• An Arizona landscaper shows how to banish clutter from your life (or at least your backyard).

    The courtyard becomes an outdoor roomThe courtyard becomes an outdoor room
    Reclaim the entry
    Every garden needs at least one area where you can shut out the world. This entry in a 1960s-modern home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, is that spot for landscape designer Brian Kissinger and his partner Todd McCandless.

    Why it works: With its front gates closed (frosted-glass panes let in light), the courtyard becomes a private outdoor room. A canopy of date palms shades a small collection of subtropical plants and helps cool the space in summer.

    Adapt the idea: Don't have a whole courtyard to play with? Block off a corner near your entry with a trellis, train a vine to clamber over it, then tuck a bench behind.

    More like a nature trail than a garden walkMore like a nature trail than a garden walk
    Make a park out of a path

    Kissinger made his entry path feel more like a nature trail than a garden walk. Thyme grows between steps; boulders, cactus, and rosemary fringe the path's edges.
    Indispensable herbs

    Why it works: Even before his guests get to

    Read More »from How to Create a Clutter-free Garden
  • Our friends at Pinterest shared the season's most in-demand outdoor garden trends and the boards you should start following now.

    1. Vertical Gardens

    Take your plant and herb gardens to the next level with these creative ideas for both indoors and out.

    Plus: 12 Awesome Asparagus Recipes »

    2. Italian-Theme Gardens
    Planting an Italian-themed garden filled with tomatoes, zucchini, basil, and oregano means you have all the ingredients for a veggie lasagna at the ready!

    3. Urban Gardens
    For those trying to infuse some country garden feel into city spaces, this board is full of inspiring ideas for small spaces.

    4. Indoor Gardens
    Why not bring the beauty of nature inside?

    5. Edible Gardens
    Growing your own produce if an investment in your overall well-being, health, and happiness.

    Plus: 27 New Ways to Landscape Your Yard »

    6. Recycled Gardens
    What's better than using recycled materials and plants from friends to build your next garden?


    Read More »from 10 Top Gardening Trends for 2014
  • We've all gone wild for those dramatic "living walls" of succulents. Here, grower Robin Stockwell shows you how you can make your own.

    Frame a whole gardenFrame a whole garden
    Plant a living picture

    Instead of framing a picture, why not a whole garden? Here, cuttings of assorted succulents knit together to create colorful, textural living tapestries.

    Read on for more photos and directions for this DIY vertical garden.
    Give your succulent garden an undersea twist

    Build yourself or purchase Build yourself or purchase
    Buy a preassembled frame

    Build the vertical garden frame assembly yourself or purchase one.

    We got ours from Robin Stockwell's Succulent Gardens in Castroville, California (from $35 for a 6- by 12-inch frame; 831/632-0482).

    Break pups from succulents you already have Break pups from succulents you already have
    Gather cuttings

    Break the small "pups" from succulents you already have growing in your garden (the stems should be at least 1/4 inch long).

    Set the cuttings aside in a cool area for a few days to allow their stem ends to dry and callus over. (You'll want about 60 for a 6- by 12-inch frame.)

    The mesh holds the soil in placeThe mesh holds the soil in place
    Add soil

    Set the frame mesh side up

    Read More »from How to Make Your Own Living Succulent Art
  • If you're making the effort to recycle (and you should be!), make sure you're doing it right.If you're making the effort to recycle (and you should be!), make sure you're doing it right.

    You're probably on autopilot when it comes to tossing your bottles and plastic, but it's worth taking stock of how you recycle. Are you making these common missteps?

    Related: 11 Chemicals You Might Have Already Eaten Today

    1. Assuming an item isn't recyclable
    You might be surprised to learn that you can keep old CDs, furniture, mattresses, wine corks, aluminum foil, and lots more out of landfills these days. Often, you'll have to take these items to a recycling center, but some may be left curbside. Check Earth911.com/recycling (or download their handy smartphone app) to find out more about your local policies.

    Related: Start Your Garden With Some Help From Your Garbage

    2. Throwing away plastic bottle caps
    Tossing caps before recycling the bottles is no longer a household rule. In 2012, thanks to new technology and increased demand for recycled plastics, the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers announced that recycling facilities throughout the US would

    Read More »from 5 Biggest Mistakes You Make Recycling
  • What's not to love about lavender? It's low maintenance and drought-tolerant, once established. It attracts bees and butterflies but is deer- and rabbit-resistant. It can be used in cosmetics, medicine, and cuisine. And the beloved fragrance, prized for millennia, is refreshing, clean, and very soothing. David Salman of High Country Gardens grows this Mediterranean herb at his nursery in Santa Fe. Here, he offers TK tips for using this easy-to-grow herb.

    1. Lavender, such as cultivars of tender L. stoechas, does well in pots. Choose a well-draining potting soil recommended for containers, such as the Perfect Start container mix from Gardens Alive ($15; gardensalive.com). Fertilize organically every other week.

    2. Enjoy the fragrance of lavender year-round by drying this beloved herb. To preserve, hang small bunches upside down in a dark, dry room until the moisture has evaporated.

    3. Lavender needs well-drained soil to flourish. If your soil is heavy, amend it by adding

    Read More »from How to Grow and Use Lavender This Spring
  • Thawing temperatures are starting to lure us outdoors to get back into the garden. Next up in the process of preparing your home for spring: planting perennials

    If you're wondering what to plant, we recommend Gaillardia 'Fanfare.' Its glorious sunsetlike colors and unique trumpet-shaped petals distinguish this hardy perennial, which thrives in most U.S. climates and blooms from late spring into fall. ($9.95 each; parkseed.com.) It will bloom continuously, May through fall, or frost. To prune, cut the stems all the way back to the foliage.

    With a bit of extra effort-namely, judicious pruning-these choices will offer a repeat performance.

    Tell us: What perennials will you be planting this season?

    See more from CountryLiving.com:

    Our Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Decorating »
    40 Amazing Before-and-After Home Makeovers »
    30 Ways to Freshen Every Room for Spring »

    18 Laundry Rooms That Are Pretty and Useful »

    Become a fan of Country Living on Facebook and follow our pins

    Read More »from The Secret Way to Plant Perennials This Spring
  • How to create a lush backyard without putting a single plant in the ground.

    You should have seen Plan AYou should have seen Plan A
    Plan B

    It started as Plan B: Annette Gutierrez and her husband wanted to create a great room in their Hollywood home but didn't have the budget for a remodel. "So we thought, Let's just do it outside!" says Gutierrez. To transform the 3,000-square-foot yard, she created a series of outdoor rooms landscaped almost entirely with potted plants.

    Gutierrez may be professionally biased toward containers: She's the co-owner, with Mary Gray, of Potted, a garden-design shop in L.A.'s Atwater Village. But a potted garden also suits her space. Her three dogs can't dig into containers as they would with beds. She also likes the color and sculptural look the vessels add: "The plants are accentuated by the pot they're in rather than just being massed together in the ground."

    Another upside to the garden is that it continuously feeds Gutierrez's love of design.

    "I get to redecorate over and over," she says. "I

    Read More »from Gorgeous All-container Garden
  • By Carly Totten, Lover.ly

    Sometimes less is definitely more, and that's definitely the case for single stem wedding bouquets. They're simple, yet completely stunning because the flower featured is often in full bloom (think: peonies, magnolias, and roses). Plus, single stem bouquets present a great way to carry your favorite flower down the aisle while staying completely within your budget. The gallery is filled with our favorites!

    More from Lover.ly:

    The wedding color we love most

    Look no further for inspiration than our real wedding galleries!

    Find more wedding bouquet inspiration

    Lover.ly -- search, save, shop, and share all things wedding.

    Like us on Facebook

    Follow us on Twitter

    Read More »from Single Bloom Wedding Bouquets We Love (PHOTOS)
  • Learn from two pros who packed all the best water-wise, low-impact, eco-smart ideas into one home--their own.

    Sustainable from plantings to rooftopsSustainable from plantings to rooftops
    Living in sync
    "Don't buy it!" was architect Ken Radtkey's reaction when his then-girlfriend, Susan Van Atta, was considering the 1-acre parcel in Montecito, California. "The place was a mess," admits Van Atta, "But as a landscape architect, I could visualize what it could become." After living there for a few years, the couple married and turned the property into their dream home--one that's sustainable from the plantings to the rooftops.

    The decision to maximize energy efficiency came easily. "The home was a laboratory for all the things we hadn't gotten the opportunity to do with clients," says Van Atta. Setting a portion of the 2,500-square-foot house in a slope provides natural insulation and blends the structure with the surrounding hills. Solar panels supply all the electricity; fire-resistant green roofs are part insulation, part water collectors.


    Read More »from 10 Ways to Be Sustainable Inside and Out
  • Spring is finally starting to make an appearance. The cold climates and bare branches are starting to trade places with warmer weather, green trees, and bright sunshine. This season is my absolute favorite. It's a time to get the family out to enjoy the sunshine and fresh blooms. I'm apparently not the only one who gets a rush from this season; these spring festivals are all about saying "Goodbye winter, and hello spring!" Check out 7 festivals that welcome spring across the U.S. - By Jacinda Boneau

    10 gorgeous colors that everyone will be wearing this spring
    6 effective workouts for the warm weather
    10 trendy and affordable shoes for springRead More »from 7 Festivals to Welcome Spring Across the U.S


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