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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Family-Style Backyard Garden Design

This landscape plan was designed to address the needs of an active family with children.

This landscape plan turns a modest-sized backyard into a garden with something for every member of the family.

Assessing Your Family's Landscape Needs

Key Features

  • Patio. The brick patio area provides a solid footing for tables and chairs, and allows a view of the entire yard.
  • Formal bed and fountain. This small garden is designed to be viewed from inside the house. Additionally, the fountain's sound helps mask noise from the surrounding yards and streets.
  • Lawn. A small panel of grass invites children's play. It is small enough to be easily resodded when worn out, and provides a visual break from structures and plants. A circular walkway provides a neat transition between lawn and planting beds, and offers a path to stroll year round.
  • Decorative arbor. Helping to soften the corner of the yard, this simple structure provides a shady refuge. Paving stones below the arbor eliminate mowing.
  • Play area. Bordered by sunken logs for sitting or hopping on, the shaded play area provides hours of entertainment and activity for children. The triangular sandbox is especially inviting to younger kids.
  • Vegetable garden. Separated from the play areas by a low fence, the vegetable garden is also protected from pets.

Patio Planning, Step-by-Step

Legend

(A) Yew (Taxus x media 'Densiformis'); Zones 4-7. (B) Hydrangea 'Annabelle'; Zones 4-9. (C) Astilbe 'Sprite'; Zones 4-8. (N) Hosta 'Fragrant Bouquet'; Zones 3-9. (D) Coralbells (Heuchera 'Pewter Moon'); Zones 4-8. (E) Anemone 'Robustissima'; Zones 5-8. (F) Ajuga 'Bronze'; Zones 3-9. (G) Hosta 'Patriot'; Zones 3-9. (H) Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium); Zones 5-9. (I) Astilbe 'Ostrich Plume'; Zones 4-9. (K) Serviceberry (Amelachier x grandiflora); Zones 5-8. (P) Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii); Zones 4-8.

Best Flowering Trees and Shrubs

Legend

(G) Hosta 'Patriot'; Zones 3-9. (M) Rhododendron 'Aglo'; Zones 4-8. (O) Boxwood (Buxus microphylla); Zones 6-9. (N) Hosta 'Fragrant Bouquet'; Zones 3-9. (P) Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii); Zones 4-8. (R) Salvia 'May Night'; Zones 5-9. (H) Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium); Zones 5-9. (W) Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia); Zones 5-9. (U) Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida); Zones 4-9. (T) Rose (Rosa 'The Fairy'); Zones 5-9. (V) Phlox 'David'; Zones 4-8. (Q) Sedum 'Vera Jameson'; Zones 4-9. (X) Geranium 'Biokovo'; Zones 5-8. (Y) Pussy willow (Salix caprea); Zones 6-8.

Legend

(B) Hydrangea 'Annabelle'; Zones 4-9. (FF) Willow (Salix 'Prairie Cascade'); Zones 2-5. (BB) Miscanthus 'Silver Arrow'; Zones 4-9. (CC) Salvia 'Purple Rain'; Zones 6-8. (AA) Sunflower (Helianthus annuus); Annual. (Z) Nasturtium (Tropaeolum spp.); Annual. (DD) Semidwarf apple (Malus 'Honeygold'); Zones 5-8. (EE) Summersweet (Clethra 'Ruby Spice'); Zones 3-9.

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