-8. Learn how to grow it here.
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.
Pictures of poisonous plants can help you to identify and avoid them. My list includes more than just toxic leaves, berries, etc. that you shouldn't eat.
Want to learn how to get rid of grass? The answer depends on your situation, so I guide you through several scenarios. One of these ways will be right for you.
What does poison ivy look like? Pictures do the best job of answering the question, thus this photo gallery. Use it for positive identification. Page 5.
If your arborvitae's turning brown, it may be winter burn. The combination of wind, sun and lack of available water in winter can cause this. Here's what to do.
In answering how to drain water off lawns, you need to know not only about water drains, but also what to do with the runoff (dry wells being 1 option).
Laying sod to start new lawns begins with soil preparation. This method of grass installation has the advantage over seeding of being quicker.
Need tips on how to get rid of poison ivy? Ortho Brush-B-Gon is one effective herbicide, but you can also get rid of the plants using organic methods. Page 3.
Learn about killing Virginia creeper here if you don't want it on your land. Also discover the pros and cons of the vine here, including whether it's poisonous.
Learn about burning bush shrubs, those popular but invasive plants. Colorful shrubs with spectacular fall foliage, the plants are classified as illegal aliens.
Taxonomy of Gerbera Daisy Flowers: Plant taxonomy classifies gerbera daisy flowers as Gerbera jamesonii
Origin of the Easter Rabbit (Bunny) presented here, as a prelude to discussing rabbit pest control. The Bunny's Easter origins lie in fertility.
Liriope spicata, AKA lilyturf or border grass, is a deer-resistant ornamental grass. This plant can, indeed, be used as a border grass in areas of dry shade.
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.
The lists of flowers (with pictures) here are organized by color. Browse these galleries to gain ideas for creating colorful landscape designs.
Blue Star juniper shrubs bear bluish-silver foliage. This slow-growing bush is a dwarf, forming a compact mound with densely packed foliage.
Lantana plants are a tropical shrub and a symbol of Florida landscaping, their salt-tolerance making them a favorite flower in seashore communities.
Dwarf Alberta spruce trees will eventually reach 6' tall but only over a long period of time. The green needles have a tight, densely-packed growth habit.
Learn the advantages of live-trapping woodchucks as a pest control measure. Use groundhog traps to avoid a nightmare in the garden. Page 3.
Leyland cypress trees are often planted for fast-growing privacy screens. These slender trees are generally grown by those seeking a mass of evergreen foliage and who are in a hurry.
Have you wondered what those hairy vines are climbing up trees? That's poison ivy, the 'hairs' being the vines' aerial roots. Page 12.
Hosta plants do bloom but are grown for their foliage. Leaf color, as shown in my pictures, is quite varied. Learn about some varieties and how to care for them.
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.
Vinca minor vines are a popular choice of plants for with dry-shade areas. Vinca minor vines bear a bluish flower in spring.
Learn how to plant and care for mountain laurel plants. Kalmia latifolia grows best in acid soil and part shade. Page 2.
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.
Read this intro, with pictures, to discover some common types of maple trees. I focus on the best varieties for fall color, including red ones.
Foxglove flowers will thrive in shade and tolerate dry soil but prefer moderate moisture. Digitalis purpurea plants are poisonous but are also used medicinally.
Daphne shrubs are plants that bear fragrant flowers. Carol Mackie plants have white to light pink blossoms and variegated foliage.
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.
Trumpet vines are invasive plants, with showy blooms often of an orange color. Campsis radicans climbs trellises, and its salmon flowers attract hummingbirds.
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.
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Home landscaping pictures give numerous ideas for creating your own beautiful yard. My photos illustrate components found in the best landscapes.
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.
It's okay if you're a novice at cutting grass: it's easy to learn how to mow a lawn. Mowing doesn't take a lot of strength or skill -- just follow these tips.
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.
In my intro to red Japanese maple trees, I discuss Bloodgood and Crimson Queen, plus one that isn't a red-leaf type. Learn about their fall foliage colors.
Poison ivy leaflets are sometimes notched, a feature that may be especially prominent in young leaves. Variations increase the difficulty in identification. Page 2.
Heard the well-known rhyme about poison ivy, 'Leaves of three, let it be?' This picture provides visual verification, showing the plant with its 3 leaflets. Page 14.
How do you get rid of poison oak plants? Although you can kill them with the herbicides described here, eradication can also be accomplished by manual removal.
Learn how to build concrete patios, including forms, installing drainage, using automatic cement mixers and pouring. This tutorial is for beginners.
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.
Yellow alyssum flowers are perennial plants suitable for rock gardens. Aurinia saxatilis likes sun and tolerates drought.
What are the best crabgrass killers? I discuss 3 here, with a focus on post-emergent herbicides; the other 2 consist less of killing than of prevention.
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.
View my picture of a poison ivy leaf to see how the plant looks in summer. In this example, it's a vine growing on a stone wall. Page 9.
Plant Taxonomy of Purple Fountain Grass: Plant taxonomy classifies purple fountain grass as Pennisetum
Here I discuss repellents for wild rabbits, Havahart traps and other pest-control option. These pests can often be controlled through natural, organic methods. Page 3.
Arrowwood viburnum shrubs grow in wetlands in the wild. This makes these versatile bushes a good choice for wet areas in the landscape.