Get ideas for combining colors and textures from Virginia Amstrup, who created this beautiful garden in Alaska.
Give your garden an exciting, contemporary feel by breaking up the lawn into small sections. Here, the Amstrups gave their lawn a flowing design, punctuated by colorful flowerbeds. It adds more interest than colorful borders surrounding a big patch of grass.
Use ribbons of lawn to create an exciting look and lend your landscape a sense of whimsy. Plus, it offers the feeling of discovery -- you never know what you'll find as you go down different paths. Extra Link: See another garden divided into rooms.
Texture is as important to color in garden design. Repeating texture -- in this case the dwarf spruce tree with golden Angelina sedum -- creates a sense of comfortable consistency. But too much of the same texture gets boring, so don't be afraid to mix it up. Here, the smooth river rocks create a brilliant contrast.
Ornamental grasses are perfect plants for giving your yard a sense of movement. Whether you choose varieties with soft, arching foliage or airy seedheads such as this prairie dropseed, they create visual excitement in the landscape.
Don't take garden design too seriously. Have fun and feel free to break the rules. Your tallest plants don't always have to go in the back of the border. Plant some in the front to mix things up a bit.
Even the most die-hard gardeners don't spend all their time outdoors, so consider the view out from your favorite windows when you plant your yard.
Include some plants in the garden that invite close inspection. For example, the real beauty of this Rex begonia leaf is in its swirling pattern.
Here's a hint: Notice how the curled leaves echo the curving shapes of this garden's borders. Paying attention to details like this helps your garden feel more put together.
Container gardens are excellent solutions because you can move them around and create color in spots where plants go out of bloom. Take your garden to the next level by coordinating colors of your plants and the container. For example, the burgundy pot looks terrific with the rich purple-red thyme.
A beautiful, well-designed garden can be easy to care for if you include tough plants such as this drought-tolerant hens-and-chicks. Make sure you pick plants well adapted to your climate and growing conditions.
While most gardeners think mainly about color, don't forget to utilize different shapes in your garden. Notice how the bowling balls here are fun accents to the round wall hangings and spherical bunny-tail grass seed heads.