Embarking on a landscape project is exciting and a bit daunting. With a little research and help, you can transform your backyard into a dreamed-about outdoor extension of your home. Gardens can be casual green spaces for family-friendly playtime, sophisticated havens for relaxation, and as infused with intentional decor choices as your interiors are.
There's no shortage of design inspo to draw from around the world, and we have solid contenders for your mood board.
The Palm Springs look is trendy again, folks. Stunning groundcover succulents are ideally suited to the blazing summer sun. Accompany them with cacti and a retro mid-century collection of heat-resistant white and neutral accents and gravelly textures.
It's literally rock and roll, and it's very en vogue—a fire-pit is the on-theme cherry on top. Add shade in the form of a pergola or trees and a pop of color with begonia blooms.
Create a space Elrond of Rivendell would be proud of with a woodland garden worthy of sprites and fairies. This landscaping style is best for cool climates and is organized, yet freeform.
You'll have to play the long game with deciduous trees like oaks, but it's worth it. Softwoods are a solid option for the less patient, and they stay clothed during the cold seasons. Lilacs, sleeper-laden walkways, stone accessories, waterfalls, and wooden furniture complete the picture.
Bring your tropical vacay to your backyard with vibrantly green leafy plants like silver lady ferns, cycads, and palms. Bougainvillea and strelitzias are just two options to add the bright hues we love about this style.
Hammocks are a plus, as are terracotta stones, black lava rocks, and, obviously, a piña colada.
Ready to make your garden beachy keen? Be intentional about your plant selection — it needs to tolerate the heat, saltiness in the air (if you're really on the coast), the strong winds, and the poor, sandy soil.
Coastal gardens are all about layers with tough groundcovers and herbaceous shrubs close to the sea and larger, sheltering plants closer to the house.
English countryside gardens are popular in the Queen's Commonwealth and beyond. Think of every Jane Austen adaptation you've ever watched, and you'll hear birds tweeting and see a bridge over a body of water.
Get your hands on a chic bird bath, and request a cute pond. Throw in a dash of Bridgerton with wisteria and roses. Traditional cottage gardens are charmingly quaint and evoke the Cotswolds — topiaries are welcome here.
Take your landscaping quill and dip it into a wellspring of Japanese inspiration. Choose from outstanding features like a zen garden or a koi pond. Hero the panda's favorite tree and plant bamboos, and use pathways and ceramic rocks to make your onsen fantasy come to life.
The warmth of a Tuscan garden will envelop you instantly. This landscaping style uses earthy shades, stonework, and flowering vines to pay homage to the Italian countryside and the Mediterranean.
Plant California poppies, citrus, olive, and Italian cypress trees, and pot herbs like lavender and rosemary in clay planters.
Look to Marie Antoinette's famous haunt for some ideas. The gardens of Versailles serve as a symmetrical foreground to the palace, and you can create similarly balanced visuals to champion your own home. Plant structured lines, toss in a trellis or two, and include cast iron furniture pieces for a landscape that's très jolie. Now, all that's left to do is eat cake.
Cast your eyes towards Spain to fire up your imagination. If you live where it's hot and dry, this could be the perfect source material. Work in some Andalusian curbside appeal with nods to Spain's Islamic and Moorish influences.
A scattering of small fountains, as well as urns, lanterns, terraces, and flowers like hibiscus and jasmine, will transport you to the Iberian peninsula.
The American West has no shortage of landscaping artistry. Plant prairie grasses such as accommodating switchgrass, and sumac trees for their heart-stopping Fall palette. Opt for echinaceas and wildflowers like purple Iris versicolor and swamp rose mallows for a meadow-like feel.
Horizontal lines are part and parcel of this style. You'll also want to aim for expansive views.
Is your green place short on space? Consider vertical gardens to make the most of your real estate. They're modern, and the stuff Pinterest boards are made of, and they obscure unpleasant walls.
Fill hanging wall planters with herbs, coax vines onto a wooden lattice or bamboo frame, or decorate upwards with succulent wall gardens.
Make an enviable veggie patch with salad greens, garlic, and colorful organic produce, and plant fruit trees for additional abundance. This setup will elevate your cooking like nobody's business, and doesn't have to be scattered and unsightly.
Use hanging containers and welcoming pathways in your kitchen garden and explore circular beds if rectangular ones don't do it for you.
Design with the eco-system in mind. You can attract butterflies with a plant saucer, a log pile for shelter, a sunny spot with rocks or pavement, and the following plants: parsley, milkweed, and fennel.
Butterflies love warm colors like red, yellow, orange, and pink. White and purple flowers are great too. Plant shrubs, perennials, and annuals, and stick to native varieties.
Australian landscaping is hardy and drought-tolerant, with a monochromatic palette. The gardens have an untamed air about them and the overall look is sculptural and peppered with rustic touches and silvery-green color. Incorporate stacked stone walls, sandstone block steps, and boulders into your bushland garden.
Plant tussocks, birthday candles, kangaroo paw, flowering gums, and tree ferns around the space to really embrace the natural Aussie aesthetic.
It's time to get in an Edward Scissorhands kind of mood. Whether you prune and mold your hedges yourself or enlist the services of a professional, the result is often spectacular and helps a manicured garden reach new heights.
Green sculptures are best built out of holly, privet, and European box hedge plants.
As we all know, less is often more. A minimalist garden doesn't teem with impressive flowers or surprises around every corner. The approach is architectural instead — plant selections complement the home and enhance its thematic aspirations.
Foliage and texture play a significant role, creating symmetry, borders, and a decidedly modern outdoor escape.
Do you fancy lush lawns trimmed to lofty standards and hedges that look like they've been trimmed using a level? You, friend, are a fan of the ultra-manicured garden. Beloved by royals, this high-maintenance landscape style is functional too.
Tiered levels can create distinct areas, and huge expanses of grass are picnic-friendly. Throw in a sparkling, immaculately kept pool for good measure.
Drought-tolerant gardens are becoming more common in the U.S. and abroad, where extreme weather conditions have become the new normal. They're eco-friendly and can go in one of many directions, depending on your design inclinations.
You can choose water-wise plants to construct a traditionally pretty garden, or to do something more avant-garde and modern.
Not everyone has green fingers or the resources to maintain a garden. If you travel often, for example, you can set up a low-maintenance landscape. Putting one together takes some time, but once you're up and running, it's about as user-friendly as it gets. Use hardy, evergreen plants and put up a swing to keep it breezy.
How about designing an eminently welcoming landscape? Choose any landscaping style your soul desires, but fill the pathways with wheelchair-friendly materials. Include non-slip decking, ramps, and handrails, and think about using raised beds with seating.