David Beaulieu is a landscaping expert and plant photographer, with 20 years of experience.
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Updated on 06/15/22
Reviewed byDebra LaGattuta
Debra LaGattuta is a Master Gardener with 30+ years of experience in perennial and flowering plants, container gardening, and raised bed vegetable gardening. She is a lead gardener in a Plant-A-Row, which is a program that offers thousands of pounds of organically-grown vegetables to local food banks. Debra is a member of The Spruce Garden Review Board.
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"In a nutshell, what is the best way to go about beautifying my yard?" It's a tough question to answer. There are so many variables in do-it-yourself landscaping, such as budget, skills, the climate of your region, your personal design tastes, how you'll be using your yard, etc., but there are certain steps you can take that are so sound that they readily suggest themselves as answers to this question.
10 Best Garden Planners, Programs, and Apps
01 of 10
Here's a can't-miss tip for beautifying your yard: make sure you're providing something of interest in each of the four seasons. Do-it-yourself landscaping for four-season interest begins with a well-researched plant-selection plan. The goal is to have flowering trees and/or shrubs throughout spring and summer, fall foliage in autumn, and good structure in winter. This article describes how to achieve that goal.
02 of 10
Layer Your Flower Beds
Layer your flower borders in three rows: a back row (facing north, preferably) with the tallest plants, a middle row with the next tallest, and a front row composed of your shortest plants. Use repetition, both in the planting bed and elsewhere in your yard, to provide unity.
03 of 10
Many DIY landscaping tips focus on deciduous trees and shrubs but don't forget evergreens and other plants prized as much or more for their foliage as for their flowers. The deciduous specimens provide more color and variety, while the evergreens will provide continuity.
04 of 10
Annuals Supplement Perennial Color
Perennial flowers are wonderful for your planting beds, but they bloom for only so long. You may have perennials blooming in your bed in May, then nothing until July. Incorporating annuals into a do-it-yourself landscaping plan will "plug the gaps," giving you continuous color in the yard. Try using picture galleries to find ideas for your color schemes in landscape design.
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05 of 10
Don't restrict your do-it-yourself landscaping to plants. Include hardscape features, too. Like evergreens, they provide structure in winter and much more than that. Walls and fences make an essential design statement, as they frame your property. When you drive around the countryside, you might notice how much more “finished” the properties with fences look. Decks and arbors are other important hardscape features. Patios and decks provide transitions from indoors to outdoors.
06 of 10
Install Water Features: It's Easier Than You Think
Good landscape designs are anchored by focal points. One of the hottest trends is to use water features as focal points. This is one trend with "sound" reasoning behind it: water features are not only visually appealingbut emit soothing sounds. Using pre-formed rigid plastic liners, durable pumps, flexible tubing, and cheap fountains, they're also a lot easier to install than you think. Once you've experimented with ponds, you may even decide to advance to the next level: simple waterfalls.
07 of 10
Using Form and Texture
Flowers are great but don't forget the characteristics of a plant's branching pattern and foliage. In landscape design, varying form and texture is one way to spice up a yard with diversity. Evergreen conifers, while lacking flowers altogether, nonetheless have foliage that offers a myriad of different forms and textures. While browsing these do-it-yourself landscaping tips, you'll discover many ways to enhance the beauty of your yard.
08 of 10
Make Your Life Easier With a Low-Maintenance Yard
You can follow all the above do-it-yourself landscaping tips and still not be happy with your yard. For, besides giving your yard a pleasing appearance, you must also be sensible in planning for its maintenance. Beautiful or not, you'll resent your yard if it causes you too much work. Unless you don't mind spending hours each weekend on upkeep, plan your design for low maintenance.
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09 of 10
Use Drought-Resistant Plants
Many novices at do-it-yourself landscaping start with high hopes in spring, only to have them dashed in summer. Why? Because the summer heat wilts all of that promising spring perkiness out of their plants! The answer? Select drought-tolerant plants to grow, instead.
10 of 10
Types of Flowers
Carefully matching the types of flowers you'll be growing with the space where they'll be growing is a fundamental policy to follow in do-it-yourself landscaping. Light and soil requirements should always be considered before deciding which types of flowers to buy for your yard.
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Gardening and Landscaping Concepts
The article "Gardening Landscaping" by David Beaulieu provides valuable insights into beautifying yards through do-it-yourself landscaping. Here's a breakdown of the concepts covered in the article and their relevance:
Year-Round Interest: The article emphasizes the importance of providing interest in each of the four seasons through well-researched plant selection, including flowering trees, shrubs, fall foliage, and good structure in winter .
Layering Flower Beds: It suggests layering flower borders in three rows to provide unity and visual appeal, with the tallest plants in the back row, the next tallest in the middle row, and the shortest plants in the front row.
Continuity with Deciduous and Evergreen Plants: The article highlights the significance of incorporating both deciduous trees and shrubs for color and variety, as well as evergreens for continuity throughout the seasons.
Incorporating Annuals: It recommends incorporating annuals into the landscaping plan to ensure continuous color in the yard, complementing the blooming periods of perennial flowers.
Hardscape Features: The article suggests including hardscape features such as walls, fences, decks, arbors, and patios to provide structure, transitions, and essential design statements in the yard .
Water Features: It advocates for the use of water features as focal points in landscape designs, highlighting their visual appeal and soothing sounds, and provides insights into their installation.
Form and Texture: The article emphasizes the importance of considering a plant's branching pattern and foliage characteristics to enhance the diversity and beauty of the yard.
Low-Maintenance Yard: It advises planning for low-maintenance landscaping to ensure a pleasing appearance without excessive upkeep.
Drought-Resistant Plants: The article recommends selecting drought-tolerant plants to withstand summer heat and minimize maintenance efforts.
Types of Flowers: It stresses the importance of matching the types of flowers with their growing space and considering light and soil requirements for effective landscaping.
These concepts provide a comprehensive guide for individuals looking to beautify their yards through do-it-yourself landscaping, considering factors such as plant selection, hardscape features, and maintenance considerations.