Category: Gardening and Landscaping

Landscaping tips for a little Cottage to a Busy Street

When the pleasure of having your very own small cottage is offset by the grit and rumble of traffic on the busy street outside front, landscaping for peace and privacy becomes a top priority. Due to fundamental laws of physics, achieving sweet silence is unlikely, but it is possible to create an oasis in which the traffic’s effect requires a back seat to the balance of the garden’s layout. Plants and their positioning, intelligent obstacles and provocative landscaping components reduce exposure to the hustle and bustle of vehicles zooming by.

Buffering Noise Beautifully

Placing a noise barrier between you and the offending source of sound lessens the decibel level in the garden. A tall wood fence installed close to the street and an adjacent high, well-manicured hedge of evergreens produces a visually attractive display that deflects and absorbs sound waves, and serves as a backdrop for a border of the flowering perennials and annuals favored in cottage gardens. Fraser photinias (Photinia x fraseri) are evergreens that boom in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 and 9 with thick, leathery foliage accented by bright-red new leaves which emerge in the spring. These photinias are suitable for roadside planting as a result of their tolerance to heat and fairly dry dirt when the plants have been established. Emerald green arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis “Smaragd”), which thrives in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 8, also hold up well to roadside conditions.

Cottage-Style Greenery

Luxurious greenery provided by a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs farther attenuates traffic sound. Only inside the fence-and-hedge noise buffer, Leyland cypress trees (Cupressocyparis leylandii), which grow in USDA zones 5 through 9, promote the noise streaming with dense evergreen foliage. Around the garden’s borders, red laceleaf Japanese maple (Acer palmatum “Ornatum”), which rises in USDA zones 6 through 8, and also pink-flowering dogwood (Cornus florida “Rubra”) along with several varieties of little holly trees and shrubs (Ilex spp.) , booming in zones 5 to 9, bring wealthy cottage-garden-style color and texture through the seasons.

Flowers and Fragrance

Plants with evocative fragrances can counterbalance that the whiff of exhaust fumes that creep into the garden from a busy street. The lemon-scented blossoms of a small, evergreen “Baby Grand” magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora var. “STRgra”), which rises in USDA zones 7 to 9, along with the lemony foliage of dwarf evergreen “Wilma Goldcrest” Monterrey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa “Wilma Goldcrest”), growing in zones 7 through 10, insert a little freshness. The sweet scent of lilies and “Cecile Brunner” climbing roses (Rosa x “Cecile Brunner”), a cottage-garden favorite in zones 4 through 11, add light and depth pink accents into the landscape ambience. Underfoot, spreading thyme (Thymus spp.) Groundcover plants add savory zest to gardens in USDA zones 5 through 10.

Sound and Light

The tinkling, splashing sounds of a little fountain placed close to a seating area can offer a sense of calm which overrides the hum of traffic just past the garden’s boundaries. Playing background music via outdoor speakers disguised in artificial stone put into the cottage garden layout can also mitigate noise from the street. The nighttime garden can be welcoming, in spite of the beam of headlights on the opposite side of this garden display, by redirecting the perspective having strategically areas landscape lighting set alongside pathways and tiny spotlights aimed up to emphasize vertical garden features.

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How to Hardscape a Front Yard

Patios, stone beams, retaining walls, pergolas, fences and driveways are hardscaping elements used to create an appealing and usable outdoor living room. Hardscaping can be integrated into a garden or can be used as the chief landscaping instrument in areas where grass lawns and other plants are hard to grow. This is particularly helpful once you want a welcoming front yard but only can’t get grass to remain nice. Hardscaping is simple as soon as you learn a few straightforward hints and tips.

Plan your hardscape on paper to make sure you like it and it’s feasible. Take into account how the distance will flow and be the most useable in addition to any obstacles you may face. Concrete driveways and underground fountain plumbing, for instance, cannot be placed beside a massive tree with roots near the surface, like poplar trees (Populus). Work with the existing landscape elements whenever possible to save time, money and maintenance.

Eliminate any present grass, plants or weeds located in regions you want to hardscape. Huge rocks and boulders should even be eliminated unless you plant to incorporate them in the plan.

Check with the local utility company prior to digging, then install any hardscape elements that need digging, like pergolas, fences, retaining walls or drainage pipes.

Excavate areas where you’ll install gravel, bricks, concrete or pavers. Dig deep enough to accommodate the height of this material in addition to its foundation. Compact and level the ground to ensure the foundation is firm. Lay weed barrier spread and down a 1-inch foundation of polymeric sand above the region. Put your hardscaping ground elements above the prepared base. Fill the joints of bricks and hardened with sand. Cure poured concrete.

Insert green elements like potted plants, raised flower beds, or groundcovers between the stones of a walkway to soften the layout. Include as much or as little greenery as you like and can keep in your layout, but make sure you add at least a few softening touches against your hardscape.

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List of Flowering Evergreens

The home gardener includes numerous flowering evergreen plants to select from. These plants provide lush greenery year-round for your landscape, and they dash your lawn with shade when they’re in bloom.

The Showy, Fragrant Flowers of Acacia Trees

There are many varieties of this acacia tree. These evergreen trees produce showy, fragrant blossoms and make decent privacy screens. Wright acacia (A. wrightii), also called catclaw acacia, has white flowers in summer and grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 11. Weeping acacia, also called weeping myall, has yellow blossoms in spring and grows in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11. Frost acacia (A. pruinosa) and knife acacia (A. cultriformis) have yellow flowers in winter or spring and grow in USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10. (Ref 1)

White-Flowering Yucca Plants

In the landscape, yucca plants, also known as Adam’s needle, are perfect perennials for full-sun regions of your home with deep soil. “Garland’s Gold” and “Sapphire Skies” (Y. rostra) bear white flowers in mid- to late summer and grow in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9. The former has green-and-yellow-striped leaves and the latter includes blue leaves. “Color Guard” (Y. filamentosa) and “Bright Edge” (Y. filamentosa) bear white flowers in mid- to late summer and grow in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9. The former has leaves with stripes in numerous colors of green and yellow, while the latter includes deep green-and-yellow stripes. (Ref 2,3,4,5)

Hibiscus Bushes using Showy Pink Flowers

Hibiscus bushes make fantastic privacy screens, and these varieties produce showy, fragrant, pink flowers in summer and keep their leaf throughout the year. Chinese hibiscus (H. rosa-sinensis), “Kona” and “Agnes-Galt” all develop in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12. The Oriental hibiscus bush, also called tropical hibiscus, can be accessible with peach, pink, crimson, yellow or white flowers.

Fruiting Trees

Some fruiting trees provide evergreen foliage along with their beautiful, fragrant flowers. Champagne loquat (Eriobotrya japonica “Champagne”) begets white flowers in fall that yield loads of fruit in spring and grows in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 10. Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulate) produces white flowers in spring that turn into plenty of fruit in fall or winter and grows in USDA hardiness zone 10. Pineapple guava (Acca sellowiana), also known as feijoa, begets crimson, pink or purple flowers in spring that turn into fruit in fall or winter and grows in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 10.


There are so many evergreen flowering plants, it is not feasible to list them all. Additional plants include drought-tolerant yarrow (Achillea), groundcover manzanita (Arctostaphylos “Emerald Carpet”), shade-loving clivia (C. miniata) and the lilac vine (Hardenbergia comptoniana or H. violacea).

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The way to Install Foundation Drain Tile

Subsurface water or higher soil moisture in the landscape, as well as runoff from roofs, could threaten to seep through or leak to exposed structures or cause puddling, erosion or other problems in the landscape. One method of safeguarding your basement or crawlspace from moisture and direct excess water off efficiently is to install foundation drain tile along with the construction. Drain tiles are produced from several materials. They were traditionally made from clay, but today most drain liners is perforated PVC or corrugated plastic piping.

Dig a trench beside the construction that is at least 12 inches wide and extends down to the bottom or foundation bottom. Alternatively, if the sole concern is surface water or even water seeping off of their roof edge, excavate the trench to a minimum thickness of 24 inches. Be certain that the trench extends to a suitable outlet like a ditch, swale or pond. Produce a rough slope toward the outlet along the trench bottom.

Pound a stake into the ground at each end of the trench. Stretch a string using a line flat attached between the two bets so it is even, marking the point where the string is flat on the stake nearest the outlet.

Assess the distance between the two bets and calculate the extent that the trench should drop to have a slope of at least 1 percent. As an example, if the distance between the onset of the trench and the outlet is 75 feet, then the trench bottom should decline at least .75 feet, or 9 inches, above the amount of the trench. Measure this distance down to the second bet. Mark this stage and slip the string to the marked point.

Shape the bottom of the trench so that the string rests gently on top of the ground over the entire trench.

Line the trench using filter material or landscape fabric so that it covers the bottom and extends at least 18 inches up all sides of the trench.

Put the perforated drainpipe or tile in the bottom of the trench. Ensure it is centered in the trench with its perforations oriented horizontally.

Place a level on top of the drainpipe in various sections to ensure it still has the slope which was established earlier. Insert or remove soil or gravel below the pipe and landscape material, if necessary.

Cover the pipe with at least 12 inches of clean, coarse gravel or washed river stone. Fold the excess landscape material on each side over the surface of the gravel layer.

Fill the rest of the trench with gravel or other aggregates or soil that has been removed to dig the trench originally.

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Tropical Palms Species That Grow in Shallow Wet Soil

Palm trees sway in the breeze, evoking the trade winds blowing across the shore of an exotic Pacific island. Even though shallow-rooted palm tree species flourish in tropical climates, not all enjoy having their roots wet. The majority of the palms that bear standing water vary in size from 10 to 100, and are natives of swamps, like the Everglades or more feet tall. When choosing a palm tree to get a boggy place in your yard, consider water needs and its size.

Small Palms

Palms planted in areas or in courtyards gardens as understory trees enable you to evoke the tropics without interfering with your neighbors’ views or power lines. After the garden is boggy, plant small, water-loving palms that thrive in wet soils, such as ruffled fan palm (Licuala grandis), that develops in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10a through 11, mangrove fan palm (Licuala spinosa), that develops in USDA zones 9 through 11, or lipstick palm (Cyrtostachys renda), which develops in USDA zones 10b through 11.

Medium Palms

Medium-sized palm trees, which range from 25 may be utilized as shade trees or as a focal point within a tropical garden. One of the palms that tolerate wet soil would be the Everglades hand (Acoelorrhaphe wrightii), also referred to as the silver viewed palm, which grows in USDA zones 9b through 11, and carnauba wax palm (Copernicia prunifera), which favors the warmer climates of USDA zones 10b through 11. The carnauba wax palm is a bit salt tolerant. Palms are clumping, sprouting new stems from the main system. Keep the suckers pruned to keep three to four trunks on tree.

Tall Palms

When implanted against a backdrop of the ocean or mountains palm trees supply the ambiance of a tropical island. One of the tropical palms that thrive in wet soils is that the cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), which develops in USDA zones 8 comprehensive 10. Native to the swamps of the Bahamas, Cuba and the South, cabbage palms tolerate both brackish and standing water. Other big water-loving palms incorporate the Florida royal palm tree (Roystonea elata) and buriti palm (Mauritia flexuosa), each of which increase in USDA zones 10 through 11.

Raised Beds

You can construct a raised bed or berm for palm tree species that prefer a well-draining soil, but won’t tolerate wet feet Since palm trees are shallow-rooted. Smaller tropical palms benefit from the elevated beds that raise them above the surrounding landscape, while indigenous trees, like the California fan palm (Washingtonia filifera), that develops in USDA zones 8b through 11, flourish in the moist but well-drained soil.

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Great Garden Combo: Planting for Fiery Shade and Beautiful Wildlife

There is something magical about seeing butterflies and hummingbirds in summer time. While butterflies flit gracefully from flower to flower, their vibrant wings lazily dancing on the warm breeze, hummingbirds appear to always be in a great hurry, bobbing up and down, in and out and chasing off any intruders — these feisty little critters.

In addition to supplying us with several hours of amusement, both these creatures are important pollinators for our gardens, and as such it’s worth taking time to encourage them to visit. When choosing a plant palette to fulfill their preferences, remember to plan for a succession of blooms over several months, and place these within a framework of bold foliage. This leafy backdrop will both boost the floral screen and hold the overall design together even when the flowers are not at their peak.

Le jardinet

At first glance that is merely a well-designed summertime mix, with fiery shades of burnt orange, burgundy and scarlet offset by cooling chartreuse. Yet that is a veritable buffet for both hummingbirds and butterflies, giving them a few months of nectar-rich blossoms.

Tall verbena opens the floral symphony in late June, immediately followed by Flasher daylily, which compels heaps of vibrant orange blossoms for nearly two months. The Lochinch butterfly bush combines in next, showing off endless blossom lavender, panicle-type blossoms while its silvery foliage becomes a striking backdrop for its renowned Lucifer crocosmia.

When these begin to fade, there is a large collection of Joe pye weed ready to take centre stage with their burgundy stems and horizontal rose-colored flower heads. These can continue to blossom together with the tall verbena until the end of the summer.

Yet without a strong framework of foliage, all these would be merely a collection of pretty blossoms. The gold locust tree along with Grace smoke bush add strong blasts of colour to fulfill our individual desire for construction and make certain our hummingbird garden is attractive to all garden visitors.

The finishing touch is a local chair. Not necessary, clearly, but the ideal place for enjoying the heady odor and seeing exquisite garden visitors on a warm summer afternoon.

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Ways to Get the Look

1. Choose Nectar-Rich Plants

Not all daylilies are equivalent. Many suffer with poor stalks, untidy foliage and also a short bloom time. Flasher daylily is different. The flowers are held high on sturdy stems and blossom for more than a month, while the foliage remains clean and requires minimal cleanup.

The burnt-orange colour stands up to strong sunlight without fading and looks superb against dark foliage such as the Grace smoke bush shown in the opening mix.

Botanical name: Hemerocallis ‘Flasher’
Common title: Flasher daylily
Gains: Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees
Where it can rise: Hardy to -40 degrees Fahrenheit(USDA climate zones3a to 9b; locate your zone)
Water condition: Average to low
Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Mature size: 2 ft tall and 4 ft wide
Seasonal interest: Summer
When to plant: Spring or fall

Caution: Daylilies are toxic to cats; see different plants to eliminate pets.

Le jardinet

Tall verbena filters the view with no obscuring it, including a touch of mystery to the summer garden. Completely drought tolerant, it can be left to create its own plant combinations at will as it self-seeds with abandon. This is not a problem in my garden, where it’s easy to remove unwanted seedlings.

Botanical name: Verbena bonariensis
Common title: Purpletop vervain
Gains: Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees
Where it can grow: Hardy to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA climate zones 7 to 10)
Water requirement: Low
Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Mature size: 6 ft tall and 3 ft wide
Seasonal interest: Summer to fall
When to plant: Spring

Caution: Tall verbena is considered invasive in some regions of the U.S. Check with your regional cooperative extension office for information.

Le jardinet

A stand of scarlet Lucifer crocosmia is a memorable sight in any summer garden. Arching stems of brilliant red flowers appear to explode in the swordlike foliage in the summer, while hummingbirds vie for the ideal position like fighter pilots.

Botanical name: Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’
Common names: Lucifer montbretia, Lucifer crocosmia
Gains: Attracts hummingbirds
Where it can grow: Hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA climate zones5 to 9)
Water requirement: Low
Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Elderly size: 4 feet tall and wide
Seasonal interest: Summer
When to plant: Plant bulbs in spring; plants can also be planted in spring or autumn.

Le jardinet

Butterfly bushes have gotten a bad reputation since appearing on a lot of countries’ noxious weed lists. Do check to see which species are considered invasive in your area (if any), as you may unwittingly miss out on a few of the very beautiful hybrids — Lochinch butterfly bush. Although the one in my Seattle garden isn’t sterile, I have never had a seedling from it.

The silvery felted foliage would be outstanding even when the plant never bloomed, but the fragrant lavender blossoms, each with an orange eye, are what attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees by the dozen.

Cut down this plant to half size in spring to keep a tidy form.

Botanical name: Buddleia ‘Lochinch’ (syn. Buddleja x ‘Lochinch’)
Common title: Lochinch butterfly bush
Gains: Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees
Where it can grow: Hardy to -40 degrees Fahrenheit(USDA climate zones3a to 9b)
Water requirement: Average to low
Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Elderly size: 6 to 8 ft tall and wide
Seasonal interest: Spring to fall
When to plant: Spring

Caution: Although this hybrid isn’t recorded,the speciesBuddleia davidii is considered invasive in some regions of the U.S. Check with your regional cooperative extension office for information.

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2. Extend the Display With Great Foliage

Hold a layout together with fantastic foliage, so it is eye catching even when flowers are not at their peak. This gold locust tree shines a foliage spotlight on the whole scene.

Botanical name: Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’
Common title: Golden locust tree
Where it can rise: Hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA climate zones 4 to 9)
Water requirement: Low once recognized
Light requirement: Full sun for best color
Mature size: 30 to 50 feet tall and up to 20 feet wide
Seasonal interest: Spring to fall
When to plant: Plant it into well-drained dirt in spring or autumn.

Caution: Golden locust trees can create unwanted suckers in some parts of the U.S.

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Grace smoke mulch provides deeper tones using its rich burgundy leaves.

Botanical name: Cotinus ‘Grace’ (syn. Cotinus x ‘Grace’)
Common title: Grace smoke bush (syn. Grace smoke shrub)
Where it will grow: Hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA climate zones 4 to 9)
Water condition: Average to low
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 10 to 15 feet tall and wide; 6 ft tall and wide with yearly pruning
Seasonal interest: Spring to fall
When to plant: Spring or autumn

Caution: Smoke bushes are thought to be invasive in some regions of the U.S. Check with your regional cooperative extension office for information.

See more ways to attract butterflies and bees

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All-White Gardens Light Up the Night

Have you ever wandered through a backyard at night? While the sounds and scents seem to intensify, it is usually difficult to enjoy any of those sights without a flashlight. A white backyard is a different story: You will want to leave the flashlight behind and revel in how the white blossoms glow. Not only are those luminous blooms beautiful to check at, but many have intense night fragrances and bring wonderful white nocturnal pests for its whole sensory experience.

Here you will find ideas for plants with beautiful white blooms, how to arrange them and how to work them in your garden’s style.

Hydrangeas are perfect in formal gardens but work just too in more informal settings. A path lined with those beauties is the best sidewalk manual for nighttime strolls.

Amy Renea

Spiraea is a great choice for a snowy spring bloomer. It conveniently blooms at precisely the exact same time as tall white iris and midsize white peonies. Combine these 3 plants to get an easy-care, high-impact garden.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Working with a shady place? White astilbe is your solution. Brightening the darkest color with waving plumes of white, astilbe is a timeless, easy-to-grow shade perennial.

Tips to get a White-Blooming Border

Produce a mix of heights that will bloom at precisely the exact same moment. This boundary does a fantastic job of spreading the blooms to create a balanced appearance.

Deborah Cerbone Associates, Inc..

Imagine what this walkway looks like at night — small dance blooms all along the left side and a wave of glistening white softening the fence to the right. Pure magic!

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Consider situating white plants round curves from the backyard. When you’re strolling through a garden at night, it is helpful to observe the twists and turns forward, so use white blooms as a natural type of fluorescent arrow.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Your white backyard doesn’t need to be expansive. Plant a few white flowering plants close to the entrance of your home. When people approach the front door at dusk, they’ll be greeted by observable blooms.

Working White Blooms Into Every Garden Style

Conventional. White gardens may go ubertraditional with row after row of white blooms perfectly set in geometric arrangements.

Lenkin Design Inc: Landscape and Garden Design

Another option is to encase a sea of white-blooming showstoppers in boxes of trimmed hedges.


Rustic. Go to get a more organic, woodland appearance by integrating minimally pruned trees and naturalistic plantings.

Aiken House & Gardens

Victorian. Charming at the daytime and enchanting at night, this snowy backyard is full to bursting with blooms. Choose white furnishings iron, wicker or wood to add to the theme.

Whether you are gilding the lily of a classic trimmed estate or beginning a nation garden from scratch, consider the effect white blooms can have on your space. Create an all-white backyard, add a few white bloomers around curves, or line paths that night travelers will be taking.

Tell usCan you have white blooms in your garden now? Show off them below!

See more great design blossoms and crops

What to Do On Your Garden This Month

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Spring Forward! Making the The Majority of Evening Sun

DST begins this week end, meaning that people have got to remember to set our clocks ahead and, regrettably, drop an hour of slumber that is sweet. But let us concentrate on the good, shall we? The good thing is we’ll acquire an hour of of sunshine at night. Time to bask in brainstorm methods and this lining to take advantage of each additional minute of sunshine. Here are a few to get the ball rolling …

Westover Landscape Design, Inc.

Take a seat outdoor. Even supposing it’s only to get some minutes after work, a second spent outside is a relaxing approach to wind down the day.

Tim Cuppett Architects

A row of rocks that are matching beckons for contemplation and dialogue.

Barbara Cannizzaro

When the current weather’s warm enough, provide outside some studying as well as sit awhile.

Cherie Marcel

Amuse after work. restore cocktail hour using a postwork nip outside. And since clean-up is very simple outdoor (only bust out the hose), the more the merrier.


Catch up with neighbours on a roof top deck that is communal. Bring some beverages and also you immediately become the favorite in the creating of everyone’s.

Elad Gonen

Eat alfresco. Consider your supper outdoors to soak in the waning sun. It is about time you got that patio established cleaned and from storage, right?


Go for grand fashion using a chandelier and chairs for 10 …

Greg Trutza

… or make sure it remains relaxed and a deux. The eating area is prepared for its first twist of the time, although the pool must wait.

debora carl landscape style

Love a fire. okay, so perhaps the climate has not turned warm however where you’re. Throw a login the fireplace and guess if this is true.

It could just feel like springtime is completely here in the event you nestle upclose enough.

Secret Gardens

Take a dip. It Is likely too chilly to jump in the pool, but nevertheless, it might have started enough as you are able to now put up with a swimsuited dashboard exterior into a jacuzzi. Now that that there surely is the skies that is mild, you will not stub your toe on an operate that is blind out there. And yeah, you could be greeted using an incredible perspective.

Browse mo-Re outside layout thoughts