Your Best Gardens
Create Cottage Style
Reader S.Sikorski (Z3) in Ontario, Canada, shows she's a master of cottage style. Her mix of salvaged materials, soft colors, and old-fashioned plants creates a lush, gorgeous garden.
Soften Your Patio
Reader petunias3524962 in Wisconsin gave her patio a skirt of colorful flowers -- adding interest and fragrance. Plus, it makes the patio feel like more of a landscape feature because it's better separated from the lawn.
Containers are perfect for adding a touch of color anywhere in the yard -- even the lawn -- because they're so portable. Reader par.3 in New York added whimsy to her garden with this fun planter.
Go Bold with Color
Don't be afraid of color -- take a cue from readers like kyredbird in Kentucky and make strong reds sing against a background of green. The black arbor creates a distinctive focal point.
Fill It with Flowers
Reader noonenca9 from New York has created a stunning garden that combines shrubs, perennials, and annuals. Mix plants to create beautiful borders -- there's no rule that says you have to plant all perennials together.
Test Garden Tip: If you're not sure where to start, pick a couple of big, bold plants and use them as focal points -- then fill in around them.
Celebrate Spring in Style
A collection of gorgeous iris and other spring-blooming plants makes merrybelle's spring garden in Tennessee a remarkable sight. Mix several varieties of your favorite plant to get a similar explosion of color in your yard.
Select Soft Colors
Reader derondaadams created this stunning garden filled with soft colors in Tennessee. It's a perfect retreat from the hassles of everyday life.
Take Time to Rest
This great summertime garden, full of fragrant roses, floriferous daylilies, and hot pink phlox, also features a bench so reader scames728 in Connecticut can sit back and enjoy the gorgeous garden.
Can you imagine how wonderful this garden archway is when the roses and honeysuckle are in full bloom? Reader pearl28 from Connecticut shared this amazing garden vignette.
Test Garden Tip: If your climate is too cold for climbing roses, try moonflower, sweet peas, or sweet autumn clematis instead.
Add Interest with Structures
A white arbor is the perfect way to accent just about any garden. Here reader jarhomes in Minnesota shows how great it looks against a backdrop of blossoms and fall colors.
Enhance a Fence
Fences are often the least expensive and fastest way to create privacy. But they're not always pretty -- unless you dress them up with plantings, as reader grkgreenen8 in Washington shows.
The natural look is hot, and here reader kimberlymarciniak in Michigan shows off a stunning summertime combo that features red bee balm, golden gaillardia, pink phlox, and more.
Dress Up a Shed
Add a "wow" factor to your yard by transforming a garden shed into a piece of garden art. Reader lynnb130 in Michigan shared this photo. A little porch and some salvaged windows added a ton of charm.
Make Use of Every Space
Side yards are commonly overlooked as great garden spaces. But reader drosone3 in New York created a serene haven in this long, narrow space.
Create a Haven
Create lush plantings around a bench and you have the perfect garden hideaway, as reader diane.petals in Michigan did. This lovely bench is next to a pergola-covered water garden.
Use Soft, Flowing Lines
Reader vesna.maric shared this stunning shot of beds and borders. The irregular curves give the garden a soft, welcoming feel -- as do plants such as the ornamental grass and fluffy pink heads of phlox.
Pot Up in Style
Make a statement with your potting bench, as reader containernut in Florida did. This bench is shielded from the sun by a pergola, which is decorated with hanging baskets. The paved surface makes for easy cleanup. Plus, when you're not using it, the potting bench is a convenient spot to display some of your favorite plants.
Create Privacy with Plants
Use a mix of big, tall perennials and shrubs to create a wonderful border for privacy, as reader krisi.schmidt did in Connecticut. Encourage neighbors to do the same, and make it more fun by combining borders so they flow into one another.
Turn a Problem into a Solution
A dead tree might seem like an eyesore, but reader kstamborski in Wisconsin turned it into a piece of garden art with a coat of purple paint and some fun decorations. The tree continues to provide a habitat for birds -- and even looks good in winter.
Add a Water Feature
Put in a water feature to make your yard feel extra-special. Reader pterbusk in New York surrounded this pond with banks of easy-care summer-blooming perennials, a bridge, and even a gazebo.
Keep It Simple
Create a soothing, peaceful garden retreat with Asian-style design. Reader vilma bautista's garden looks like the perfect place to meditate.
Note Plant Shapes
Color is the first thing to catch our eye -- but don't forget about texture and shape. Reader drosone3 in New York, created this fun combination with a weeping evergreen, mounding pink azaleas, and globelike alliums floating on tall stems.
Break It Up
Create interest in a big yard by breaking it up with beds and borders. Reader jrtite in Indiana punctuated this large lawn with fun plantings that add color and interest all season long.
Make the Most of Your Space
This lovely front yard garden from reader Jim/ArtofGardening.org in New York is a great example of how to make the most of a small space. The colorful plantings add color and character all year.
This Texas garden from reader katiegianotti is all about fun with its great color and texture. Painting garden objects like the statues and birdbath, is a great way to keep your garden colorful, even when your plants aren't in full bloom.