The Best Flowers for Wet Soil

Turn a wet, poorly drained spot in your yard into a colorful landscape feature with these perennial flowers and ornamental grasses.

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Fall Veggies to Plant Now

Grow these cool-season vegetables and herbs to extend your garden's harvests in spring and fall. This list of vegetables includes seasonal vegetables, green vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, winter vegetables, green leafy vegetables, fall vegetables and more.

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Improve Poor Drainage

Follow these tips to transform a poorly drained area into an easy-care garden.

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Tips and Tricks to Keep Plants Blooming

Deadheading is a popular practice ¿ but do you know all the ways to keep flowers on your plants longer? Follow these easy tips for keeping your favorite shrubs and flowers blooming longer.

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Top Plant Picks for Late-Summer Color

Keep the color coming on strong through the end of the growing season with these easy-care, reliable annuals and perennials.

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Plan for a Gorgeous Fall Landscape

See how two great gardeners -- one on the East Coast and one on the West -- created knock-your-socks-off fall yards -- and learn how you can do the same.

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Best Plants for Rock Gardens

Transforming an unsightly slope or mound in your backyard into a colorful rock garden is easy when you chose the right plants. These amazing, low-maintenance ground huggers don't mind poor soil but do need good drainage to survive. Here's a list of our top plants for rock gardens.

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Get a Handle on Landscape Costs

Dreaming of a landscape project? Use our tips to get an accurate picture of the cost of your project.

From designing a new patio to making plans for a front yard overhaul, landscape projects are intriguing to plan; however, when it comes time to put real cost figures to the pictures on paper or the vision in your head, things can get tricky. Come along as we walk through the process of estimating landscape costs. Like any home improvement project, costs can vary once you get into the project, but thoughtful estimation provides a ballpark figure that you can budget on. 

Begin with a Solid Plan

The more you know about your landscape project from the very beginning, the more efficiently it will come together. Efficiency equals reduced cost when it comes to working with contractors or purchasing landscape product.

For example, if you take time to create a backyard master plan—a comprehensive landscape plan for your entire space—you might realize that you need brick pavers for a patio as well as a walkway to access the space from the garage. Buying pavers for both projects might translate into cost savings due to the quantity you are purchasing. Check out our easy Plan-a-Garden tool here. 

You can draft a landscape plan yourself or you can employ the services of a landscape professional. Depending on the size and scope of the project, along with the terrain changes necessary to make it all happen, the experience and expertise of a landscape professional might be essential. Inquire with friends and neighbors about great landscape designers in your area. Give the professionals a call to learn about their project fees. Consider hiring a designer to review the master plan you created.

Estimate Your Project

If any part of your project requires the services of a contractor, get at least two bids and review the bids line by line. Be sure to note plant sizes and specific hardscaping products, such as pavers. Plants vary widely in size and quality and this is usually reflected in a reputable estimate. Hardscaping materials have less cost variance but there are notable differences between products.

Before selecting a contractor, take time to follow up on references and tour their landscape facility to view potential plants for your project as well as look at hardscape material.

Phase It In

After making a comprehensive plan and putting together an estimate of landscape costs, consider completing your project in phases if necessary. Not only is phasing in a landscape budget-friendly, it is also lifestyle-friendly.

Facing an entire summer spent renovating the backyard can be overwhelming and might prevent you from getting the project started. A couple weekends of building a patio and another weekend spent planting trees and shrubs around the new space is doable. Add building a pond and renovating the lawn to the above projects and you will have consumed much of your leisure time for the summer.

It is also possible to complete a contractor-produced landscape project in phases. For efficiency, group parts of the project that require specific equipment or product into the same phase when possible. Plant all the trees in one phase. Build the patio and walkway in another phase. Add an extensive perennial border in another phase.

Plan and Shop Smart

It is well-known that quality landscaping adds great value to your home. Get the most bang for your landscaping dollars with our money-saving gardening and landscaping tips. Our 45 tips will help you stretch your dollars while adding color, function, and fun to the landscape that you'll enjoy for years to come. 


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