Regardless of where you live, how much space you have, and what your experience level is, you can enjoy landscape design with help from the Web. Landscaping is not only fun to plan and implement, but if done well, it can even reduce your energy costs, provide years of comfort and enjoyment, and increase the value of your home. Start planning your landscaping project on the Web by looking through photos for ideas as well as researching specific design principles, features, and types of plants. You’ll find useful blogs and forums for sharing tips and advice, and can even locate a nearby landscaper if the project seems too daunting to tackle on your own.
For most people, the best (or easiest) part of landscaping is imagining the design you want to achieve. Many sites on the Web can help you determine what style you want to create and the design details that work best for your home. Use these resources for inspiration.
- You’ll likely find scores of appealing landscape photos and ideas on the Web, so it may help to organize the sites you like best in a bookmark folder for easy browsing later. Bookmark specific pages or links on a site that take you directly to the pictures or articles you found most helpful.
- Landscaping might just make your life easier. For example, you can create areas that block sunlight and lower your energy costs, or add privacy with trees and shrubs. Make a list of what your needs are so that you can address them specifically as your project gets underway. Keep a list with cutouts and inspiring images to help you prioritize what elements are most important to you when you finally begin your project.
- You might love the look of a traditional English garden, but does it work for your lifestyle? Consider how much time you have for upkeep and maintenance. Remember that you can incorporate individual elements of a few different styles and create one that fits you.
- If you come across a garden magazine that appeals to you, check to see if it has a Web site. Often, you can read archived articles online, and discover photographers or writers that inspire you.
- To spark your imagination, consider visiting a professionally maintained garden in your area. Check with your local chamber of commerce for information about historic homes or parks where blooms are held in high regard.
For landscaping photos and general landscape design inspiration …
Better Homes and Gardens
is a gardening magazine with an expanded online version. In addition to tools and guides to help you plan your project, you’ll find varied topics of interest, such as yard makeovers, and how to best utilize color in a landscape. Photo slide shows are also provided, along with an interactive tour of the company’s test garden.
The Victory Garden
is a PBS television show catering to avid gardeners. For inspiration, visit the “Explore” tab to view visually stunning gardens the show has featured.
The Garden Conservancy
is a national, nonprofit organization working to maintain exceptional gardens in the United States, and to educate the public about the value of gardens. Consult this site to learn about Open Days Programs
, opportunities to explore the organization’s well-maintained gardens up close. Information regarding lectures and workshops can be found on the homepage; and the “preservation projects” tab links to current gardening ventures that should kindle your own design endeavor.
Garden Design Magazine
maintains a cleanly designed and savvy site with plenty of gardening inspiration. Try sections called “Growing”
which include fantastic photos and feature articles, for instance, a recent piece discussed urban nursery design in San Francisco. News and events in the landscape design world are also revealed.
is a magazine full of inventive ways to create unique landscaped looks. You’ll find alternatives to help you decorate small indoor and outdoor spaces, including an attractive water garden. Also discover how to create a private nook in your backyard. Photos accompany each fun tip. Try the “gardening”
section for more inspiration for your yard.
is a landscape design company based in the U.K. Although you can’t employ their services in the United States, you can browse photos of garden makeovers for creative ideas and inspiration.
For landscaping styles …
television network has “Different Styles of Landscaping” in its House and Home section. If you are looking for brief explanations of English, Oriental, Woodland, Formal, Informal, Butterfly, or Xeriscape, this is the place to find them.
is essentially an encyclopedia of landscape design. Consult the Landscape Plans, which feature a new garden style every month. Past plans have included sensory and water-wise gardens. In addition, HGTV shows you how to recreate each design depending on U.S. region.
is a publisher of upscale lifestyle magazines. Here it presents “Fine Gardening,” a source for eclectic style ideas. In its design section, you can learn about unique utilization of stones and pebbles, find out how to incorporate shapes and texture into your landscape, as well as how to create container gardens. Discovering which of these elements you prefer may help you define a landscape style to aim for. Visit the “Plants”
sections for detailed advice on implementing these design suggestions
a site based in Canada, is specifically aimed at gardeners in Northern locations. However, the site has so much information that you’ll find worthwhile gardening advice for any type of climate. This section addresses some fundamental issues such as why we landscape, and it provides information about various styles, including Modern and Bonsai.
noted earlier as a recommended inspiration, can also help you with implementation. It provides a video segment and book list for aspiring landscapers. In the video, you’ll learn about alternative indoor and outdoor landscaping techniques that work with minimal space. The book list is especially suitable for do-it-yourself landscapers, and it includes recommendations from landscape architects and the garden supervisor at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C.
has a rudimentary site design (and an aggressive array of centrally located Google ads), but it provides clear, helpful outlines of different garden styles. You’ll find information about classic English gardens, as well as tropical, Tuscan, and Japanese landscapes. Photos are not large, but they provide examples of each style.
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Now that you have an idea of what landscape design you’d like and which plants you’d ... read more »
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