Darren Wardle

Landscape Design Ideas & Tips

Designing Your Small Garden

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016

garden landscape

When you don’t have much space to work with, growing a garden can have its challenges. However, there are many great ideas out there to help you make a small garden work, no matter what type of space you’re dealing with. A smaller garden is quite cute, and you’re going to figure out your space and what you need to do.

I remember when I was a young kid, about six years old, and my parents actually mowed the front yard with a weed-eater. It wasn’t large enough to even invest in a push mower. Our next home in a different state, however, had a large back yard that led into a field. My parents let my sister and I use rocks to make a border for a garden, and we would plant stuff. They planted a garden at the end of the yard every growing season, too.

Some people think growing vegetables and herbs isn’t for a backyard and can only be done in rural areas. Well, there are many small garden ideas that can spruce up your backyard garden and make it look really nice. Plus, you don’t have to just focus on growing food. You can put all kinds of plants and flowers up, using mulch, garden decor and more. Do you live in a climate where you can plant fruit trees? Fruit trees are a great addition if you have room.

You can use brick pavers as well to help make the landscape look decorative. Of course, all of these things are used in larger yards, too. Therefore, it’s not just about what to use in your yard but how to use it as well. How much space do you actually have? Hopefully, you’re not using a weed-eater like my parents to mow your yard because it’s that small. And, hopefully you’re not relegated to container gardening only, although it is great to supplement your garden by doing that inside your home.

You can also do your container gardening to get plants started in order to take them and put them outside in your yard. I love vines, and I was able to plant so many different things in my yard because I had a fence on one side that I could grow vines up against. Whether or not you have a fence or a post or something, you can still do this because you can place a trellis in your yard. A nice trumpet vine, passion flower vine or yellow jasmine would be a nice start.

One great way to get ideas is to look at pictures that people have posted of other gardens. Have you tried Pinterest? This is a social media site where people pin things, and garden ideas would surely be on there. You would see more pictures than you’d possibly want to browse. When you see what you like, you can make it happen. Your garden can be a collage of ideas that you grab from those pictures.

Of course, you don’t want to make your backyard garden look too busy. I tend to do that if I’m working with a smaller yard, but I do get compliments on my yard as well. It’s all in what you like, but choosing wisely instead of planting everything is a much better approach. There are all kinds of combinations of ideas, and you just need to figure out what works for your yard. If you plant any trees, remember that they are going to get larger. In fact, you need to remember that when you’re planning out your spacing for any type of planting your doing for your garden.

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Top Landscape Ideas For The Backyard

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016

Landscape trends have turned to focus on the backyard over the past few years. Landscape designers have recognized that Americans are gaining a renewed interest in their backyards and have taken measures to decorate this outdoor living space. In fact, those who live in the city have taken up the cause to grow food in their backyards instead of grass. As a result, different fruits and vegetables have been introduced into the traditional landscape.

Herb gardens are adorning window sills that previously displayed flowers. There is several landscape design trends that you can expect to grow in the upcoming years.

Backyard Zones

Most people do not live in a house that is one large room, and your backyard does not have to be one large space. Although you may want to build walls to separate areas of your backyard, there are ways that a landscaper can create distinct zones in your backyard. These zones will be used for different reasons such as playing, gardening, relaxing and dining.

By breaking your backyard into smaller sections, you can focus on each segment separately. For example, in the dining space, you may simply want a grill and a table. Or, you may decide you want an outdoor kitchen.

The relaxing space may have a hammock, lounge chair or an area where you can meditate, while the growing zone may have a container garden or a selection of your most beautiful rose bushes. Finally, the play zone may feature a playhouse, swing set or badminton net.


An experienced landscaper will section off each zone by a perfectly designed pathway. In fact, this is an excellent offseason project to have completed before you begin spring planting. In fact, a garden path can quickly become art when you look past a concrete pathway. Concrete pavers and bricks can make a beautifully intricate chevron pattern, and gravel is another alternative.

A negative space can be created with turf grass incorporated stack stone beds.


Another interesting landscape trend that you will notice in the upcoming years is the incorporation of fauna in the backyard. The fauna can be wild or domesticated. In fact, the popularity of the urban chicken movement is rapidly growing. More urban backyards now have chicken coops. Beehives have also become a very popular landscape addition.

It is best to start planning your landscape design in the winter. Look through design books and schedule a consultation with an experienced landscape designer to find a design that meets your needs and desires.

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Understanding Perennial Plants

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016


In categorizing the ages of plants, we have three categories; annuals, biennials and perennials. Annuals are those plants that are alive for just one year, where they will produce seeds and die. Sunflowers are annuals. Biennials are alive for two growing seasons then they produce seeds and die. Perennial is for all plants that grow for more than two growing seasons.
Perennials are able to keep producing for a very long time and it would be profitable if it was being grown for commercial purposes. Perennials reduce the cost of keep up as they do not need to be watered or fertilized as their roots dig deep into the ground to ensure a steady flow of water and nutrients. With this spread of the roots, the plant also travels far thus increasing in production each year.There are a number of perennial plants.

Evergreen perennial plants

These are those plants that are green throughout the year, hence the name, ‘evergreen’. Most of these do not need a lot of water to survive, and are able to store much for themselves during the rainy season. Evergreen plants lose their worn out leaves gradually throughout the year and grow other leaves, continuing this cycle all their years.

Deciduous perennial plants

These are plants that usually shed their leaves during the summer, as an adaptation to use a little less water,thereby conserving water for the dry season. Most plants will shed their leaves during autumn in preparation for winter. This process of shedding their leaves is called abscission. This cycle is continued by the plant for a long time as the conserved water helps it beat tough drought.

Woody perennial plants

Woody perennial plants are plants whose stem and roots are reinforced with wood which is produced by the plant.Wood is hard and it allows the plant to grow very far above ground with a lot of support, and thus making the plant to live for a long time. They get direct sunlight which is vital for plant growth. Most of these plants are trees and shrubs.

Herbaceous perennial plants

Herbaceous perennials are those plants that die at the end of the growing season, but parts of it survive and grow later from season to season. This new growth mostly comes from the roots or the stem.

Perennials come in handy in fighting soil erosion. Most perennials, in their spread to ensure they keep getting water tend to have very closely knit roots. These roots hold a lot of soil between them, thus preventing cases where the soil would be easily washed or blown away.
Perennials will grow structures that will help adapt to living for a very long time. Most of them have rhizomes, bulbs or tubers. All these are modified stems that are found growing underground and are used to store nutrients for the plant, to keep it growing even when the conditions are not quite favorable for the plant.
Perennials are also used for beauty as they are expected to look beautiful all year round, without demanding too much in terms of upkeep.

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