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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Drought-Tolerant Landscaping Ideas

Conserve water in the garden with these beautiful plants and ideas.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Corner Cool-Off

      A pretty bed provides blooms without hogging water.

      • Water runoff typically happens on sidewalks and other hardscapes. Minimize moisture waste by planting a strip next to walkways.
      • A quick way to reduce water loss: Reduce the amount of grass, which requires tons of moisture, particularly during hot-weather months of July and August.
      • If certain plants require a bit more water, plant them together in containers to concentrate their moisture needs.
      • Very tall containers elevate plants to add height to a garden.
      • The easiest way to conquer drought-prone garden areas is to plant flowers that don't require a lot of water to thrive -- lavender, for example.
    • Circle Play

      Hardscape elements step up to the challenge of a drought-tolerant garden.

      • Groundcovers -- here, thyme -- provide a good way to catch water that might be lost on the gentle slope.
      • Two sculptures -- a whimsical cat, and an orb -- offer drama in place of showy, water-needy plants.
      • In any garden, but especially in drought-conscious ones, mulch is essential to conserving moisture (and it keeps down weeds).
      • Many flowers supply showy blooms but require loads of water; in place of them, hardscape elements -- including pavers and a series of circles -- furnish visual interest.
      • Once established, shrubs and evergreens, such as arborvitae, require very little supplemental water -- except in times of extreme drought -- and offer bountiful structure and color.
    • Water Smarts

      Foliage plants shine in this drought-tolerant garden.

      • Many drought-tolerant plants offer less-showy blooms, but make up for it with interesting foliage, such as this Japanese bloodgrass.
      • The combination of grass and concrete in many curb strips doesn't do much to stem water loss, but this planted version catches water before it hits the street.
      • In place of grass, choose drought-tolerant plantings, which are more likely to prevent erosion.
      • Shade, too, can be a necessary element in the fight against water loss: Plants lose a lot of moisture from evaporation on hot days.
      • Grasses and artemisia offer beautiful foliage in this planted bed.
    • Charming Cascade

      An unexpected water feature dresses up a drought-smart yard.

      • A fountain may not seem like a first choice in a drought-tolerant garden, but good design can enable the feature to capture and recycle water.
      • Showy foliage, including Japanese forest grass, offers dramatic visual interest.
      • To counteract the warming effect of pavers, consider groundcovers to cool key areas, such as wide gaps between stones.
      • Herbs -- oregano and thyme, for example -- are good drought-tolerant plants for a garden.
      • Planted and mulched areas on a slope also provide a spot for water to soak into the ground.
    • A Better Garden Bed

      Water-saving strategies make gardening sense for this flowerbed.

      • Showy hardscape elements, such as an oversize boulder, fill in gaps in a drought-tolerant garden by adding unexpected focal points.
      • If plants with a variety of water needs are included in a garden, group those with similar requirements together, such as the lavender cotton the penstemon grouping here.
      • Another way to ensure good growth for water-smart plants: Add the right amounts of soil amendments, such as a healthy dose of natural compost.
      • A tall outdoor light provides accent and security to the landscape.
      • Different varieties of evergreens offer structure and color.
    • Down the Garden Path

      An attractive garden bed relies on native plants.

      • Research native plants, such as yarrow, which often have built-in drought-tolerant features.
      • Spread 2-3 inches of mulch between widely-spaced plants; this reduces water loss and suppresses weeds.
      • Install a drip-irrigation system. It wastes less water and delivers hydration directly to the plants.
      • In place of mortar, a porous material between paving stones provides another way for rain to soak into the soil.
      • In this garden, simple elements, including a birdbath and wooden bench, offer subtle focal points.
    • Clever Corner

      A small flowerbed offers a solution to a difficult site.

      • Even narrow strips of garden that aren't planted need to be mulched, as evidenced by this border between bed and sidewalk.
      • Add a raised bed with distinct borders and include plants to prevent water loss from an abrupt grade shift.
      • A careful selection of boulders gradually steps down the bed, directing water to planted areas.
      • Plants that require more water often require good drainage. To ensure smart water use, make sure soil is amended properly with plenty of compost.
      • If drought-resistant plants such as bougainvillea need watering, schedule to water them early in the morning or late in the day to prevent water loss from evaporation.
    • Good Grasses

      An unexpected burst of color comes from a collection of ornamental grasses.

      • Water naturally runs down slopes, even small ones. Creeping thyme at the bottom of a gravel path helps prevent water loss in this garden.
      • Tucked unobtrusively in the landscape, a rain barrel offers an eco-smart way to recycle rainfall.
      • Make pathways from a porous material, such as gravel, instead of non-permeable concrete so soil can absorb some water before it runs off.
      • Ornamental grasses offer color and structure in this drought-resistant garden.
      • Purple catmint and allium edge the gravel path in this flowerbed.
    • Side Swipe

      A mixture of plants and hardscape elements adorns a side yard.

      • Planting a drought-tolerant garden doesn't mean eliminating high-need plants. It does mean limiting those plants to use as dramatic accents, such as this yellow climbing rose.
      • A trellis decorates the home's facade and offers a welcome hardscape element in the garden.
      • Gaps between pavers provide spots for water to soak into the ground below.
      • Durable lamb's-ears offers vigorous growth from late spring through fall.
      • Creeping thyme randomly softens edges of the pathway.
    • 10 of 11

      Cheery Repose

      A casual accumulation of plants dresses up a garden.

      • Densely planted flowerbeds help to keep weeds from sprouting (and eliminate the need for mulch, too).
      • A collection of water-hardy plants, including lavender, catmint, goat's beard, and lady's mantle, all require minimal water to reach maximum growth.
      • A metal trellis offers a bit of hardscape height and visual interest.
      • To maintain the laid-back vibe of this garden, a wooden fence serves as informal edge.
      • A more permeable walkway, such as pea gravel, offers another solution to prevent water runoff.
    • 11 of 11
      Next Slideshow Backyard Landscaping Ideas

      Backyard Landscaping Ideas

      Developing backyard landscaping ideas can seem like a big project, but coming up with great backyard landscaping designs doesn't have to overwhelm. Looking for ways to give your backyard a makeover? Whether you're looking for simple backyard landscaping ideas, backyard landscaping ideas on a budget, or a complete overhaul of your backyard design, check out these cool backyard landscaping ideas.
      Begin Slideshow »

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