26 Great Ideas for Your Garden That Will Completely Transform Your Landscape

turkey hill garden pool
Photo: Richard Felber

Tending to your garden takes time and patience, but few things beat hours spent sitting in the open air enjoying the fruits of your labor. Whether you're brand-new to gardening or have a certified green thumb, there's always a way to add a little something extra to your yard.

One of the most exciting aspects of creating a garden is choosing what to plant. Depending on the zone you live in, and the aesthetic you're looking for, picking the right plants can sometimes feel overwhelming. But with a little guidance and a few beautiful bloom suggestions, you'll be well on your way to infusing extra color and intrigue into your outdoor space—no matter where you live.

01 of 26

Plant Hydrangeas

white hydrangea
inanavci / Getty Images

One of the most recognizable flowers, hydrangeas offer intricate beauty in a range of hues—from bright white to soft purples and pinks. The summer-into-fall blooms enjoy deep watering, rich soil, and full sun or partial shade.

02 of 26

Incorporate Succulents

potted succulents on wooden pallet
Getty Images/Memory Yip/Eye Em

For a low-maintenance dash of green, add pots of succulents to your garden. These work great indoors or out, but ensure you've chosen the right varieties for your zone if you intend to plant them outdoors.

03 of 26

Add Moss

Paul Costello

Don't be afraid to add moss to your garden. Some of our favorite types for shady areas are Bryopsida or Musci. Be sure that these are grown in moist areas, where they'll thrive.

04 of 26

Create a Gravel Garden

gravel garden with petunias and pansies
amite / Getty Images

Gravel gardens typically feature native plants, which are grown in soil overlaid with washed, clear gravel. The style of gardening is designed to require no additional watering, soil amendments, mulching, or weeding.

05 of 26

Plant Geraniums

blooming geranium plants in windowbox
alexandrumagurean / Getty Images

If you listed the characteristics of the ideal plant—easy care, long bloom, color, fragrance, and shade tolerance—you'd find that geraniums have them all. The bright flowers make for an eye-catching addition to your window boxes, container gardens, and flower beds.

06 of 26

Plant Flowering Herbs


As pretty as they are useful, flowering herbs grow around stately artichoke plants and bring a touch of the Mediterranean to this garden.

07 of 26

Add Hedges

Richard Donovan/Almay Stock Photo

If you're in the market for privacy plants, there are many versatile choices, including hornbeam. On her farm in Bedford, Martha has English hornbeam (Carpinus betulus); the dense green foliage turns yellow-orange in fall.

08 of 26

Plant Peach Lemonade Roses

pink and yellow roses
Courtesy of White Flower Farm

These gorgeous blooms are the perfect addition to your garden. The roses begin yellow and become pink over time, giving your garden an ever-changing dose of color.

09 of 26

Add a Border


Give your landscape dimension by adding a natural rock border around your pants. The border around this vegetable garden provides a safe haven for durable kales and cabbages, which are planted among tomatoes, onions, and lettuces.

10 of 26

Try Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping garden
David Madison / GETTY IMAGES

Xeriscaping is a low water gardening system that requires little to no supplemental irrigation. You can grow everything from succulents to bulbs and Mediterranean plants in a xeriscaped landscape.

11 of 26

Make a Clover Lawn

clover lawn
Catherine McQueen / Getty Images

Exactly what it sounds like, a clover lawn involves converting some or all of your grass to clover. The trend embraces clover as something to be appreciated rather than treated as a nuisance. Beloved for being lower maintenance than turf, clover draws nitrogen from the air and pulls it to the ground, which eliminates the need for fertilizer.

12 of 26

Make a Pathway

Lily Pond backyard and pool entrance
Noe Dewitt

Use plants, like shrubs and perennial grasses, to create a natural border on your property. In the center, lay down gravel or pavers for a walkway so visitors can easily meander through the space.

13 of 26

Create Your Own Rose Garden

Pink rose bush
Courtesy of Easy Elegance Roses

If roses are your favorite flower, take a cue from Martha and her rose garden for some major inspiration. From colorful blooms to unparalleled landscaping, her rose garden explores various florae and is the ultimate jumping-off point for cultivating your own gorgeous blooms.

14 of 26

Use Container Plants as a Border

potted plants

The tone and shape of containers and walkways can showcase plants and enhance an area's aesthetic. On the color wheel, green adjoins yellow, which adjoins orange; mixing these yields a satisfying color scheme. Here, terra-cotta pots draw attention to a "hedge" of boxwood topiaries. A background scrim of golden yew picks up the color of the boxwoods' new growth. A brick terrace creates a warm foil for spilling leaves near a fountain.

15 of 26

Use Chalkboard Pots

chalkboard planters
Lisa Hubbard

Organize plants and seedlings and identify homegrown herbs by painting the collars of clay pots with stripes of chalkboard paint and write each pot's contents in chalk.

16 of 26

Incorporate Hanging Baskets

garden center shopping tips
Adrienne Bresnahan/Getty Images

Draw the eye upwards with an array of colorful plants in an overflowing hanging garden. These look great displayed on a porch or patio.

17 of 26

Make Your Own Aging Terra-Cotta Pots

terracotta pots

Clay pots gradually whiten with age, showing evidence of minerals leaching from water through the years. The charming, weathered look will make your plants look more and more beautiful the longer you have them.

18 of 26

Add a Bird Bath


Welcome wildlife into your yard by incorporating a beautiful water dish. Birds will love the extra hydration and you'll love the interest it and the creatures add to your landscape.

19 of 26

Incorporate Lilacs

close up of lilacs

When most people think of these blooms, they think of the fragrant, old-fashioned common lilac, which flowers for just a few weeks each spring. By selecting carefully, it is possible to have two months of the spring flower, plus some repeat flowering in early fall, and even autumnal foliage color.

20 of 26

Add a Sonorous Ceramic Water Feature


Greet guests with the tranquil sound of falling water in a pump-fitted urn with a motor that moves the water underground. Plus, it's a gorgeous decorative addition to your garden.

21 of 26

Use Raised Beds

raised steel bed vegetable garden
David Fenton

If your soil is hard or your terrain is uneven, consider growing plants in raised beds. Not only due these systems make it easier for you to control the environment your greenery grows it, but they also allow you to start planting earlier in the season because you don't have to wait for the ground to thaw.

22 of 26

Create Garden Shed Crate Cabinets


Create custom cabinetry in your garden shed with vintage wine crates from flea markets or online auctions. Easily recreate this DIY look by stacking the crates horizontally and vertically, using some as bases to vary heights. Once you've established a layout, connect crates with wood screws and collars near the corners. Then use cup hooks to hang smaller items, such as trowels, funnels, and scissors. As your need for storage grows, simply reconfigure the system and add more crates.

23 of 26

Add an Archway

Lisa Romerein

Lead guests naturally into your garden by implementing an archway. This one set off by neoregelia on the left and angel's trumpet on the right; in the background, marguerite grows between cycads.

24 of 26

Hang Painted Pots

painted pots

For cheerful containers, paint pots in colors that complement their contents. Hang on a patio wall or line a path with the pretty planters.

25 of 26

"Paint" a Tapestry Lawn

tapestry lawn
Johner Images / Getty Images

Also known as a meadow lawn, this stunning alternative to traditional turf will transport your property into a stunning natural landscape. It requires zero fertilizer, aeration, or water to flourish, so you can reap the benefits of its beauty without the hassle of maintenance.

26 of 26

Use a Trellis

lattice garden

Provide a home for climbing plants by adding a trellis they can grow on. in this garden, a fragrant, disease-resistant rose climbs the latticework that screens the east-facing porch ell.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles