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Landscaping Your Outdoor World

Many design challenges arise when your primary gardening and landscaping space is where the hardscaping is: near pools and spas, on patios, decks, balconies, steps, courtyards, rooftops, and wherever else outdoors you can stake a claim. Discover creative ways and places: vertical gardens, containers, and built-ins, along with beautiful and unusual plants and trees for patios and small spaces.
  1. Urban Gardens (2)

Poolscaping: What to Consider When Landscaping Near Your Swimming Pool
Pool area landscaping takes time and research. Follow our tips for making the smartest selections for your region.

Poolside Plants That Look Like Paradise and Withstand the Elements
The plants you choose to surround your pool should be carefully considered before any buying or digging takes place. Once your pool is in place, you may find that it creates a sort of microclimate. A heated pool can raise humidity levels, and intense sunlight can fry nearby landscaping. Plants can get splashed with chlorine and other pool and...

Messy Plants You Don't Want Near the Pool
If you hate cleaning plant debris out of your pool or spa, which plants should you avoid growing? Find out if your plants are on our list.

Spring 2014 Home and Garden Tours
Spring home and garden tours give you a rare opportunity to observe other people's yards, up-close. We've found some of the top tours in the U.S. for 2014.

Zones and Maps For Gardens, Drought and Outdoor Activities
From gardening to planning outdoor projects around a drought, it's smart to know what to expect in your region. Consult this list of zone maps.

2014 Home and Garden Shows
Where are the best home and garden shows for 2014? Check this list to find an event in a city near you.

Succulent Landscape Design Ideas
Ready to see succulents like never before? If you live in an arid climate, chances are good that you can use your swimming pool, spa, patio or deck nearly year 'round. Along with the advantages of enjoying your outdoor space all year comes the challenge of selecting the right plants. Succulents have gained in popularity over the past decade -...

What is a Succulent?
Cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. And succulents do not belong to one plant family. Instead, they are represented in more than 30 different plant species. Succulents can be found in different plant families, including lily, amaryllis, crassula, daisy, milkweed and even geraniums.

Euphorbia Types
Because euphoriba plants are easy to grow, they are popular choices for poolside landscaping and container gardens on and around patios, decks and balconies. Let's take a look at some of the most popular euphorbia plants that you might want to include in your landscape.

50 Ways to Save Water Outside Your House
Water conservation, water-saving, xeriscape, water-wise, drought-tolerant, drought-resistant, native landscaping. Call it what you like, it still has the same goal: to use less water, save and conserve one of the earth's most vital resources. From California to Georgia and Australia to South Africa, regions throughout the world are affected by...

Path Materials in Water Conservation Landscape Design
Pathways in a water-wise garden use traditional hardscape materials - like pavers, concrete, bricks, pebbles and pea gravel. How they differ from non-water-wise landscape design lies with what's growing - or not growing - between and surrounding the pathway materials.

What is Drought Tolerant?
What does drought tolerant mean in relation to landscaping and the environment? Let's break it down. The word drought means: "a period of dryness especially when prolonged; specifically: one that causes extensive damage to crops or prevents their successful growth." The word tolerant means, in the broader sense: "capacity to endure pain or...

Cactus Patio and Poolside Gardens
You may think you know what a cactus is, but how does it relate to your backyard environment? And can you landscape near a pool or on a patio with cacti? Find out.

Types of Cactus
Not all cactus look alike. Learn about several of the main varieties of cacti and decide whether they will be suitable for your landscaping project.

Ice Plant Types
In landscaping, ice plant is a commonly used ground cover. Years ago, it crawled its way on to the carefully planned hills and landscapes near freeways and highways, and it became as common and dreaded as ivy. Ice plant is a succulent, however, and succulents are increasing in popularity for their good looks, form and water-wise attributes....

Water Conservation Landscape Design: Garden Art
Water-smart landscaping can be attractive with well-chosen plants mixed with hardscaping, garden structures and garden art. And like the conservation-minded gardens that focus on using less water, natural fertilizers or organic pest control, some of the best garden art comes from ordinary objects that have been recycled, reused, or repurposed....

Trees for Japanese Gardens
Choosing a tree for a Japanese garden can be as much of a major consideration as other design elements. The following trees are traditionally used in Japanese landscape design and have one or more qualities that might make them a good selection for your yard.

Japanese Garden Design Resources
Maybe you're just thinking about it or already have a Japanese garden. Arm yourself with a few resources, like organizations and associations that specialize in Japanese landscape design or certain aspects of it, like tree trimming, bonsai or societies for plants like azaleas or rhododendrons. Consult this list to help you with your garden.

Landscaping With Ornamental Grasses: A Picture Gallery
For nearly nonstop performance, strength and visual impact, few plants compare to ornamental grasses. Don't confuse ornamental grasses with the types of grass used for lawns, though. Ornamental grasses are meant to grow - not be cut or mown - and most aren't used as a groundcover. Once you start landscaping with ornamental grasses you'll be...

Pruning Ornamental Grasses: How to Groom Your Grasses
Ornamental grasses are fairly new on the landscape scene. But there's not really a standard way to prune or groom them. And not every landscaper knows how to take care of everything in the garden, including these grasses that can grow quite big. Follow these steps to groom your grasses and get them in shape. In some regions, that means your...

The Best-Smelling Plants for Your Landscape
Those hubs of activity in your outdoor living areas -- like swimming pools, spas, patios, decks, porches, and outdoor dining areas -- are ideal places to add some scents to your garden. Forget the candles and citronella, we're talking about fragrant plants that remind you and your guests why it's so enjoyable to be outdoors instead of indoors.

Vertical Gardens: Plants for Walls
Walls add permanence and establish boundaries within a yard Plants that adapt best to walls are those that are climbers or that spill or trail over the walls. Other types of wall gardens are living walls in which plants are fitted in crevices or planted in containers that allow them to grow vertically and cover all or part of the wall.

What Are Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers?
When designing a patio or outdoor room, you need to carefully choose plants for what will often be a small space. The popular concept of thrillers, fillers and spillers makes designing for containers easier. Find out why.

The Best Plants for Walls: Crevices
Surprisingly, many plants can survive in those cracks and crevices found between stones in walls. Consult this list of the best plants for crevices and cracks in walls before landscaping for privacy or to enhance your outdoor living space.

The Best Plants for Walls: Spillers
Choosing the right plants for walls is imperative, because the goal is to cover up an unsightly fence or enhance the look of plain walls. Spilling or spreading plants -- "spillers" -- are perfect for planting above retaining walls, while some low-growing shrubs will spread over the top of a wall. Consult this list of spillers before landscaping near your privacy screen.

The Best Climbing Plants for Walls
A quick way to cover a wall or fence is to use climbing plants. Acting as privacy screens, climbers grow rapidly to disguise an unappealing fence or block a view. Climbing plants can also create height to a fence or wall. Consult this list of climbers to cover up a wall in your yard or enhance the beauty of your landscape.

The Top 10 Climbing Roses
Privacy at home means more to us than ever before. In trying times, home is a refuge, and privacy provides a chance to relax. Seclusion via a privacy fence or screen gives us a safe retreat from the world outside our boundaries. But those privacy screens -- in the form of wooden fences, concrete-block walls and wire fences -- are often not the...

Planters and Pots for a Patio Garden
A plethora of pots are vying for a position on your deck or patio. Tall ones, stout ones, sleek ones and cheap ones. In a choice of materials, styles, textures and colors. When choosing a pot, you might wish you'd just gone with your instinct and grabbed the first few that caught your eye. Don't worry -- we've done the thinking and research for you, so next time you walk into the pottery section or look online, you'll know what you're doing.

What is a Patio Tree?
A patio tree is a tree that resides on a patio. But what characteristics qualify a tree to "patio tree" status?

What is a Landscape Contractor?
What is a landscape contractor? When should you hire one? Learn more about this type of professional and the difference between contractors, landscape architects and landscape designers.

What is the Difference Between a Landscape Architect and Landscape Designer?
What's the difference between landscape architects and landscape or garden designers? Apparently, more than you may realize. Learn who does what before hiring a pro or deciding to further your education.

Landscape Design, Pool, Patio and Deck Professional Assocations
Whether you are looking for a landscape designer or pool contractor or want to find out more information about how to become one, this list of professional associations will help steer you in the right direction.

The Top Schools for Landscape Architecture and Design
What are the top colleges and universities for landscape architecture? We present our list of the leading schools in the U.S. to study landscape architecture.

Schools for Garden and Landscape Design
When it comes to the field of garden and landscape design, options for education are wide open. Unlike the field of landscape architecture, which requires a formal education at an accredited college followed by testing and eventual certification from the ASLA, there is no one governing body overseeing the field of landscape and garden design.

Home and Garden Tours
Home and garden tours provide that rare opportunity to walk through other people's yards and see how they create their own private paradises. While pool and home shows are a great place to learn about new products, it's the home and garden tours that really put you right where you want to be: in the backyards - up close and personal.

What is a Green Screen?
The term green screen evokes images of special effects for films. But what do they have to do with privacy and outdoor living spaces?

Do You Live in a Wildfire Area?
Southern California isn't the only place that is prone to wildfires. How do you know if your house is in a wildfire region? Read over this checklist to help you determine if your house is in danger of a destructive fire, and measures you can take outside your property to help keep it fire safe.

Is it Possible to Grow Crops in a Box?
What's with those grow boxes, like the Earthbox and the Garden Patch? You've seen them in ads or at the store, but you may be a bit wary of their crop-growing claims and their prices, which are usually higher than a standard plastic window box. Follow along as we reveal what's inside these grow boxes and the steps involved in assembling and...

Charlie Sheen Buys Beverly Hills House During Most Infamous Week
Somehow amid all of Charlie Sheen's interviews, ramblings, rants, firings and profound catch phrases, the celebrity managed to buy a house. A big, Beverly Hills mansion with 7 bedrooms and 8.5 baths -- should he decide to ever take one -- all for $7.5 million. The Mulholland Estates home is just doors away from Sheen's own house -- dubbed Sober...

All About Decorating Outdoors With Poinsettias
You can't do better than a healthy poinsettia plant to add visual appeal to your porch or entryway during the holidays. We've visited the world's leading poinsettia ranch, explored design ideas and researched facts, myths and legends to bring you all you need to know about poinsettias for the holidays.

Inside the White House Grounds: Patios, Porches and Outdoor Spaces
Much has been documented about the interior of the White House, but what about the exterior? With a residence that large, it must have an amazing yard, with lots of patios, terraces, porches, pools and private retreats the average person knows nothing about. Take an historical tour of the White House's outdoor living spaces -- the places where...

Home and Garden Shows 2013
Homebound residents who are tired of the cold temperatures are ready for any sign of spring, even if it's a plant growing under artificial conditions in a municipal auditorium in the dead of winter. Consult this list of garden shows for one year you.

Quick and Easy Poinsettia Designs
Poinsettias in containers add instant color and festivity to a porch or entryway. They're quick, easy, and low maintenance if cared for properly and placed in the right temperature and environment. Here's how to make poinsettias work with your outdoor decorating style.

Inside the Paul Ecke Poinsettia Ranch
Encinitas, CA, is where many of the world's top flower growers produce the most breathtaking blooms. Among them: Tamaya’s Orchids, The Flower Fields, and the Paul Ecke Ranch. From 1929-1966, the Ecke Ranch produced poinsettia mother plants. For over 40 years, the 25-acre ranch's key focus has been growing poinsettia cultivars and shipping them...

The Poinsettia: Fun Facts, Tips and Myths
Polls show that poinsettias are still the Christmas season's favorite plant. Maybe it's the different colors in which it comes, its rich history and tradition or the mystery that surrounds the Mexican native. Let's find out more about this exotic beauty.

Decorating with Poinsettias
Looking at the various colors and shapes, it’s quite clear these aren’t your grandmother’s drug-store poinsettias. Shake up her world a bit with a 'Peppermint Twist' thrown into the mix, along with her favorite red and some assorted evergreens. While you’re at it, shake up the world just outside your door. Like on your porch, in a...

Get Paid For Saving Water: Lawn Rebate and Smart Irrigation Programs
If your region is affected by drought, you might be able to replace your lawn or irrigation at a discount. Check this list of rebates and incentives.

The Best Trees for Pool Landscaping
Which trees are best near a poo or spa? Size, shape and leaf drop are things to think about when planting a tree by a body of water.

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