Playful and contemporary, this backyard from HGTV's Going Yard is the perfect place for kids and adults. A teeter-totter is a fun element for kids, while a streamlined raised deck has an elegant dining area.
After removing poison ivy and ill-conceived wood chips, the crew of HGTV's Going Yard expanded the existing deck and topped it with an L-shaped bar. A wide paver patio boasts a dining table for six at one end and a shady pergola at the other. Fountaingrass, late-blooming lilacs, spirea and unexpected pops of color with ornamental peppers, asparagus and lettuces add life to the surrounding garden.
In a go-big-or-go-home design approach, these homeowners paired bold color with bold texture for a fun, fresh kids bedroom. By using the space wisely, this room easily accommodates two twin beds with ample area for a play "yard" comprised of green carpet tiles.
Here’s an idea that may not require going any further than your front yard: Mix magnolia leaves and branches of berries in a rustic wooden container. Cut the leaves in bunches using floral shears; then secure them to a foam floral brick inside of the container. Next, camouflage the brick by layering the berries on and around it.
Why we love it: Meet a smaller version of the classic Korean spice viburnum. Spice Baby grows 4 to 5 feet tall and wide. The flowers release intense carnation clove scent that permeates a yard in spring. Place plants near entries so you can savor the fragrance as you come and go.
The symmetrical entrance and rigidity of a traditional colonial are softened by the shingle style and supplemented by stonework. An angled garage wing responds to the natural contours of a plateau on which the house sits, addressing the natural landscape as well as clients' needs.
Natural materials in earth-tone colors were used to make this house feel at home. Though it is only two-stories on the front facade, the dormers and chimney pots help to elevate an otherwise horizontal structure. The breezeway to the left of the garage allows guests to reach the rear-yard pool without going through the house.
The next time you go to a yard sale or thrift shop, look for a mirror that you can clean up and use as your budget-friendly focal point above the fireplace. Keep your eye out for unexpected accessories, such as a horse or animal sculpture. You also can layer the mantel with another smaller mirror, like designer Rachel Greathouse did in an Atlanta home.
When decorating a space, never underestimate the power of plants. Go for a mix of sizes and for a more dynamic look vary the leaf shape. The snake plant on the floor is angular and vertically oriented, while the lush fiddle leaf fig has large undulating leaves. Save yourself a bit of cash by periodically clipping from an interesting shrub in your back yard. Place them in a large pot, add water and you have an instant statement-making centerpiece.
The relaxing streaming sound of water from a bubbling garden fountain is a joy to many outdoor-decor-minded homeowners; finding unobtrusive ways to power that fountain, however, can be a kink in the stress-free stream. A solar-powered fountain can go anywhere in the yard or patio, though (as long as there’s a conduit to a sunshine source!) without worrying about tripping over cords or surge-protection proximity. Some solar fountains have separate panels that stake next to the water feature, while others, like the solar fountain pictured, have an integrated solar panel in the top bowl to maximize ray-catching and minimize aesthetic distractions.
Some gardeners can't have compost piles; for example, a homeowner's association may prohibit them. But if you're allowed to dig, you may be able to bury your food scraps and yard trimmings directly in the ground. If you dig a hole, make it 12-24" deep. If you opt for a trench, go about 18" deep. Top everything off with a generous layer of garden soil. Eventually, your buried materials will decompose, and if you buried them in your garden spot, you won't have to dig them up again. Note: Before you dig, call 811, a federally designated number that will put you in touch with your local utility companies. They'll tell you where it's safe to dig, so you won't harm yourself or cause expensive damage to underground lines.
Cutting tools are vital to successful gardening. Start with the dynamic duo of hand pruners or shears and loppers. Hand pruners are the tool of choice for stems up to ¾ inches thick. It’s a go-to tool for deadheading or pruning perennials, trimming new growth on shrubs and snipping thick pepper and squash stems. With hand pruners and loppers, a bypass blade design (blades work like scissors) give you more cuts and versatility in the garden. Also invest in a sharpening tool of some type, along with lessons on use. Clean and sharpen cutting blades regularly to keep them in tiptop shape. Last but not least, pick up a good pair of sturdy scissors (bright handles are preferable—helps in not losing them in the yard). You’ll grab those for snipping twine, herbs, flowers for bouquets, greens and a host of other items.