Miniature Fairy Garden

Combining drought-tolerant succulents, Cotswold cottages, and elevated beds will lend easy inspection of the wee landscaping of a miniature garden.

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The Best Drought-Tolerant Perennials

When summer heat kicks in, rely on these drought-tolerant plants to hold their own -- and still look beautiful.

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Heat-Loving Container-Garden Plants

The dog days of summer can turn your gorgeous container gardens into a crispy mess. Try these plants that take the heat for color all season long.

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Summer Garden Maintenance Checklist

Summer is a gardener¿s busiest season. If you¿re short on time or not sure what to do, follow this easy summer gardening checklist to keep your lawn and garden in great shape all season long.

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Throw a Garden Party

Greet the season with friends, flowers, and ice cream floats! Featuring pretty paper blooms and a blushing peach punch, this lovely garden gathering will have you celebrating summer in style.

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Creating Succulent Containers

Succulent gardens are low maintenance and make great container gardens -- they can withstand heat, neglect, and direct sunlight. Learn tips and tricks to create a gorgeous succulent container garden.

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Top Plants that Thrive in Clay

Clay soil makes gardening tough. It's slippery when wet, and it bakes solid when dry. Here are 25 beautiful plants that grow well in clay.

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Popular in Gardening

Choosing the Right Patio Materials

A wide array of materials is available for surfacing a patio. The material you choose should blend with the surroundings and other materials used in the landscape, while providing the right surface for the intended use of the patio.

Aged brick in a herringbone patternhelps this patio look appropriatenext to a traditional style house.

For an outdoor entertainment area (especially for dining), a solid, level surface, such as brick or cast pavers, is best. Flat stones, such as slate, also create an even surface. Fieldstone, due to its naturally uneven surface, will not be perfectly level.

Loose material, such as pea gravel, is not recommended for dining areas because table legs can settle unevenly into the stone. Crushed granite, however, once it is compacted, forms a surface almost as stable and firm as concrete, and water can percolate through it.

Whereas the surfacing material is largely a matter of taste and cost, the foundation upon which the material rests and how the surface is set in place are key structural considerations. The foundation determines the slope of the patio and its levelness.

Excavating a level area and putting in a gravel base topped with sand are essential parts of building any patio, whether poured as a slab of concrete or topped with pavers. Once the base is sloped and smooth, the pavers can be set in mortar or on sand.

An Easy-to-Build Patio

Sometimes the look you want involves mixing materials. Here brick and slate team up for a surface that is durable as well as eye-appealing.

Concrete is popular, easy to work with, and affordable. Dress it up with bands of brick, or enhance it with stains, stamps, or inlays.

Patio Garden Plan

Large fieldstones are used to create a patio that has a natural, woodland feel. Ground cover planted between the stones softens the area further.

Buying from a Stoneyard

Brick is a traditional patio paving material and comes in a wide array of styles and colors. Choose aged brick for an informal look or pristine brick red pavers for a formal setting.

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