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

Easy Ways to Make Your Yard More Private

Create a hidden sanctuary in your backyard with these quick and simple solutions.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Garden Up

      Give your favorite plants better view-blocking power by growing them in raised beds or berms. You will be surprised at how much more secluded your yard feels by mounding the soil enough to add a foot or two to your plants' height. Plus it puts medium-size plants at eye level.

      Test Garden Tip: Raised beds or berms are also a perfect solution if you struggle with rocky, clay, or otherwise poor soil.

    • Get a Room

      If you don't want to work on making your entire yard a private paradise, take one corner and transform it into a secluded getaway. A simple way to do this is to carefully place a couple of trees to form a pocket. Here, for example, two pines make a hammock feel tucked away. A redbud just behind the hammock enhances the effect.

    • Look at Lattice

      Do you feel a little claustrophobic at the thought of fencing your yard? Try lattice. It's an ideal way to add privacy and enclosure without closing off your yard too much. Plus a simple lattice fence is perfect for showcasing climbing roses or your favorite vines. You may find that lattice panels are less expensive than building a traditional fence so you can save money to boot.

    • Grow in Layers

      Most people's main goal of creating a sheltered yard is to block views of neighbors. But make it an extra-secluded yard by layering plantings to form pockets where you can't see your house or another part of the yard. That way you can feel like you're getting away from it all without actually going anywhere.

    • Use a Hedge

      Enjoy a wall of green by planting a hedge. Look for evergreen varieties to provide year-round screening or try types that lose their leaves in winter but make up for it by putting on a show with attractive flowers or a blaze of fall color.

      Test Garden Tip: While many plants are suitable as hedges, yours will be a cinch to care for if you select a variety that's adapted to your climate and that matures at the height and width you want your hedge to be.

    • Look for Interesting Materials

      Beautify privacy by adding an unexpected element to your yard. For example, build a fence from out-of-the-ordinary materials or decorate a fence with architectural detailing. The plexiglass used here stops the neighbors from peering in but allows light to pass through. It also shows off textures on the other side.

    • Mix It Up

      There's no rule that says you have to stick with one strategy for creating privacy. So keep your landscape exciting by incorporating several types of screens. For example, this patio uses an attractive fence as well as a low hedge. A large tree casts shade and blocks the view of the patio from above.

    • Reach Up

      Vines are like the Swiss Army Knife of the gardening world -- there are so many ways you can use them. Plant a climber to cover a fence, dress up a wall, over a pergola, or travel wires to create a screen in any direction.

    • Use Containers

      Big, bold container gardens are ideal for creating privacy, especially if you have a small space such as a deck or patio. Plus you can find containers and plants to fit any landscape style. Here, large metal containers hold majestic palms for a modern look.

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      Hide Behind Structures

      Let structures on your property create privacy for you. For example, tuck an outdoor living space beside your garage so the walls block views from neighbors. Or site a patio where it's shielded from view by your home.

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      Plant a Tree

      A single tree can be an effective and inexpensive way to block a view. Here a golden locust (Robinia 'Frisia') plays double duty: It shields the yard and creates a stunning focal point.

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      Decorate a Fence

      Let's be honest: Fences can look dull and cold. But they're easy to dress up with a border of easy-care annuals, perennials, or shrubs. And extra-tall perennials that rise above the fence provide additional screening.

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      Punctuate Your Yard

      Many homeowners plant trees and shrubs only around the perimeter of the landscape. But by planting them throughout the yard you screen more effectively.

      Test Garden Tip: Use columnar varieties if you have a small yard; they grow tall, but most columnar selections stay less than 10 feet wide.

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      Keep It Simple

      There's no rule saying a fence has to run the length or perimeter of your yard. Put a panel or two just where you need it. It's a great way to save money.

      Test Garden Tip: If a panel or two in your yard looks a little strange, dress it up with a coat of paint, window boxes, or an espaliered shrub or small tree.

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      Mask Sounds

      Privacy extends beyond your sense of sight. Install a fountain, stream, or other water feature to muffle bothersome sounds. Or look for plants, such as quaking aspen and many types of ornamental grasses, that rustle in the breeze.

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      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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