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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How to Choose a Lawn Shape

The best shape for your lawn is determined by its use, the landscape, appearance, and your desired maintenance level.

The shape of your lawn affects how you use it and the time you spend taking care of it.

The most important factor in determining the best shape for your lawn is the way you plan to use it. If the lawn will be for recreation and entertaining, it should have a large, open area, such as that provided by circular and rectangular shapes. Most lawn sports, such as croquet, badminton, volleyball, putting, and boccie ball, also require an open space; most need a playing area.
Find ways to integrate lawn in your front yard.


The landscape also plays a role in the shape of the lawn. Some of the most interesting lawn designs trace the shadow patterns of the house and trees during the growing season. Although some types of grass tolerate shade, most require at least six hours of sun a day. In boggy or rocky areas or those with shallow roots from nearby trees and shrubs, the soil and terrain can be modified to handle turf, or the lawn should be located elsewhere.

If your primary concern is appearance, the site itself will present the primary limiting factors. You might choose a geometric shape to project a strong sense of order, control, and formality. Open or free-flowing shapes are more playful, relaxed, and natural.

Considerations when estimating maintenance are the total number square feet to mow and the total number of linear feet to edge. Undulating lines increase the amount of edging and trimming that is required.

Related article: A No-Mow Backyard Landscape Plan


The most formal lawn shape, a circular lawn makes a strong visual statement. Level circular lawns are well-suited to entertaining. When laying out a circular lawn, it is worth taking the time to get the circles perfect. If this style appeals to you, you might also like ovals and half circles.


Rectangular lawns lend themselves best to recreation. A rectangular lawn can be seen in one glance. This lawn shape is more suited to a formal than a natural garden. Ease of maintenance makes rectangular shapes an attractive choice. Different mowing patterns add a creative touch.


The open lawn is the most relaxed shape. Gently flowing lines have a soothing effect on the eye and the mind and fit well with an informal garden. This type of lawn often results when you allow the shade patterns of trees to determine the shape of the lawn. Open-shape lawns are suitable for recreation and entertaining.


Free-flowing lawns are ideal for creating pocket gardens. This free-flowing lawn provides five different garden areas. This shape has the added benefit of illusion; not allowing the eye to see all the lawn at once draws a person into the garden, adds mystery, and may make the garden appear larger. Be aware of how much edging is required with this shape.

Related article: A Three-Year Landscape Plan


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