Ideas for yard landscaping

Table of Contents

Flower Bed Basics

A flower bed full of beautiful blooms: what better way to enhance your yard with color, fragrance, and texture? Flowers, of course, are essential for butterflies and other pollinators, so a flower bed will help roll out the welcome mat for these beneficial creatures. And like a blank canvas, a flower bed offers you the chance to get creative and fill it with whatever you can imagine (quilt garden, anyone?). The options are nearly endless, but first comes the actual building of your flower bed. This might seem like a daunting project, but all it takes is a little planning, preparation, and sweat equity.

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How to Prepare a Flower Bed

When you’re ready to build a new flower bed, there are a few things to consider before you start to dig.

Where will it go? Anywhere from a corner of the backyard to your front entryway can make a great spot for a flower bed. You can build a flower bed along the property fence, underneath a tree, or around a garden feature like a pond, for example. If you plant near a driveway or along a curb, be sure to consider traffic safety when it comes to plant height, and if you live where it will get icy in the winter, keep in mind salt spray, which can kill plants.

How much sunlight does the spot get? Most flower bed plants—particularly annual flowers—require full sun, which means a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight each day. You can certainly create a flower bed in a part-sun or mostly shady area, but you’ll be a bit more limited in your choice of plants.

What’s the soil like? Most flowering annuals and perennials appreciate a loamy soil with plenty of compost added to it. Before starting to plant your flower bed, you’ll want to rake away rocks or debris from the site, break up any large clods of dirt, and add compost to enrich the bed and encourage healthy plant growth. It’s also a good idea to do a soil test to find out if you should add any nutrients your plants will need to look their best.

Related: Improve Clay Soil

Image zoom Stephen Cridland

Flower Bed Ideas and Designs

Once you’ve chosen a site for your flower bed, it’s time for the fun part: flower bed design. When designing a flower bed, you have many options. Here are a few flower bed design ideas to spark your imagination.

  • Looking for flower bed ideas to a make a statement in front of the house? Wrap a small flower bed around your mailbox, line your front walkway, add color underneath a tree, or surround the bases of the front porch risers.
  • Get geometric with a perfectly square, rectangular, circular, or even triangular flower bed design.
  • Fill a flower bed with tall or dense plants to help block unattractive backyard features such as air conditioners, trash cans, swimming pool heaters, or storage sheds.

Related: Create a Perennial Border

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Removing Grass and Building the Flower Bed

Unless you are building a flower bed on an already bare spot of earth, you’ll need to remove the turf before planting your flowers. After marking the outline of your new flower bed with spray paint or white flour, there are two basic ways to remove the grass on the inside of your lines.

How to Dig a Flower Bed

Digging out the grass can be hard work. Use a shovel to remove a patch of grass from the center of your planned flower bed, then continue to remove turf by wedging the shovel—a hoe also works—under the edges of the grass. Then lift and peel the sod away. Once you have removed the grass, you can prepare the soil for planting your flower bed.

How to Make a Flower Bed Without Digging

Removing grass without digging is the lengthy-but-easy method. Simply cover the entire area to be transformed into a flower bed with several overlapping sheets of newspaper. Layer the paper at least six pages deep, then cover the newspaper with several inches of rich soil or compost. Water well. Over the next few months, the buried grass will die, and the newspaper will decompose while adding nutrients to the soil. For best results, keep the area covered for up to a year before planting.

Once the turf has been removed, keep your new flower bed under control with a some landscape edging made of plastic, stone, brick, or wood. Some quirky materials you can use for edging include glass bottles, large seashells, or decorative metal fencing.

Building a Raised Flower Bed

There are a few ways to do this. You can frame a raised flower bed yourself with wood boards cut to the desired length. This lets you build a flower bed in whatever shape or size you desire. But if you prefer the simplest solution, there are raised flower bed kits that supply everything you need, and easily snap together with no need for sawing or hammering. Most kits create fairly small squares or rectangles, however, so you’ll give up the ability to tailor your raised flower bed to your liking.

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If you’re going to build your raised flower bed on top of existing grass, first cover the turf with a few sheets of newspaper, then top the paper with good-quality planting mix, and finish off with a layer of compost.

A raised flower bed built on top of concrete or another hard surface needs a protective bottom layer of plywood, landscape fabric, or heavy plastic sheeting to keep soil from slowly spreading out of the raised bed and discoloring the concrete.

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Flower Bed Plants

You designed your flower bed, you removed the grass, you prepared the soil, and you edged your soon-to-be-planted site. Now it’s time to plant your flower bed!

There are nearly as many flower bed plants as there are gardeners to dream up flower bed ideas. You’ll want to choose ones that do well in your climate, of course, and are suited to your flower bed’s location and exposure to sunlight. But beyond that, the best flowers are the ones you love the most.

  • Low-growing annuals such as sweet alyssum, lobelia, and impatiens work well as flower bed border plants.
  • Add zing to flower bed designs in the front of the house with a colorful mixture of varied-height beauties like zinnias, snapdragons, or marigolds.
  • Tall flowers, including sunflowers, hollyhocks, and cosmos, can be especially inviting in a flower bed flanking the steps to your front porch or along a property fence.
  • Raised flower bed planting ideas include a center row of tall and medium-height blooms with a border of cascading flowers like bacopa, ivy geranium, moss rose, or calibrachoa.
  • Other flower bed plant ideas include a garden of single-color flowers, a patriotic mix of red-white-and-blue blooms, a pastel flower bed, or a “moon garden” planted entirely in white flowers.

Building a flower bed from scratch might seem intimidating, but actually, it’s a fairly straightforward project that just about any enthusiastic DIYer or gardener can accomplish. The time spent in planning, designing, and preparing will be repaid many times over once you’re admiring your beautiful blooms.

  • By Michelle Ullman

Create a Low Maintenance Flower Bed (+ Our Front Yard Progress)

Woohoo! It’s almost summer, folks. Can you feel it? Beach days? Popsicles? Kids swinging from the rafters? My girls and I can’t wait to soak in every bit of summer, and we’ve been working hard over the past month to prepare the front yard of Our DIY House for optimal summertime enjoyment. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have a green thumb whatsoever, but this year I vowed to myself and my family that I would find one. I wanted to work as hard as I could to get our front yard looking happy and welcoming and ready for summer. With the help of The Home Depot and some truly gold advice from my gardening savvy friends and family, I’ve created a low maintenance flower bed in front of our home that will be perfect for my non-green-thumbness. It’s romantic looking, it’s zone 3 hardy, and I want to share with you how I created it today along with some more photos of the exterior progress on Our DIY House.

Here are some valuable tips I’ve learned when designing a low maintenance foundation planting around your home. These flower bed planting tips will help keep my beds easy to upkeep and made the process relatively pain free and even fun!

Lay It Out
I like designing anyhow, so this was an easy step for me. It will save you so much hassle in the future if you draw out the dimensions of your flower bed and where you want your plants. I found this set of foundation planting ideas, and I loved the South exposure plan, so I based my own flower bed design off of it. You can also decide upon a colour scheme at this stage – I chose to go with tones of pink, white, purple and green (obviously!).

Prepare Your Beds
This is by far the hardest part of this project, especially if you’re working with soil that’s never been dug like I was! Measure out your flower beds with a tape measure, mark them out with chalk, and then DIG. I used a fork and a spade to dig our new beds out, and we sifted out all of the grass and weeds (and their roots) as we went. It was tough work. We dug into the soil about 12 inches, removed all of the quack grass and weeds, and then broke it up with a fork. We also rotor tilled at the end to further break up the soil. This is the stage that you would amend the soil if needed with compost and/or fertilizers.

Hello, Hardscaping!
Now’s the time to install any immovable elements in your flower beds – paths, edging etc. We chose not to use any hard edging for our beds for a more relaxed look, but I did add in a river rock path through one side of our garden. The dogs kept running through this spot, so I thought it would be a pretty and practical feature.

Do Your Plant Research
I knew that I wanted to find flowers and other plants that were zone 3 hardy for our front beds. I also wanted perennials – plants that will come back year after year. It’s a good idea to research what plants you’d like to purchase before hand so that you know if they’ll work in your growing zone and how big they’ll get. The Home Depot has a great plant library online that share details descriptions of a variety of plants as well as how to plant and care for them. Some of the plants I chose are above, and we also mixed in some heritage perennials my mom gave us (peonies and a crabapple tree) and some hardy roses we had already collected. I noticed that The Home Depot has a one year guarantee on some of the plants I chose, so that made me really happy! During the middle of preparing the beds, I decided that I also wanted some productive plants – fruit & edibles – so I researched some that were a good height and hardiness for our beds too.

Buy Happy Plants
We bought our plants for our front bed at The Home Depot where they looked happy and healthy. Look for plants that have been well cared for and ready to go to their new home. We have a Home Depot garden center close to home, and then a couple more in The Big City, so I was able to find everything I needed between all of the stores. The plants were well labeled and healthy, and I was able to look up ones that I hadn’t thought of in the planning stages via The Home Depot Plant Library on my phone! Plus, the girls got to ride the orange car cart. Bonus.

Plant Smart
Read the directions for each plant as you plant them; they were right on the label of our Home Depot plants. Most of ours required digging a hole that was the same depth but twice the width of the plants we purchased and then amending the soil around the root ball before you tamped everything down. Create a well around each plant to hold water. Reference your original plan to make sure your plants are going in the right spots! We have a row of smaller perennials (small roses) in the front of our beds, mid-height ones in the middle (peonies and a blueberry), larger ones in the back (lilacs, hydrangeas) and trees on the sides (crabapple and cherry).

Water Like There’s No Tomorrow
The first few weeks of your flower bed are a crucial time to water everything well. We found out that our well water was too salty for our plants, so we made sure to water the beds with rainwater we collected and pumped through a hose. The wells you’ve made around your plants will help retain the water, and I find it’s best to water at night so that the water doesn’t evaporate so quickly in the hot sun of the day.

Mulch It
A great way to make a garden lower maintenance is to add a layer of mulch. Mulch helps suppress weeds and keep moisture in your flower beds. We chose to add a few inches of black mulch (you can find some here at The Home Depot) because I love how it contrasts with the white trim and grey siding of our home. It also just adds such a nicely finished look to our front yard:

Ain’t it pretty?

Now, we’re working on making our country lawn less of a quack grass-y lawn and more of a “real” lawn. We grabbed a few bags of these guys – Vigoro Grass Seed, and I just finished sprinkling it on our front yard and we’re watering away.

I also found some beautiful, shade-loving annual planters for beside our front door under our porch from The Home Depot. Their pink and white to match the colour scheme I chose, and they’re growing so nicely!

I think my green thumb is coming along. I hope I’ll make my mama, her mama, and her mama’s daddy proud – they are and were all brilliant gardeners. I’m now realizing that it really just is a lot of hard work, but that it’s SO worth it.

Our front yard will be enjoyable for years to come, and I’ve found gardening to be the ultimate stress relief for me this spring. I’m really growing to love it!

And look at the change from last year to this year – it’s encouraging to see what a difference a little DIY has done:

Thanks to The Home Depot for helping me tidy up our front yard and get it ready for an epic summer of front yard water fights, flower picking and home-grown berries!

Here are the plants I chose for our front beds:

  • hardy roses (Morden Blush, Morden Belle)
  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce (for near the entry & for colour all year long)*
  • Limelight Hydrangea*
  • Juliet Cherry
  • Peonies
  • Strawberries
  • Bird’s Nest Spruce
  • Hardy Blueberry
  • Rudolph Crapapple (from my mom)

Not shown: rhubarb, Miss Kim Lilacs

*The zone 3 hardiness of these ones are so-so, but I wanted to give them a go. I’ll keep you posted on how they make it through our -40 degree celcius winter!

What do you think of our front yard progress? Do you have any low-maintenance gardening tips to add?

For more gardening tips, read this article about Gardening Basics or this one about Helping Flowering Shrubs and Perennials Thrive.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by The Home Depot Canada. As always, all of the opinions and experiences here are purely my own.


  • hardy roses (Morden Blush, Morden Belle)
  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce (for near the entry & for colour all year long)*
  • Limelight Hydrangea*
  • Juliet Cherry
  • Peonies
  • Strawberries
  • Bird’s Nest Spruce
  • Hardy Blueberry
  • Rudolph Crapapple (from my mom)
  • *The zone 3 hardiness of these ones are so-so, but I wanted to give them a try.


    1. Lay It Out
      I like designing anyhow, so this was an easy step for me. It will save you so much hassle in the future if you draw out the dimensions of your flower bed and where you want your plants. I found this set of foundation planting ideas, and I loved the South exposure plan, so I based my own flower bed design off of it. You can also decide upon a colour scheme at this stage – I chose to go with tones of pink, white, purple and green.
    2. Prepare Your Beds
      This is by far the hardest part of this project, especially if you’re working with soil that’s never been dug like I was! Measure out your flower beds with a tape measure, mark them out with chalk, and then DIG. I used a fork and a spade to dig our new beds out, and we sifted out all of the grass and weeds (and their roots) as we went. It was tough work. We dug into the soil about 12 inches, removed all of the quack grass and weeds, and then broke it up with a fork. We also rotor tilled at the end to further break up the soil. This is the stage that you would amend the soil if needed with compost and/or fertilizers.
    3. Hello, Hardscaping!
      Now’s the time to install any immovable elements in your flower beds – paths, edging etc. We chose not to use any hard edging for our beds for a more relaxed look, but I did add in a river rock path through one side of our garden.
    4. Do Your Plant Research
      I knew that I wanted to find flowers and other plants that were zone 3 hardy for our front beds. I also wanted perennials – plants that will come back year after year. It’s a good idea to research what plants you’d like to purchase before hand so that you know if they’ll work in your growing zone and how big they’ll get.
    5. Buy Happy Healthy Plants
    6. Plant Smart
      Read the directions for each plant as you plant them; they were right on the label of our Home Depot plants. Most of ours required digging a hole that was the same depth but twice the width of the plants we purchased and then amending the soil around the root ball before you tamped everything down. Create a well around each plant to hold water. Reference your original plan to make sure your plants are going in the right spots! We have a row of smaller perennials (small roses) in the front of our beds, mid-height ones in the middle (peonies and a blueberry), larger ones in the back (lilacs, hydrangeas) and trees on the sides (crabapple and cherry).
    7. Water Like There’s No Tomorrow
      The first few weeks of your flower bed are a crucial time to water everything well. We found out that our well water was too salty for our plants, so we made sure to water the beds with rainwater we collected and pumped through a hose. The wells you’ve made around your plants will help retain the water, and I find it’s best to water at night so that the water doesn’t evaporate so quickly in the hot sun of the day.
    8. Mulch It
      A great way to make a garden lower maintenance is to add a layer of mulch. Mulch helps suppress weeds and keep moisture in your flower beds. We chose to add a few inches of black mulch (you can find some here at The Home Depot) because I love how it contrasts with the white trim and grey siding of our home. It also just adds such a nicely finished look to our front yard.

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Flower Beds for Beginners

Welcome guests with front yard plantings that complement your home. Include blooming plants to create an eye-catching display right outside your door that makes coming home a treat. Typically, entry gardens include a mix of foundation plantings, walkway beds and driveway borders. Spice up these practical, needful gardens with clever design elements to make your yard the talk of the block.
Foundation plantings anchor your home to the surrounding landscape and ease the transition from structure to lawn. Fill foundation beds with plants featuring different colors and textures, and arrange them in layers to create a sense of depth. Always research and position plants based on mature size so they have adequate room to spread, which saves you endless pruning down the road.
Incorporate curving bed edges to soften hard angles between sidewalks, driveways and your house. Test-drive any proposed curves with your mower before actually forming flower beds. Make sure curves and corners are easy to maneuver.
For guaranteed good looks, follow classic design principles when designing front yard flower beds. For instance, arrange flowering plants by height, with tallest bloomers in the back of beds viewed from one side or in the center of beds viewed from all sides. Don’t place too-tall flowers in front of windows to avoid blocking the view. Keep walkways skirted with knee-high or shorter bloomers to ensure sprawling plants don’t present an obstacle course.
Avoid a stand-alone driveway edging bed, which draws attention toward your drive and garage. Instead, connect a driveway bed with a foundation bed. This beckons the eye to wander along plantings toward your front door.
Design front yard planting beds to usher eyes toward your front door. Flowers play a strong role in this by providing pops of color that the eye naturally spots and follows. Repeat a hue throughout front yard flower beds and even on porch planters or hanging baskets and you’ll subtly direct the eye. Choose that hue based on accent colors on your home, and your plantings will blend artfully with your home’s exterior.
If your front yard is sunny for at least six hours a day, tuck edible crops into planting designs. Blueberries, goji berries and even trellised raspberries can serve as a hedge, and beds of asparagus easily blend into foundation plantings with their post-harvest ferny form. Dwarf fruit trees, including apple, cherry, pomegranate or fig, slip neatly into foundation planting areas, blending seasonal beauty with a tasty harvest.
Choose kiwi, pole beans or grape vines to grace an entry trellis and plantings of multi-hued leaf lettuces followed by chard, red mustard or assorted basils to serve color through summer heat. Tuscan and other types of kale introduce strong architectural leaf forms to flower beds that allow blooming plants to sparkle against the leafy backdrop. Disguise hardworking tomato, pepper or eggplants with flounces of colorful marigolds, dwarf daylilies or cheerful blanket flowers.
The biggest must with edible front yard plantings is maintenance. Keep plants staked, harvests gathered and fallen fruit picked up to avoid transforming your beautiful spot into a neighborhood eyesore. Many edible crops need to be pulled after bearing. Design your beds with succession plantings in mind. Replace early-season peas or lettuces with colorful annual bloomers or herbs.
In cold-winter areas where snowfall accumulates, select plantings based on snow removal patterns. Beds along driveways and sidewalks may do best with annuals or perennials that melt away after frost and can handle heaps of snow, as opposed to woody shrubs or roses that might break under the weight of shoveled snow.

Garden Design Ideas

Get Inspired by Gardens on Houzz

A lot of the time when you get home from a long day at work, all you want to do is wind down. Where better to do this than in your very own garden at home? If you do it right, a great garden design can send you right into holiday mode. But where to start?
There’s so many styles to choose from when it comes to garden design. Whether you want to create a tropical, modern, contemporary, beach style or country garden – or something else entirely – the large garden image gallery on Houzz has got you covered. Get inspired and collect your ideas to narrow down your desired garden style and features.

How to Create a Garden for Your Home

Depending on which style you’re going for, be sure to know what makes a garden and if it’s appropriate for your climate. You may want to consider adding a deck or other landscaping features, but the plants you choose will mostly dictate your style and what kind of ongoing maintenance is required. Don’t worry if your backyard isn’t very spacious – there are many plants that can thrive even in a small space and allow you to turn your space into a little paradise of your own, regardless of size.

Decide which plants to use

The greenery you choose is critical to your look. For example, if you’re trying to create a tropical garden palm trees and bamboo are your go-to options. Other popular options are golden cane palm trees and fern for ground cover. From there you can add some colour with bright flowers like frangipani, hibiscus or bromeliads. All these are actually quite hardy plants, so once established, your tropical garden is actually quite easy to maintain.
Use this structure and apply it to your style. Research which plants you need to set your base for a garden and go from there.

Add some decor

If the plants don’t quite do it for you yet, or if you want to add some extra wow-factor, consider adding some extra features. Even if you can’t accommodate a swimming pool, hot tub or pond, you could look at smaller water features. Simple rocks can also have a great effect, while statues and gnomes will add some extra character.
Don’t forget to add some furniture so you have a nice place to sit and enjoy your garden!

Need some help?

Once you know what you want your garden to look like, it may be hard to make it a reality on your own. If that is the case for you, consider consulting a professional to help you with your garden design. Every photo you find on Houzz will lead you to the local pro that did the job, so you won’t have a problem picking the perfect person to help! Whether you need a gardener in Brisbane, a landscape architect in Melbourne or a fireplace installer in Sydney, you can be sure to find one on Houzz.
Whether you want inspiration for planning a garden renovation or are building a designer garden from scratch, Houzz has 722,509 images from the best designers, decorators, and architects in the country, including Oswald Homes and Sarah Waller Design. Look through garden photos in different colours and styles and when you find a garden design that inspires you, save it to an Ideabook or contact the Pro who made it happen to see what kind of design ideas they have for your home. Explore the beautiful garden ideas photo gallery and find out exactly why Houzz is the best experience for home renovation and design.

Landscaping Pictures

Front Porch and Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Our landscaping pictures will undoubtedly give many ideas for your own yard.
Not only will our home landscaping photos highlight beautiful yards but will also show you some fantastic porches as well.
Landscaping around your porch can increase your home’s curb appeal, be environmentally friendly, and give you hours of pleasure.

Who loves a nicely landscaped porch?

Replicate the landscaping depicted on our photos or combine ideas from various photos to create even more ideas for your yard. Study the pictures carefully to see how various plants, shrubs, trees, edgings and walkway ideas are integrated to create curb appealing landscaping.

Not only do we have many landscaping pictures on this page but we also have many other ideas for landscaping your yard throughout our site.
Many of the home landscaping photos you will see were taken by Mary and I on our porch photography trips across the country.
Please feel free to send us your porch or landscaping projects and we may feature them on to share with others.

Watch Our Video of a Beautifully Landscaped Porch


Home Landscaping Photos

Landscaping pictures are water-marked and copyrighted; please do not use without permission.

Want to add color to your front yard landscaping and in particular, highlight your front porch? Perennial flower gardens may be your answer as they are all about color.
One common mistake many people make is mixing too many colors in the landscaping. By doing so, you never really know where to focus; your eyes do not see along the entire border.
Mixing too many colors is like looking at a kaleidoscope – just too much to take in all at once.
Using the same plants and the same colors tends to create a natural flow. Staying with reds, oranges, yellows, whites, and sometimes blue works much better most of the time.
An easy way to get it right and to see your options is to use a color wheel. It will ensure you select the right combination for your yard.
For ideas on how to use color and a color wheel be sure to see our Color Section.
Whether you are planning a large yard landscaping project or prefer small yard landscaping ideas, it is most important to account for your home’s architecture and your lifestyle too.
For instance, formal gardens may look rather odd around a cottage-style home.
Or, if you like gardening, regular maintenance may not be an issue.
However, if you’d rather spend time doing other things, you will want to install easy maintenance landscaping.
The photo above depicts a more formal style of landscaping – geometric shapes in this case. Formal landscaping may also use straight lines along with orderly arrangements. Formal landscaping often also requires frequent pruning.

More Landscaping Pictures for Inspiration

photo courtesy of ArtCPhotos

Conversely, informal landscaping works well with almost any architectural style home, but lends itself very well to cottages, Victorian, farmhouses, and ranches as depicted in the photos above. Random is the key. You may find curved edging and a variety of foliage.
English gardens try to blend the house’s architecture with that of the foliage. They range from the simple but sophisticated to the very colorful as depicted in the photos above.
Informal landscaping, like in the landscaping pictures above, gives you lots of options. Many include walkways, rocks, wildflowers, annuals and perennials of various kinds. Beds may or may not have defined borders.
It is often the kind of garden found in small backyards. It uses rocks, evergreens and water. A wide variety of plants create several interesting angles with this style.
Woodland landscaping uses plants that complement or mimic those found naturally at the building site. This type landscaping is also very useful with sloping yards.

Inexpensive Landscaping Ideas

Here are a few more tips for landscaping around your porch and yard.

  • View: Make sure you can see the landscaping whether sitting on the porch or looking out a window. Use plantings to emphasize walkways to your front door and other visually appealing sites within your yard. Likewise, you can use landscaping to hide objects that you’d rather not see.
  • Color: Make room for color! It doesn’t have to be a lot but a splash of color is just plain fun.
  • Texture: Include a variety of textures among your plantings for interest.
  • Repetition: Plant in groupings throughout your landscaping.
  • Beautiful Walkway Ideas: Highlight your walkways. They are normally easy to landscape and it will add interest to your yard.

Be sure to see our 10 easy and fun landscaping ideas!
We have so much more for you to see, especially if you are planning a landscaping project or want more ideas from landscaping pictures.

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Although landscape photography can look easy at first, it takes more than a simple point-your-camera-and-photograph kind of action. The purpose of landscape photography is to convey a state of mind and to express something more than just the landscape in front of you.
Reality is something that we all see every day. That is why, in my opinion, landscape photography should not be a simple duplicate of it. Subjects should not be presented in front of the viewer or occupy the entire photo: composition should guide your eye to the final destination of the image, which is the point of interest.

Just like any other form of art, landscape photography has its own rules. Mastering light, composition, subject picking, and editing — it’s a time-consuming process and the final results depend from one person to another.

There are lots of videos with tips and ideas but the truth is that all that I’m about to tell you means nothing if you don’t go out and photograph as much as possible.

So here are 25 tips and ideas for your landscape photos that I hope you’ll find it useful (watch the video above for a closer look at each point):

1. Photograph the same subject at sunrise and sunset. Different light, different angles and the results are completely different.

2. When photographing from a low angle the perspective changes in extreme ways thus creating a much more interesting shot … an image that you are not used to seeing every day.

3. When you have fog in front of you during sunrise it’s a good thing to photograph into the light to have the fog light up by the light.

4. Silhouettes work better before sunrise, when the sky has no clouds on it. It’s a simple idea to create something interesting in a moment not that interesting. All you need is an interesting shape to frame.

5. Dark areas can offer great support for the lighter areas of the image.

6. Long exposures can tell you more about the weather conditions: wind, temperature, movement of the clouds.

7. Just because there are dark clouds in the sky, doesn’t mean that you should stay inside. A gap in the clouds can let light in and that moment is really beautiful and worth capturing.

8. A splash of color in a moody grey landscape can have such a powerful impact on the viewer.

9. Pay attention to the background when you want to separate subjects, especially when you are in the forest.

10. Foggy days during winter on the fields can be boring. Finding a lonely tree and framing it right in the center can emphasize the subject. Also, the negative space above conveys the idea of space and how small this tree really is.

11. Reflections are always beautiful. The ground is not always that interesting so reflections can help get rid of unwanted elements.

12. Move the camera while you trigger the shot. This works better when the subject has a strong separation from the background.

13. Contrast can separate the subject really well: a white small flower on some green leaves, with just a spot of light on it can be a simple, yet beautiful photo.

14. Panoramas are great to express the vast landscape inside a forest.

15. The sky covered with clouds during sunset can offer nothing… or an almost miracle moment if the clouds let light in just for a second.

16. Sometimes, clouds can look like a mirror of the landscape.

17. Foggy mornings are great, especially if the sun is breaking through the fog at some point. Position in such way so that subject is between you and the sun and also inside the fog.

18. When you’re hiking in forests, light at the end of a trail while everything else is in darkness can be such a beautiful photo.

19. The best moment to photograph waterfalls is at the beginning of spring when the snow is melting up in the mountains.

20. Trees that look different are great … usually old trees.

21. A mountain behind the houses while using a long focal length can add proportion to the photo. This way you can realize how big the landscape really is.

22. When you photograph in an urban environment search for complex dynamic lines. Also, think on multiple vertical planes to add dimension.

23. A singular point of light … if you isolate it with a long focal length you have a winner.

24. Think different perspective when you are photographing: it can give you a unique view of a simple subject.

25. Don’t forget to see details. Sometimes the big landscape can take your attention from smaller elements. Textures are great and can look almost like abstract forms of art.

Again, watch the 18-minute video at the top of this article for a closer look at each of these 25 tips and ideas.

I hope you enjoyed these tips and found them useful and until next time, keep on photographing because it’s the only way to get better!

About the author: Toma Bonciu is a landscape and travel photographer. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Bonciu’s work on his website, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

Landscaping ideas for front yards and backyards should not be ignored. In most cases, people pay more attention to the interior part of their house and less to the exterior. Designing your landscape is just as important as designing any part of the house. Landscaping ideas that are skillfully carried out can complement to the whole aesthetics of your house. You can enhance the whole appeal of your yard by choosing the appropriate shrubs, garden edges, plants, and flowers.

Before you start designing your front yard and backyard, you must create an inventory of on your front- and backyard space. As there are many landscaping ideas to choose from, try to figure out which one would be fit best for your space and then make adjustments to create your perfect garden. Consider that you might want to have a pool or a playground for the kids, or if you want to work outdoors then you make space for a flower garden. For some people, it is their lifelong dream to grow their own vegetables and herbs. Try to consider what your family really wants. The front yard and the backyard are two unique entities since they serve separate purposes, so designs your garden with that in mind while keeping an overall theme!

Landscaping Ideas for Front Yards

1. Cheap Landscaping Ideas

Originally posted by homedit

The walkway is very simple, however, it is made beautiful by the well-trimmed grass around it. There are bunches of flowers in order to make it colorful. Be sure to keep the surroundings tidy by taking out those weeds as soon as they are pop-up.

2. Beautiful Home Garden Designs

Originally posted by forumvilag

This is a beautiful home garden design for your front yard landscaping. You can update your front yard design by adding shrubs, walkways, gardens to make it colorful.

3. Contemporary Front Yard Landscape

Originally posted by amazonaws

These days, modern landscaping has toned down a bit. It has a minimal approach with lesser stones and flowering plants.

4. Stunning Landscaping Ideas

Originally posted by cdhoye

This is a small landscaping for the front yard with a colorful flower garden. It’s the best way to dress up your front yard.

5. Desert Landscaping Ideas

Aside from plants and flowers, you can also add stones, gravel mist, and river rocks to add some texture to your landscaping. This design is highlighted by the potted plants.

6. Easy Landscaping Ideas

If you have a big home and a big front yard then you should also have a larger plot for your plants. However, there’s no need to fill every space. Something like these yellow pops can make the design stand out with very little!

7. DIY Landscaping Ideas

This is a simple front yard landscaping for small spaces. If you have a small space in your front yard then you can make it look cute and perfect by having a small garden with grass and plants.

8. Tropical Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Originally posted by thisforall

If you have a big house with a huge front yard, you have to consider that not all trees are suitable for it. This huge palm tree looks great on this big house.

9. Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

One of the best ways of transforming your modest space into something bigger is by using the symmetrical approach. Having an equal balance of trees and flowers on both sides makes it look amazing.

10. Front Yard Landscaping Ideas With Rocks

This is a blend of modern architecture and desert landscaping. This is the perfect setting for xeriscaping. The lines and the planes of the housework well with the well-structured landscape design.

11. Garden Landscaping Ideas

A cottage front yard garden is best for minimal space. Create rock pathways and blend them with perennials. Add a seating area to make it look more inviting.

12. Grand And Colorful Front Yard Landscaping

When visitors enter your front yard, make it grand. The huge potted moms are a colorful way of welcoming them to your yard and home.

13. Front Yard Landscaping Plant Ideas

Most beautiful front yards are made of wild flowering plants. If you would like to have this design then be sure to consider the height of your perennials. The tallest plants should be at the back while the shortest plants should be at the front. In this way, each plant will be well appreciated.

14. Front Yard Landscaping With Rocks

Front yard landscaping ideas can enhance the curb appeal of the outdoors of your home. This beautiful design is a mixture of stones, rocks, plants and water bodies with some grass.

15. Inexpensive Landscaping Ideas

This neutral landscaping looks fabulous with the white wildflowers, grass, and small bushes. The scalloped mulching adds charm to this creative design.

16. Landscape Designs For Small Yards

The design of this terracotta stone house is also applied to the landscaping. The earthy front yard consists of large boulders combined with natural foliage. It looks so simple and peaceful.

17. Landscaping Design Ideas For Front Yard

Hanging flowering baskets in your front yard provides a fresh and elegant appeal to your home. You can also change them every year in order to enjoy a fresh new look.

18. Amazing Landscaping Ideas

This is an example of simple and sweet landscaping which highlights the charming home. The natural color provides comfort and freshness.

19. Landscaping Ideas Around House

Best front yard landscaping ideas with garden flowers and plants. If you want to keep things simple then let the green grass, bushes, flowers, and plants provide you with freshness.

20. Landscaping Ideas For Front Yards

Originally posted by seotons

The green grass and the curb appeal is elaborated in this front yard landscaping. It can ensure visitors that they are very welcome to enter your yard and home.

21. Landscaping Ideas For Privacy

Always make sure that you have enough time in maintaining your front yard landscaping design. This colorful design only requires minimal maintenance.

22. Landscaping Ideas For Small Areas

A colorful flower garden is the best way of dressing up your front yard. A flower garden can add texture, color, and fragrance to your front yard.

23. Landscaping Ideas For Big Front Yard

One of the best ornaments that you can use in your huge front yard is the Bermuda grass. It creates a connection in every boundary. It provides a clean and fresh look.

24. Landscaping Ideas For Your Front Yard

This modest front yard looks clean and fresh with the flowering tree. It adds visual height to the yard and makes the home look classy. Adding different heights to your landscaping provides amazing curb appeal.

25. Landscaping Ideas On A Budget

The variety of sweet flowers with radiant colors brings elegance to your front yard.

26. Symmetrical Landscaping Ideas

If you don’t have enough time in grooming your front yard all year long then you can just keep it simple. The bushes provide lushness as they grow. The potted plants and the green grass provides freshness, especially during the warmer months.

27. Desert Front Yard Landscape

Most often, a desert landscaping design can consist of gravel, rocks, and small boulders. It looks superb when combined with grasses, plants, and trees.

28. Simple Landscaping Ideas

This is a simple landscaping idea for a front yard that highlights the white house. It adds richness to the house and its simplicity provides freshness and comfort.

29. Small Front Yard Landscaping

The pair of potted topiaries provides symmetry. The garden with a variety of plants and flowers makes the front yard look fresh and colorful.

30. Small Front Yard Landscaping Design

If you have a modern home then you should have a contemporary front yard design. This landscaping is very easy to maintain and looks elegant.

31. Stylish Small Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

The red brick home is the perfect backdrop of colorful flowers. The variety of colors makes the home look bright and elegant.

Landscaping Ideas for Backyards

32. Amazing Backyard Landscaping

Originally posted by homebunch

Does your garden look untidy? If so then it’s time to give a new look to your garden and try recreating your whole backyard. A variety of plants can make your garden look new. It can also provide a variety of colors.

33. Awesome Small Backyard Rock Garden

Originally posted by lessonup

You can add privacy to your backyard by adding a stylish fence.

34. Backyard Curb Appeal

Having a cozy backyard sitting area is an amazing feature of your home.

35. Spectacular Backyard

The outdoor seating areas offer an exclusive place. The natural surroundings and the garden designs makes the area spectacular.

36. Backyard Landscape Design

Creating a flower bed on your backyard can add beauty to your home. You can add some texture and architectural dimension to your backyard by having planters such as this metal pipe. If you are using tall planters, you can avoid using a lot of compost or soil by filling cans or plastic bottles at the bottom.

37. Backyard Landscape Ideas

Regardless if you have a small backyard, you can still create your own separate seating area.

38. Backyard Landscaping Ideas

The pool is located at the rear end of the backyard leaving a huge space for playing.

39. Backyard Landscaping Designs

Although it is only a small backyard but its beautiful landscape is a dream come true for a person who has a green thumb.

40. Backyard Landscaping Plans

This backyard is beautifully decorated with colorful flowers and tiny trees. Make sure that the arrangement of your flowers are harmonious.

41. Unique Backyard Landscaping

Having a water element on your backyard makes it unique and beautiful.

42. Backyard Shrubs Design

Having this clean and simple design is most often more attractive than having a complex one.

43. Beautiful Backyard Landscaping

The best place for a sitting area is in a corner which is more private. When it comes to landscaping, it should not be limited to flowers and plants only. You might also consider other elements such as the patio, the fence, the walls, the water elements and other features.

44. Cheap Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Aside from having trees and pathways, your backyard landscaping should also have a functional side.

45. Backyard Pool

Your backyard can also become your spa-like space. You can have a pool and a sitting area. If you still have space, it would be nice to have a pond or a fountain aside from the plants and the flowers.

46. Elegant Backyard Garden Ideas

You can add other functional elements to your backyard such as an outdoor kitchen, a barbecue or even a bar.

47. Backyard Landscaping Designs

Try to consider every element of your backyard since it is an essential part of your landscaping.

48. Garden Landscaping Ideas

Sometimes its great to sit back and enjoy the magnificent view of your backyard.

49. Landscape Design For Backyard

You can add some rocks to the edge of your flower bed to make it more creative.

50. Landscape Design For Backyard Patio

Blending natural elements and colors can create a harmonious effect on your backyard.

51. Landscape Design For Small Backyard

This is a contemporary small backyard which includes natural materials and other elements.

52. Landscaping Your Backyard

Your backyard can also be used as your lounging area. Nature combined with an outdoor sitting area is a perfect match.

53. Perfect Landscape Design

This landscape is a combination of the pathways, fence and the stairs along with the green grass and the plants.

54. Natural Landscape Design

One of the best natural elements that can be used in backyard landscaping are rocks. There are a lot of ways of using rocks to your own advantage.

55. Landscapes Ideas with Fireplace

An outdoor fireplace can be very useful especially during autumn and spring.

56. Landscaping Designs with Pathways

The pathways can create a solidarity look on your backyard.

57. Patio Landscaping Ideas

The patio should not be exposed to excessive sunlight.

58. Landscaping Backyard Ideas with Lights

This is a great backyard which features sitting areas, rock walkways with vibrant plants. It also has privacy factors with superior lightings.

59. Backyard Pool Landscaping

The backyard pool is the main element in this landscaping.

60. Nature Landscaping Ideas

Generally, vegetation and plants may require more care and maintenance.

61. Wonderful Backyard

This is a perfect place for relaxing and enjoying the natural surroundings.

62. Landscaping Ideas For Small Backyards

This minimalist design has a harmonious effect.

63. Landscaping Images for Backyard

Originally posted by diynetwork

Be creative and go beyond sod and mulch by creating a sand bed with a hammock. This tropical paradise can be completed by having a bed of flowers and some trees.

64. Gorgeous Backyard

Create a beautiful lounge area on your backyard by having Spanish arches on the background.

65. Lovely Backyard Landscaping

This newly renovated backyard features a bench around the mulberry tree. It also has a lovely wood deck with a privacy wall and a sitting area.

66. Modern Backyard Landscaping Ideas

This modern backyard features some artificial grass with stone pavers. It has a colorful fireplace on the side and a table with hanging lights.

67. The Perfect Place to Hangout

This backyard is the best place to hangout with your friends. You can have some barbecue or perhaps play some game.

68. Nice Backyard Landscaping

This is the perfect place to have your private dinner. The tin tile serves as the privacy wall.

69. Newly Renovated Backyard

If you love the smell of firewood then you can place a fire pit on your newly renovated backyard.

70. Landscape Design with Walkway

You can create a private walkway and at the end place a bench so that you can enjoy the view. You can either create a single path or a double path.

71. Dining Area On Your Backyard

Your backyard can also be the perfect area for dining. These red dining chairs can make your backyard look more colorful.

72. English-inspired Backyard Design

In order to create a formal look, you should properly maintain your sculpted shrubs. This rounded top shape is one of the most popular hedge shapes since it can permit the sun to reach the base.

73. Superior Small Yard Design

Originally posted by freshome

Add color to your seating area by choosing colorful textiles for your throw pillows and cushions. Red and orange are a brilliant combination.

74. Simple Landscaping Ideas

If your ground space is only limited then the best option would be a custom flower box. Place a variety of plants with different texture and sizes on your miniature garden. It can add fragrance and color to your small backyard.

75. Backyard Ideas with Perennials

Plant some tall flowering perennials on your garden bed to create a border between your yard and the road. This garden consists of Echinacea ‘Coconut Lime’, white Phlox paniculata ‘David’, Aster ‘Bluebird’, Platycodon and Digitalis ferruginea.

76. Small Backyard Landscape Design Ideas

Raised beds are perfect for areas with sandy soil or heavy clay. Raised beds can let you choose the soil that is appropriate for your plants. Choose a variety of colors for your garden.

77. Backyard Ideas

A fire pit on the backyard can attract friends and family members who love marshmallows. You can place it at the edge of your backyard in order to have more space.

78. Contemporary Backyard

If tradition mulch is not possible then you can create rock beds for your plants. The synthetic turf on the stonework is perfect for this modern sitting area.

79. Simple Backyard Ideas

If you love to eat salad then you can create an edible garden on your backyard. Create raised beds and plant your edibles on it.

80. Backyard Landscaping for Fun and Games

Create a touch of green on your backyard by putting an authentic or a synthetic turf. Real turf is less expensive but requires more maintenance. If you prefer to have less maintenance then you can use synthetic turf, however, it is more costly.

81. Nice Backyard Ideas

Creating a mystery path can be accomplished even if you have a small backyard. Plant some perennials on the sides of the walkway so as to conceal the end of the path.

82. DIY Backyard Ideas

Originally posted by hgtv

One of the easiest and quickest DIY backyard ideas is creating a stone patio. You can do it on your own by using some tools.

83. Beautiful Backyard Ideas

Have you tried transforming your backyard into a living room sanctuary? This backyard features a lounging area, dining area, and a playing area.

84. Unique Backyard Ideas

This is a blend of old and new architecture. The fireplace is the center of attraction. It also features a woven sea-grass rug and some water-resistant furniture.

85. Backyard Ideas With Pool

The light on the firewall gives light to the pool. It’s like swimming under the stars.

86. Backyard Ideas Patio

Having a fire pit on your patio can provide warmth on cool evenings. It is perfect for any outdoor gatherings.

87. Backyard Ideas On A Budget

This is a unique hedge with tall maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’). It is blended with a dwarf fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’). This garden creates an enclosure with a musical effect.

88. Small Backyard Ideas

Sometimes you can create a bigger lawn with your small space. The secret is to use a faux-grass rug.

89. Simple Backyard Ideas

You can create a tropical hideaway by maximizing the space on your small garden. The Japanese fiber banana (Musa basjoo) is a hardy tropical plant.

90. Backyard Landscaping Ideas

You can transform a small space into a garden by planting a stylish pergola. It can provide shade for your windows and at the same time, it can also block the view of the neighbors.

91. Backyard Design Ideas

This is a contemporary backyard which includes a variety of elements. It is highlighted by the magnificent metal and glass fire.

92. Landscaping Ideas

The stone patio blends well with the furniture. The colorful accents in the seating area provides warmth to the backyard.

93. Backyard Designs

The green ceramic water pedestal is the focal point of this backyard. It is surrounded with rocks and some green plants.

94. Unique Backyard Ideas

This is a floating deck backyard with a shade structure. It features vegetable planters, a privacy wall, a metal water and other elements.

95. Small Backyard Design Ideas

A gray seating set is perfect for this backyard. The fireplace provides warmth to the family members.

96. Backyard Ideas Cheap

You can incorporate line paths into your landscaping to make it eye-catching.

97. Backyard Ideas For Small Yards

If you love turf but you do not have time to mow then you can install an artificial grass. It saves you time and water as well.

98. Ideas For Backyard Spaces

If you have a bigger backyard then you can crete a family room in your garden. Furnish it with furniture to make it more relaxing.

99. Backyard Ideas For Moderate Spaces

Create a garden with a variety of colors. The trees provide shade and fresh air too.

100. Beautiful Backyard

Creating a stepping stone path towards your lawn can guide your visitors. Use a string in creating an outline.

What is your favorite Landscaping Idea?

Which landscaping idea is your favorite? You can choose to do your own landscaping or you can hire a company. Landscaping can add a touch of style and functionality to your outdoor space. You can add color and variety to your outdoor space. You can add color and variety to your garden any way you’d like. Why not add an outdoor fireplace or an outdoor kitchen? An edible garden is very useful and healthy if you like to know where your food is coming from while a pool adds a lot of fun for your children. Either way, sit down with your family to and discuss what you want before planting anything. If you have your own creative landscaping ideas then please share it with us.

From a simple penchant for yellow flowers as a child to becoming a full-time gardener, nature advocate, and garden designer, I am extremely happy to finally have a platform for me to successfully spread knowledge and expertise in the garden. After highschool graduation, I took many courses related to garden design to feed myself with more knowledge and expertise other than what I learned from my mom growing up. Soon as I finished courses, I gained more experience through internships and most especially, garden shows! I also tried to join as many garden design competitions locally. For any garden design inquiries, ping me!

Simple Landscaping Ideas for Beginners

For those that have never done it before, landscaping can be intimidating. Many people are scared to try it themselves, thinking it’s best left up to professionals. However, there are plenty of simple ways to spruce up your yard without having any prior experience.

First, decide what you want to use your yard for. Do you want it to be a space where you can unwind and read a book? Will you use it as a space to entertain? A place to grow your own plants and vegetables? Or all of the above?

After deciding how you want to utilize your space, look at the space you have. Is it big enough? How does wind move through it? Where does the sun hit? These observations will help you to determine how to plan the layout of your yard.

When you have an idea of what you want to do with your space, you can begin these simple projects yourself.

Simple landscaping ideas to get you started

Plant a flower bed

If you’re unsure how to begin creating your landscape, start with a flower bed. This is a small step that will start to improve the layout of your yard. Depending on your landscaping plans, you can choose to plant it wherever you want, as long as the area provides optimal weather and lighting for the plants and soil you choose. When your flowers are planted, fill the area with mulch and line the bed with stones, for a clean and finished look.

Take your time to plant your bed by working for an hour or two when you have the time. You’ll enjoy the finished product even more if you enjoyed the process of creating it.

Establish a focal point

Lots of good, simple designs start with one big item; a tree, a shrub, a bench, a bonfire pit, or even a swimming pool. Consider where you may place one larger item and then let the rest of the yard’s design flow from there. If your yard already has a large item, work with it to enhance or direct eyes to the item in question.

Create a pathway

If you have a high-traffic area of your yard, say between a back door and a garage, create a pathway of stepping stones and mulch. If you haven’t made stepping stones before, you can find step-by-step instructions in our DIY backyard guide. Line the pathway with solar accent lights to shed some light without wasting any electricity and plant small shrubs along the edges to keep the mulch contained. This small project is both functional and attractive and will add variation to your yard.

Switch it up

To define different areas of your yard and to make your space more visually appealing, consider using different landscaping materials like rock, mulch or gravel.

The same principles that guide how you set up an indoor room should guide your outdoor designs as well. Set up separate areas for different activities. For example, if you have a space that you would like to use as an eating area, lay stone for a patio so that you have a defined space for your table, chairs, and grill. In the example below, the patio is surrounded by a thin frame of rock, and boxed in by shrubs. The landscaping defines the seating area, almost appearing as its own room for an intimate feel.

Simple landscaping ideas work!

Remember: patience is key. The process of creating a landscape will take time, especially if you’re working alone. However, landscaping doesn’t have to be expensive or require too much effort. There are many small projects you can complete over time to improve the look and feel of your property. A simple change to your yard can make a big difference. For more DIY backyard ideas, check out our Frador Tips.

Money Crashers

As any seasoned landscaper or gardener can tell you, a home’s landscape is more than just a few haphazardly placed trees and shrubs. It requires careful thought, planning, and research – not to mention hard work. Not only can well-designed landscaping increase the pleasure you derive from your dwelling, it can boost curb appeal if you need to sell your home.

Unfortunately, beautiful landscaping doesn’t usually come cheap. However, with a little planning, you can get a gorgeous outdoor setting with only a small upfront cost.

Beautiful & Inexpensive Landscaping Ideas

1. Choose Easy-Maintenance Ground Cover

A lush front lawn is as American as apple pie, but it’s not the most financially savvy choice you can make – particularly if you live in an arid climate or struggle to keep your grass green and weed-free. Many homeowners deal with patchy and weeded lawns simply by re-sodding the yard, but this can cost several thousand dollars. In fact, The National Gardening Association notes that fresh grass sod can cost 15 to 35 cents per square foot, and more than double that amount if professionally installed. Grass also requires a hefty amount of water, and may need fertilizer and weed treatments as well, all of which impact your bottom line.

On the other hand, an easy-maintenance ground cover is a great and cost-effective alternative to grass. Thyme, bishop’s weed, and lamium spread quickly over room-sized sections of a front and back lawn, and remain hearty through temperature and drought swings. Simply plant around 10 creeping ground cover plants (more if you want faster coverage or you’re dealing with an area larger than a bedroom) for between $5 and $10 each. They should quickly germinate and take over portions of your yard with beautiful leaves and flowers.

Not only can you save money on ground cover over sod, the maintenance is easier and less costly over time. Stick to portions of the yard that are hard to maintain, such as heavily shaded areas, side yards, and transitional spaces, to make sure your yard doesn’t look overrun by a forest of plants. Keep grass in sunny areas, if you’d like. And if you live in an extremely arid region, consider xeriscaping your yard.

2. Mix Soil With Homemade Compost

If you’re putting in a few flowers or plants, it’s tempting to load your shopping cart with bags of expensive potting soil. Certainly this is important to give your plants the nutrients they need, but you don’t have to do it with soil alone. You can cut your soil costs in half by making the most of your family’s leftover organic scraps. Mix a bag of potting soil with equal parts backyard compost for a nutrient-dense mixture that your plants should love.

Unfortunately, many people don’t have the time or energy to create and maintain a compost pile. As an alternative, you can still mix in discards such as coffee grounds and the clay- or mud-like dirt in your backyard to get more bang for your buck. It’s also possible to add mulch, which is nutritious for plants and slightly less expensive than potting soil.

3. Start With Young Plants and Shrubs

Consumers are often drawn to mature plants and flowers at the nursery because they’re visually appealing. However, the only difference between a mature plant and a young plant of the same species is the price (tiny seedlings are an exception to this rule, as they can be easily scorched or killed). For instance, you can expect to pay $70 for a 10.25-gallon crape myrtle, but only $20 for a 3.25-gallon crape myrtle. Choose the smaller item for a big cost savings – you may be surprised by how quickly they grow once you’ve planted them.

At my old property, I planted numerous 2.25-gallon Indian hawthorns and Texas sage bushes. Within a year, the Indian hawthorns were the size of five-gallon plants, and the Texas sages had matured to a 13.35-gallon size. It just took a little patience.

4. Create Clusters of Planters

Add visual interest to your garden by grouping together clusters of planters for added height and depth. Basic terracotta planters are classically beautiful and cost between $5 and $20, depending on their size. Group three planters of various sizes in a corner of your garden, and put an arrangement of flowers and creeping plants to give the illusion of a foliage waterfall as the blooms spill over the edge and into the main garden.

These arrangements look best when you combine plants with three different profiles – vertical (such as upright fuchsia or fountain grass), horizontal (like impatiens or heliotrope), and cascading (like the asparagus fern or wave petunias). This striking landscape display only costs about $50 for the planters and $30 to $50 for the plants, depending on the types you purchase.

5. Wait Until Season’s End

Just like clothing retailers, nurseries try to push last season’s plants, shrubs, and trees out the door through clearance sales to make room for new merchandise. These price cuts can result in huge savings for consumers who are willing to bide their time. Look for deeply discounted plants at the end of spring and summer. Even if the leaves and flowers look scorched and unkempt, a healthy, green stem means that they are perfectly salvageable as long as you plant them quickly and water them sufficiently.

Markdowns usually start slowly at the end of the season, boasting price cuts of 10% to 20%. However, if you wait until you’re deep into the next season, you can find incredible markdowns on plants from anywhere between 50% to 90%. Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate, since managers are typically eager to clear their shelves. It never hurts to ask.

6. Make Homemade Stepping Stones

Stepping stones are a nice addition to any landscape design because they connect components of your lawn with an easy-to-walk pathway. Unfortunately, however, store-bought stepping stones can cost anywhere between $20 and $50 each, which can set you back several hundred dollars for even a short garden path.

Instead of purchasing stepping stones, create beautifully homemade pathways. You need a 40-pound bag of quick-setting cement (less than $8), a shovel or hand-shovel for mixing ($5 to $15), a paint bucket ($3), a ruler ($1), a bag of decorative marbles or shells ($5), and several shallow cardboard boxes. Mix the cement with three pints of water in your paint bucket – you can adjust the amount of cement and water, but the general rule is six pints per every 80-pound bag (check the directions on your bag). Once mixed, pour the cement into a square-shaped cardboard box to create a form. Then, simply place marbles or colored glass in the cement and let it dry for adorable stepping stones with a homemade touch.

You can check on the dryness of the cement after 24 hours. If it’s sufficiently set, simply cut or peel away the cardboard.

7. Choose Perennials

Annual flowers are beautiful, but you’re likely to find yourself shelling out a lot of hard-earned cash if you select varieties that die every year. Instead, buy lovely perennials such as alstroemeria, catmint, and coreopsis that return each year with colorful leaves and flowers.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $6 to $30 for an individual perennial, whereas entire flats of annual flowers with many separate blooms are often available for less than $15. Even though the initial cost of perennials is slightly higher, they remain in your garden as a permanent fixture, not as a quickly fading annual flower or plant.

8. Divide and Conquer

Perennials are an excellent way to “divide and conquer” your landscape. Any time you plant a perennial, you can count on it to grow in size for several years. Instead of buying new flowers each year, simply uproot and move new blooms that germinated from last year’s perennials. You can turn a $10 perennial into $40 worth of savings if you divide its blooms and replant them in four different portions of your garden each year.

9. Use Your Community’s Mulch

Many communities offer free mulch to residents – you just need to know where to look for it. Cities that pick up tree cuttings in the spring and fall often process the waste by putting the cuttings into a wood chipper and turning it into mulch. This mulch is available to residents who make the trek to the city’s park or public garden for pickup.

Mulch is a great addition to a landscape because it adds a finishing touch to gardens and flowerbeds while also locking in moisture and nutrients for the plants. Call your city’s parks department to determine if you have a mulch program in your area. It can give you information on pickup locations and whether there are any caveats, such as residency or limits on the amount of mulch you can take.

If your city offers free mulch, you may need a truck to haul it home. It’s not typically bagged, so be sure to bring a shovel with you to move the mulch into the bed of the pickup. Residents who use free mulch can save tens if not hundreds of dollars, since a bag that covers 20 square feet can cost about $10.

10. Support a Good Cause

Plant trees for a good cause, and you can quickly transform your yard into a shaded paradise. By joining the Arbor Day Foundation for just $10 – or more, if you’re able – you will automatically qualify for 10 free trees. You can pick any trees you want for your yard, including oaks, flowering trees, and other beautiful varieties that are hand-selected for your region.

These are shipped as very small trees, which means it takes several years for your yard to truly benefit from their shade. However, keep in mind that once these trees mature, they can take over a substantial part of your yard – so be sure they are allowed by your homeowners association before planting.

Final Word

Don’t forget that your landscape is more than just a way to increase the curb appeal of your home. Indeed, a welcoming landscape is the perfect way to turn it into an inviting outdoor space for family and friends. Incorporate small elements of your personal aesthetic into your design to increase comfort and warmth. It’s perfectly okay to splurge on a couple of items that you absolutely love, especially if the building blocks of your landscape design are both frugal and beautiful.

What’s your favorite landscaping trend?

Are you ready to give your outdoor living space an upgrade? A backyard makeover doesn’t have to be costly to be luxurious. Sometimes, the right night-time lighting, patio furniture, and DIY magic are all you need to create your dream yard. Check out our list of backyard design ideas to help you transform your green space into a beautiful oasis on a budget!

Build a DIY Deck or Patio

Photo via @seekingalexi

If you’re not sure where to begin with your backyard remodel, why not start with a deck or patio? This feature will instantly give your yard major appeal, and it adds resale value to your home. Lay down a concrete patio with this easy DIY project or build a wooden deck that you can adorn with cute chairs.

Lay Down an Outdoor Rug

Photo via @alexandmike

Need something to jazz up your patio space without big renovations? Consider a large outdoor rug! Not only is this a good way to include a pop of color in your backyard, but it’s also an inexpensive way to change up a space without having to go through the process of painting or staining a deck.

Create a Stone Path

Photo via @plaids.and.poppies

A garden isn’t necessary for this DIY backyard transformation idea! Put down materials like mulch, bricks, or stones to create a clear path from your house to the pool or playhouse in your backyard. You can also include a little flair to your pathway by adding yard decorations like glow-in-the-dark rocks or garden stakes.

Construct a Tree Bench

Photo via @cottagesandbungalows

Utilize that big tree in your backyard makeover by building a tree bench! Some protective eye gear, wood pallets, and a saw are just a few of the items you’ll need for this crafty outdoor bench idea. When you’re finished, paint it your favorite color and add some decorative pillows for a shaded reading spot!

Set Up a Trellis

Photo via @sugarcanedreams

A trellis is an excellent idea for adding a little charm to your yard. Create your own trellis out of metal poles or wooden boards, and plant climbing roses on either side to grow a garden to new heights.

Create Shade with a Pergola

Photo via @wainwrighthousetohome

A pergola is a fantastic idea for your dream backyard. Clear out an area on a deck or in your yard and build your own pergola with this guide from DIY Network. Planning to spend a lot of time outside with your backyard remodel? Add curtains for extra shade to create the ultimate outdoor living room!

Invest in a Fountain

Photo via @alexzorz

Need some ideas for a small yard? Invest in a fountain! These backyard items are great for adding a water feature to your outdoor space without costing too much or taking up lots of room. Tuck the fountain away in a small garden or place it on an end table to show off your decor.

Use a Stock Tank Pool

Photo via @86andeverettedesignco

This outdoor feature is not only an inexpensive way to cool down during the hot summer months, but it also adds some backyard fun that the kids will love! Place it on a concrete patio or custom-built stone platform to protect your grass from water damage.

String Up Some Mood Lighting

Photo via @cl_urbearq

If you’re looking to have one of the most beautiful backyards on the block, invest in outdoor lighting. Drape string lights down from a pergola or across your outdoor living space to give it a starry-night feel. You can also line any patio or garden path with torches and lanterns for soft lighting.

Get Crafty with Your Fence

Photo via @suchgaul

Cool backyard ideas don’t have to be expensive to have that “wow” factor. All you need is a drill, several different sizes of multi-colored marbles, and a rubber mallet for this cute DIY project. Your backyard will be illuminated with color when the sun hits just right!

Paint a Fence Mural

Photo via

Designing a unique mural on your fence is another great way to make over your backyard on a budget. Just be sure to determine what paints you’ll use and the scale of the mural first in order to properly prepare the fence for your masterpiece.

Grow Your Garden Vertically

Photo via @jess_ruston

Whether you’re looking to expand your garden without taking up horizontal space or searching for small backyard ideas, wall planters are terrific for changing your outdoor area on a budget. The experienced carpenter will love this custom DIY vertical planter. But if you’re looking for something simpler, drill plastic planter boxes or pots into a wooden pallet to place against your house.

Try Xeriscaping

Photo via @desertcoastdesigns

Reduce water usage when you xeriscape your green space. This budget-friendly backyard landscaping idea is easy to do, requires minimum maintenance, and saves you on water all while giving your yard major appeal and adding value to your property!

Make a Space for Outdoor Dining

Photo via @urbangardenstudio

If you love entertaining guests, having family barbecues, or working outside, then a table is a must for your green space! Buy a patio set that comes complete with table and chairs, or build your own outdoor table out of a few wine barrels and wooden boards for DIY yard decor.

Include Comfy Seating

Photo via @nataschajanina

Outdoor seating is one of the most important features to include in your backyard transformation. Large outdoor pillows, benches, and rocking chairs are all fantastic pieces to create a cozy space for you and your guests to relax. For a great cheap outdoor seating idea, make your own day bed with a wooden pallet.

Heat Up with a Fire Pit

Photo via @katrinacanerealtor

The best backyard designs are the ones that include a fire pit! Show off your DIY skills by building your own fire pit out of wall stones with this simple tutorial, or find a metal one that’s also budget-friendly. Make sure that you include ample seating around your fire pit for roasting marshmallows!

Don’t Forget a Hammock

Photo via @thefarrisgroup

A hammock is a fun backyard idea that both kids and adults will appreciate. Suspend a hammock between two trees and fasten the ropes with either industrial hooks or tree straps. Affordable hammocks with stands are also an option if a sturdy tree isn’t available.

Create a Relaxing Meditation Space

Photo via @trangjanick

Give your outdoor living space a facelift with a calming meditation space. Find a secluded spot in your yard and set up large pillows and blankets for lounging and a table for incense. If your relaxation station is near a tree, hang decorative ornaments or a swinging chair for some extra flair.

Set Up a Backyard Theater

Photo by @rissipiecie

Grab the popcorn and appreciate the outdoors with this backyard makeover idea. Add a few blankets, large pillows, and string lights for a comfortable theater ambiance, and hook up a projector and screen to watch all of your favorite flicks right in your yard! This DIY screen is a cheap and easy way to create the ultimate backyard viewing experience.

Flip Burgers in an Outdoor Kitchen

Photo via @mrs_rackley.home

Let your backyard be the supreme spot for entertaining guests with a kitchen! There are plenty of ways to build an outdoor kitchen that fit within your budget. Add a charcoal grill and table on a patio for a simple look. Or install a kitchen kit under a pergola, which includes an island, grill, storage, and refrigerator.

Invest in a Portable Bar

Photo via @thekatrinablair

Say goodbye to making multiple trips inside with a bar cart! Load your cart up with glasses, small appetizer plates, a pitcher for lemonade or water, and an array of snacks to have a convenient fueling station right in your backyard. And if it starts to rain, you can easily transport it inside to keep the party going!

Add Some Kid-Friendly Fun

Photo via @marc_d_porkchop

Jungle gyms, swing sets, and treehouses are basically a backyard decor necessity when you have little ones. Create a tire swing with some rope, a sturdy tire, and pillow for added comfort. Or build a treehouse to give your children a playspace they can call their own.

Set Up Some Lawn Games

Photo via @laurynprattes

Complete your yard makeover by setting up lawn games. Croquet, bocce ball, ladder golf, and bucket ball are all awesome ideas for including recreation in your backyard green space. This DIY backyard project is a cinch and will provide immediate outdoor fun for you and your family!

Plant Bright Flowers

Photo via @manda_narie

When it comes to simple backyard ideas on a budget, you can never go wrong with flowers. This is ideal for adding a natural pop of color to your landscape. Plant hydrangea bushes or tulip bulbs along the fence if you have a major green thumb. Or go to your local plant nursery and buy a few pots to fill with your favorite blossoms.

Whether you want to upgrade your yard with fun water features or create the perfect area to chill out, there are tons of cheap backyard ideas to make your outdoor living space a hangout spot everyone will love!

10 Ideas for Backyard Landscaping on a Budget

Thinking about upgrading your backyard this spring but fearful of what it might cost?

Fear not.

From hardscaping to softscaping, there’s plenty of cheap landscaping ideas for your backyard.

Check out these ten budget-friendly ideas to beautify your backyard landscape without having to take out a second mortgage.

10 Cheap Landscaping Ideas for the Backyard

1. Use Mulch Alternatives

Mulching is a time and money saver as it reduces the amount of water and weeding your garden needs, but mulch itself can be expensive. That’s why one of the best budget backyard ideas is to use an affordable mulch alternative.

Low-Cost Mulch Alternatives:

  • Grass Clippings: The next time you mow, rake up the clippings – and the savings – and spread them onto your flower beds.
  • Leaves: Shredded leaves make a great, cheap mulch alternative and provide nutrients to your plants.
  • Pine Needles: Pine needles are a relatively low-maintenance mulch alternative that is lightweight and easy to spread.
  • Compost: If you’ve already made your own compost bin, put it to good use in your landscaping. Just be careful not to layer it too thickly, as too much can heat up your plants and damage them.
  • Newspaper: After you’re finished with the Sunday funny papers, let your plants take a peek – layer about five pages on the ground, water lightly and then cover with topsoil before planting.
  • Stone: Stone mulch isn’t right for all plants, but if used properly, it can cut down your weeding and maintenance costs in the long run. According to Steve Boehme of GoodSeed Farm Landscapes, it’s important to choose the right spot for your stone mulch:

“Stone mulch works especially well in clean environments like around in-ground pool decks, traffic islands and narrow beds between buildings and pavement. This is because grass clippings and other organic matter won’t be as likely to soil the stone mulch in such places. Also, stone mulch is less likely than wood mulch to wash onto pavements or blow into swimming pools.”

Steve Boehme | GoodSeed Farm Landscapes

If your heart is set on traditional mulch, it’s best to go with pine mulch, says Gene Caballero of GreenPal. “It’s way cheaper than hardwood mulch and is easier to transport and spread.”

2. Repurpose Old Tires

Tires are bulky and can be difficult to get rid of, as many waste haulers won’t accept them. Why not put them to good use in your backyard?

According to Michelle Bull of Lakin Tire, recycled tires are inexpensive and easy to find. “They can be picked up at a local recycling plant for a few dollars, but most people are willing to give away any old tires that they have on hand,” she says. Here are a few cheap landscaping ideas for your backyard using tires:

How to Landscape With Recycled Tires

  • Cover with outdoor pillow casings or rope for durable, rustic patio ottomans.
  • Stack and stagger tires to create decorative planters.
  • Create a hanging planter by filling one half with soil and attaching to a wall or fence.
  • Make a man-made garden pond using a tire as the base.
  • Give your kids a fun place to play with a recycled tire climber.

3. Go Vertical With Your Gardening

Love to garden but don’t have a ton of space – or money – to do so? Consider a vertical garden.

Vertical gardening, simply put, is using vertical space to grow plants. If you’re looking for small backyard landscaping ideas on a budget, vertical gardens are a good place to start. Not only do they make the most of limited space, but they can be inexpensive too, especially if you’re using recycled materials like old plastic bottles to make it.

DIY Vertical Garden Ideas

  • Use a wooden ladder, terracotta pots and some wire for a rustic front porch vertical garden.
  • Wash out old paint cans, fill with soil and hang them up to create a vertical herb garden.
  • Repurpose a picture frame to create a vertical succulent garden.
  • Waterproof an unused shoe organizer for a vertical garden that’s easy to move.
  • Turn your wooden fence into a vertical garden using a few pot hangers and wood screws.

4. Add a Splash of Color

Sometimes all it takes to make a backyard pop is to add some color.

This can be as simple as painting planters to give your garden a more contemporary look, or giving wood, metal or plastic chairs a fresh coat of paint. To save even more on this budget backyard landscaping project, reuse leftover paint from previous projects instead of buying new paints.

You can also add a quick splash of color in the form of flowers or foliage, positioning them on a deck, patio, at an entryway or tucked into a planting bed.

Pro Tip:
Another easy, affordable way to add natural tones to your backyard
is to give your deck a new coat of stain.
Learn how to maintain your deck to keep it beautiful year-round.

5. Plant Useful Plants

Cut grocery costs in the summer time by growing your own vegetables and herbs right in your own backyard. From DIY herb gardens to plants that repel bugs, you can easily turn your backyard into a space that’s beautiful and functional with a few terracotta planters and the right placement.

6. Opt for Natural Perennial Ground Covers

Tired of weeding the lawn? Skip the weed killers and opt for dense spreading perennial ground covers instead.

According to Jonas Sickler of, weed killers can be both costly and hazardous to your health. “Harsh chemicals in Roundup can sicken pets and has been linked to cancer,” Sickler says. “Weed killers aren’t just bad for your health – they also pack a punch to your bank account at over $20 .”

Check out these low-cost perennial ground covers for your next budget backyard landscaping project:

Cheap Natural Perennial Ground Cover Options

  • Creeping Periwinkle – $1.07 per plant
  • Walk-on-Me Thyme – $3.99 per plant
  • Moss Phlox – $4.59 per plant
  • Violets and Pansies – Seeds range from $0.95 to $2.95
  • Early Snow Glories – $2.40 per plant

Pro Tip:
If your backyard is full of big, beautiful trees, you may want to choose shade plants that can handle living in their shadow, as not all plants can tolerate full or partial shade.

7. Build an Outdoor Fire Pit

There’s no better way to bring the family together than with smores over a fire pit. But you don’t need to spring for a contractor to put one in – with one trip to the home improvement store, you can have your own backyard campfire station in just a few minutes. If you need to get rid of rocks from another project, building a fire pit with them is a great way to do it.

Here are a few affordable ideas to make your own DIY fire pit on a budget:

Fire Pit Ideas on a Budget

  • Concrete retaining wall blocks – about $1.25 per block, total cost of $50
  • Cinder block caps – about $1.50 per block, total cost of $40
  • Concrete fire bowl – about $3 for one bag of concrete, $56 total
  • Dirt floor fire ring – free, if using natural stones from your own woods

8. Plant a Tree

Planting trees is one of the easiest – and least expensive – backyard budget landscaping projects of all. All you need are a few digging tools, some mulch and the tree. Plus, having well-planned trees in your yard can end up saving you money in the long run, according to Steve Boehme of GoodSeed Farm Landscapes:

“Planting shade trees is a common-sense solution that will save you money and make you more comfortable. Trees are simply a wise investment in future comfort and energy savings. Just take a minute and sit under one on a ninety-degree day and you’ll understand this perfectly.”

Steve Boehme | GoodSeed Farm Landscapes

9. Use Affordable Lighting

Cheap outdoor string lights are a staple of budget backyard landscaping. Their soft, ambient glow can turn any patio into a chill summer hangout. White twinkle lights cost about $6 per strand, or for a more modern look, you can pick up a strand of clear globe lights for around $9. Though slightly more expensive, globe light strands are usually more durable than twinkle lights, and the bulbs are easily replaced. Once you’ve picked up affordable bulbs, try out these budget-friendly landscape lighting ideas:

Cheap Backyard Lighting Ideas

  • Wrap strands around outdoor pillars to create columns of light.
  • Run lights from house to tree using an eye bolt and an insulated cable to tie on a branch.
  • Create Texas lamp posts using wood posts, whiskey barrel planters and a little concrete.
  • Edge your flowerbeds with rope lights so you can see your hard-earned blooms even at night.
  • Drape your trees in lights for a charming, glowing backyard grove.

10. Buy (or Build) Low-Cost Seating

Once you’ve finished your backyard budget landscaping projects, you’ll want a place to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. But no need to run to the furniture store – you can easily search for used pieces online or make your own cheap outdoor seating right at home.

Cheap Outdoor Seating Ideas

  • Search Craigslist or Letgo for used patio seating. Check the “Free Stuff” sections often and be prepared to move quickly – good items will go fast.
  • Don’t limit your searches to outdoor furniture; with a little waterproof sealant, you can turn regular indoor chairs or barstools into patio-worthy seating.
  • Not finding anything you like? Make your own cinder block and lumber bench.
  • Turn a tree stump into the perfect reading spot by attaching a waterproof cushion on top.
  • Use a leftover tire to create a durable seat with storage for kids.
  • Fix weatherproof cushions to milk crates for portable seating that can be easily stored.
  • When all else fails, drag a few old logs around your new fire pit for easy campfire seating.

Reuse and Recycle to Reduce Costs

The best backyard budget landscaping tip of all is to reuse and recycle items whenever possible. Visit your local thrift stores and check the classifieds online to find local garage sales. By purchasing used planters, furniture and even gardening tools to spruce up your lawn, you can save hundreds of dollars, and keep some really nice items out of the trash. Ultimately, to keep your backyard landscaping costs low, all you need is time and a little creativity.

Budget Dumpster’s Home Project Guides offer resources from budgeting for a kitchen remodel, decluttering your home or even framing a wall. Have a few of your own backyard ideas on a budget? Share them in the comments below!

Your backyard plays an essential role in your enjoyment of your home. Offering a place to gather with friends and family, to play, to entertain and just to hang out and relax, having a backyard you can really enjoy is an important part of the way you live. Unfortunately, if your yard is swampy or muddy, your enjoyment can be significantly affected, and you may find yourself foregoing many of those backyard pleasures. The good news is, in most cases, there are plenty of solutions. Here’s what you need to do to help your backyard achieve its full potential:

  • The first step is to determine the cause of the water buildup. Is the groundwater level high? Is your roof draining into the yard? Is the ground hollowed out or located at the bottom of a slope? Is the soil very compacted? All of these issues – and more – can contribute to a swampy back yard.
  • For compacted or clay soils, deeply tilling the soil and adding amendments like compost can help aerate the soil so it drains better. If you have grass growing in your yard, till it in with the rest of the amendments to help provide essential nutrients and green material that can aid in breaking up hard, compacted soil.
  • Try adding some trees and shrubs. You’d be surprised how much water can be absorbed by a few thirsty trees and bushes. You may not notice a big change for a season or two while the new plantings gain their footing, but over time, many people report significant improvement in drainage issues. Ground-covering plants like ivy or pachysandra, once established, can also soak up a lot of extra water.
  • Make sure the yard slopes away from your home. This helps any roof runoff or runoff from downspouts drain properly. To get a good slope, till the area near your home to loosen the soil, then refill creating a very gentle slope that will help gravity do its job. Also consider repositioning your downspouts or using diverters to keep water from running into the backyard in the first place.
  • Install drains. Drains provide a permanent solution to your swampy backyard and they don’t require you to alter your gutters or rethink your landscaping. While you can install some simple drain systems on your own, it can be a big job, and if it isn’t done properly, it’s like throwing money down the drain – literally. A better option is to hire a company like Wet Lawn to design a drainage system specifically for your property and your problem. We use both dry wells and underground piping systems so we can make sure the solution we develop is right for you.

Your backyard is a valuable piece of property; don’t let it go to waste. Draining your yard and preventing future water buildup issues is an investment that will pay you back over and over again for years to come.