They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I hope my pictures of landscape designs help you come up with some really great landscaping ideas. These landscaping pictures are of my house, and as you will see the house is quite simple, but being the gardening fanatic that I am, the landscaping far outshines the house.
The above photo is an early spring picture of our front yard. You can see by the lawn how early this photo was taken, the grass hasn't even started to actively grow yet. Take a look at the flower beds around the two trees in this photo.
See how large those beds are? Most people are afraid to make a bed around a tree that large. We get a lot of compliments on these flower beds. Each bed has hundreds of bulbs that bloom in early spring, then once the bulbs are done and the danger of frost has past, we plant annual flowers. It's really beautiful all summer long.
If you look closely at the photo you will see a few thousand plants in the driveway. We were gearing up for our annual plant sale. As you probably know we have a fully functional plant nursery in our backyard.
Please wait a few seconds for the rest of this page to appear. It contains a lot of pictures of landscape designs.
The second photo from my pictures of landscape designs series is of the very back section of our backyard. Keep in mind our lot is only 1/2 acre, and as you will see you can do plenty on such a small lot if you put your mind to it.
Along the property line is part of our little plant nursery. Just to the left of the nursery is a raised bed that is just loaded with beautiful flowering shrubs, and a few ornamental trees. When we bought this house the backyard was quite bare, and as flat as a pancake. I built the mounds by digging out the two areas that are now our little nursery, and using the soil to build beautiful landscaping mounds.
In the foreground of this picture you can see some small ornamental grasses and Hosta. To the left of those there are four or five Red Twig Dogwood and about three Purple Sandcherry.
Installing your plants in clusters like this adds to the effectiveness of the overall design. Of course my motive with most of these plants was to install plants that I could use as stock plants from which we take cuttings.
The third photo from my pictures of landscape designs series is of the same area as the picture you just viewed, just a little closer to our house. If you look closely you can see the backyard nursery to the far right. What you are looking at is four different landscaped mounds. Creating this type of a setting in your backyard is a great landscaping idea. As you can see it's beautiful, and a joy just to walk through.
This photo is by far one of my favorites from my pictures of landscape designs series. The bed that was right in front of me as I took this picture contains two kinds of Viburnum, a small Pink Dogwood Tree, a Japanese Red Maple Tree, three Nikko Blue Hydrangea, three Golden Globe Arborvitae, several Variegated Euonymus, the Purple Sandcherry and Red Twig Dogwood you saw in the earlier photo. As you can see, not a lot of organized design, but plenty of color and blooms.
Now look to the landscaping mound to the right of this photo. This is a landscaping idea that can be used in a multitude of situations. Notice the two rows of ornamental grasses. The dark green (back row) are Maiden Grass, and the light color grasses in the front row are Fountain Grass. Both are very hardy, grow to a height of five to six feet, and are absolutely beautiful.
Using them in staggered rows like this is very effective. The dark green Maiden Grass provides an excellent background for the green and yellow variegated Fountain Grass. Planting them up on this mound shows them off even more, and once they fill out for the summer they provide a tremendous amount of privacy for our patio. If you'll notice, they are positioned to block the opening created by the grass walkway that leads to our patio, giving both us and the neighbors some privacy.
The same landscaping idea can be used along garage walls, along property lines, or along a fence that you would like to make more aesthetically pleasing.
The mound to the right also contains another Japanese Red Maple Tree, two Chinese Dogwood Trees, a small Laceleaf Weeping Japanese Red Maple, a few Gold Drop Potentila, and a few Variegated Weigela. Even the back side of this mound is landscaped, even though our neighbors see more of it than we do.
You can't see it from this picture, but the mound to the left contains a number of very interesting plants and a beautiful waterfall that is right off our patio. From this angle you can see the Weeping Pussy Willow Tree, a few Variegated Hosta, some Coreopsis, Stella D'Oro Daylillies, and two large Morning Light Ornamental Grasses.
This photo from my pictures of landscape designs series was taken from the back corner of our house looking into the backyard. The beautiful red plant right in front is a Lace Leaf Weeping Japanese Red Maple. Just to the right of that is the Weeping Pussy Willow Tree. If you look to the far right of this picture you can see the Chinese Dogwood in bloom. Look to the left, right in front of the shed is a Pink Weeping Cherry Tree. The patio and waterfall are to the left.
Things change fast in our backyard. The above photo was taken later than some of the photos you just viewed, and you can see that we replaced the Coriopsis under the Weeping Pussy Willow with Gold Flame Spirea so we could take cuttings from the spireas. We also took out the Golden Globe Arborvitae and planted roses.
Once again this is a good view of the ornamental grass on the back mound. Creating gardens like this in your backyard is easier than you think. You just have to think on the big side before you start.
This photo from my pictures of landscape designs series shows the brick patio in the middle of our backyard. Our house is just about 20 twenty feet to the left of the brick patio.
O.K., now from another angle, I took this picture standing on the roof of the house looking into the backyard. The other half our our little backyard nursery is to the left, and you can see our brick patio to the right. Notice how the patio is located almost in the middle of the backyard. That's because I wanted some shade on the patio, and we had two nice trees in the middle of the yard. So I stuck the patio between the two trees, and wrapped the brick around the trees a little for effect. If you look closely you can see the waterfall just of the patio in the far right corner of the picture.
The above photo from my pictures of landscape designs series shows a closer look at the patio and the waterfall. You can see how I wrapped the patio around the two existing trees, and gave it a very irregular shape. Now you can see what I mean about the ornamental grasses providing privacy for the patio.
From the above photo you can see the side of the waterfall and the pond. Again in this bed notice how I used clusters of Hosta and Daylilly.
Now let's explore some landscaping ideas for around your house. From my pictures of landscape designs series this photo shows a very simple, yet attractive planting for in front of a low porch. The small tree right in front of you is a Waterfall Weeping Japanese Maple. It has very delicate cut leaves that are green in color. Very pretty. That tree is now almost five feet wide, but still only three feet high.
Under the Japanese Maple are Green Mound Juniper a very low growing ground hugging plant that has now covered that area like carpeting. The little blue plants in front of the porch are Blue Fescue Ornamental Grass.
The tall plant to the right side of this picture is a Weeping Cotoneaster. This is Cotoneaster Apiculata grafted onto to Paul's Scarlet Hawthorne. Plants like this can really bring your landscaping ideas to life. For better pictures of this plant and more of "Mike's Favorite Plants" click here. Under the Weeping Cotoneaster are Emerald Gaiety Euonymus.
This photo from my pictures of landscape designs series shows a landscaping idea that I have used many times over the years. Looking along the front wall the two plants in the background are Rhododendrons. The five plants planted in an arc in front of the Rhododendrons are Japanese Holly.
The tall evergreen on the corner is a Canadian Hemlock that I keep tightly sheared. The yellow plants around the Hemlock are Gold Thread Cypress. This scheme is always very popular.
Going around the corner you see the same scheme repeated as in the front, but I used different plants here. The two plants in the background this time are Burning Bush, while the five plants planted in an arc are Rhinegold Arborvitae. The rather plain looking plant in the center of the bed to the left of the above photo has a lot more character than you think. It's called a Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, and you can see some really good pictures of it here. Notice how I made the beds much larger than the house? It really makes a big difference.
This is the last photo from my pictures of landscape designs series. This is the wall behind our garage. Once again I've repeated the same scheme with different plants. But this time I arced the bed in the opposite direction in the center, creating a nice spot for this Rainbow Dogwood Tree. The plants in the background are Red Twig Dogwood, and the plants in the arc are Blue Boy and Blue Girl Holly.
Yes, you should have at least one male holly so your female hollies will have berries. The holly in the center is a male, the other six are all female. One male plant is plenty.
I hope this page has given you at least a few good landscaping ideas.
Have fun! -Mike McGroarty
by Michael J. McGroarty