All Contents in Lawn & Garden (A-Z)
Lawn & Garden Articles, Blog Posts and Slideshows
- 1 Dozen Ways to Make the Most of a Small Yard
Outdoor spaces can increase our enjoyment of our homes. When the weather is nice, it’s like having an extra room—or wing—of the house. Make the most of yours, no matter its size. Even a small backyard can be great for gardening, entertaining, and play. The trick is to use every inch of your property and find ways for spaces to do double duty. Choose furniture that is multifunctional and small in scale. Keep your gardening flexible by growing flowers, veggies, and trees in containers. And remember that no backyard is too small to play in. Portable pieces, such as fold-up tents, let you bring the fun wherever you want it, whenever you want it. Check out these tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your small backyard all year long.
- 10 "Best in Class" Patio Pavers
Today's patio paving stones offer the look of natural, traditional stone products, but with the added benefit of variable sizes, colors and ease of installation.
- 10 "Dream Worthy" Swimming Pools
These modern pools are more architectural masterpieces than swimming holes.
- 10 "Style Setting" Garden Sheds
Whether you are looking to house garden tools or create a workshop or studio, here are ten stylish sheds worthy of consideration.
- 10 Accidents Waiting to Happen—and How to Stay Safe
Your home is your sanctuary from the outside world. Still, just because your home is your personal retreat, doesn't make it completely free of danger. The truth is, home improvement, maintenance (or the lack of it) comes with a certain level of risk. Learn some of the most common issues that can arise during routine home projects, and discover how to protect yourself and your home.
- 10 American-Made Buys for Your Outdoor Living Area
Ready to celebrate America's independence with a front yard fireworks display? Before you stock up on firecrackers, miniature flags, and barbecue fixings, consider outfitting your outdoor space with something that's truly patriotic. For a start, click through our round-up these quality buys for the porch and patio—all made right here in the U.S.A. Not only are these products worth the hype in their own right, but they're part of an enduring legacy of American craftsmanship.
- 10 Backyard Wood Projects for Total Beginners
It’s amazingly gratifying to roll up your sleeves and build a piece of wooden furniture. Not only does doing it yourself save you money, it forges an emotional attachment to the piece—you’ll want to hold on to it for years to come. To allow even wary woodworkers-to-be to enjoy this connection to their creations, we've scouted out 10 simple projects that can ease any beginner into the rewards of woodcraft.
- 10 Common Garden Problems—and How to Fix Them
Summer is what gardeners dream of all winter—warm weather, flourishing flowers, and a bountiful harvest that's carried straight from the veggie patch to the dinner table. But along with the sun and fun of summer comes a host of problems that can frustrate even the most steadfast gardeners. Your plants suffer from too much water . . . or too little. Even if the rabbits leave your garden alone, the Japanese beetles will surely come after it. Don’t slug it out with the garden slugs all by yourself! We've got your back. Read on to learn how to combat some of the most common summer gardening problems.
- 10 Compost Bins for Backyard Gardeners
Composting is one thing... how you manage it is another. If you're searching for the best compost bin to help you turn scraps into gardener's gold, look no further.
- 10 Crazy New Ways to Bring the Garden Indoors
Winter has officially arrived, which means you'll be spending more time in the warmth of your home and less enjoying the wonders of the outdoors. If long days stuck inside make you feel restless, it may be time to fill your walls, tables, and even ceilings with some greenery. Try one of these out-of-the-box indoor gardening ideas to relieve cold-weather cabin fever and add a decorative touch to any space.
- 10 DIY Lawn Games to Bring the Amusement Park Home
Ring toss, tetherball, lawn bowling—these outdoor games are not only fun to play, they're super easy to make.
- 10 DIY Step Stones to Brighten Any Garden Walk
Give your garden path or walkway some flair with these easy-to-make, one-of-a-kind stepping-stones.
- 10 Doable Designs for DIY Outdoor Furniture
The weather is warm—it’s finally time to start making the most of your outdoor space. You can transform your yard, deck, or patio into a true extension of your home if you can create the right ambience—and furniture is key in establishing the mood. Unfortunately, outdoor furniture can cost a bundle. This year, DIY your own to save money and really customize your outdoor space. Check out these awesome DIY outdoor furniture projects that set the tone for a perfect summer oasis.
- 10 Easy Curb Appeal Updates
Looking for a way to improve the curb appeal of your house? We've got ten easy, do-it-yourself curb appeal updates.
- 10 Easy Ways to Add Christmas Curb Appeal
Liven up the front door and share your holiday spirit with the whole neighborhood this year!
- 10 Easy-to-Grow Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners
If you’ve always wanted to grow a vegetable garden, but have been too afraid to try, start by planting veggies that are almost guaranteed to succeed. Maintaining a large vegetable garden can be overwhelming for a new gardener, so start small, picking three or four crops you’d like to grow. Once you’re comfortable, add in a few more. Don’t have much space? Many vegetables, such as beans, tomatoes, basil, spinach, and salad greens, grow well in containers. Get a large planter or two, and start a garden in any spot that receives at least eight hours of sunlight a day. In fact, setting up a container garden is a wonderful way to experiment before you commit to digging up a portion of your yard. For veggies that germinate quickly, such as beans, peas, and zucchini, don’t bother with starter plants. Plant from seed directly in the soil. Save your money for tomato and pepper plants, which require much more time to reach transplant size. Whatever you grow and however you choose to do it, enjoy cultivating your first vegetable garden. By the time your harvest reaches your dinner table, you may find yourself hooked.
- 10 Enchanting Landscape Lighting Solutions
Lighting the outside of your home is just as important as lighting the inside. And the same principles apply—you want to provide a combination of overall, task, and accent lighting. Overall lighting will illuminate general areas like driveways and entryways, enhancing safety and security. Task lighting is most important for your walkways and outdoor dining areas. Accent lighting helps bring to life great features of your home and landscape, such as architectural details and trees. You don’t need nearly as much light outdoors as indoors, but there are places that you can’t ignore, such as pathways, steps, decks, entryways, and driveways. Once you have those covered, move on to highlighting the parts of your property that deserve to shine, no matter the time of day. So, take a walk around your yard tonight and see how many of these types of lighting you can put into play.
- 10 Energy-Wise Ways to Lower Your Pool Maintenance Costs
Whether you're building a new swimming pool or retrofitting your existing one, be proactive in pursuing the many new methods and technologies that can help you keep the pool's often substantial operating costs to a bare minimum. Take the plunge!
- 10 Evergreens to Beautify Your Garden Year-Round
Perk up a drab yard with some leafy, four-season greenery. Here are ten varieties certain to do just that.
- 10 Fast-Growing Plants for (Almost) Instant Curb Appeal
Bright flowers and colorful foliage are the easiest ways to amp up your curb appeal. If you're in a rush to get things growing, try one of these fast-blooming varieties to add instant charm to your facade.
- 10 Faux Planters with Genuine Style
Lightweight and low-maintenance, these budget-friendly planters match the look and style of much more expensive options.
- 10 Fire Pits We Love
Fire pits continue to heat up consumer demand. Here are ten reasons why.
- 10 Forgiving Houseplants You Can Grow Anywhere
Even if you don’t have big windows with southern exposures, you can successfully keep greenery (and keep it alive) indoors. A wide variety of plants can grow and even thrive in spots with limited sunlight. And with the abundance of benefits that come with bringing plants into your day-to-day life—including stress reduction, toxin removal, and increased moisture in the air—there's no reason not to do so. No light? No problem. These 10 easy-care houseplants are sure to brighten any corner in your home, even one a little lacking in sunshine.
- 10 Gadgets to Make Yours the Best BBQ on the Block
With summer barbecue season almost upon us, don't miss these great gadgets to make your backyard cookouts the envy of every grilling gourmand in your neighborhood.
- 10 Houseplants to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Improve your home’s indoor air quality—and your overall mood—with an easy-to-grow houseplant.
- 10 Hydrangea Show-Stoppers
Hydrangeas come in over a hundred varieties, varying in color, size, and shape of bloom as well as growth and seasonal habits. Here are ten of our top editor picks--starting with this new Everlasting Amethyst from White Flower Farm.
- 10 Ideas to Steal from Picture-Perfect Patios
The <i>patio</i>, from the Spanish for "courtyard," is an open-air living space that creates a transition between your home and the great outdoors. Patios are wonderful places to relax, to gather, to socialize, to eat, to drink, to play... or perhaps do all of the above. In other words, your patio is what you choose to make of it, a canvas on which to paint your personal style and preferences. You can go for a bold, colorful statement or let nature take center stage—the choice is yours. <br/>
To help you narrow down your options, here are 10 alluring patios, from retro to rustic to refined.
- 10 Inspired DIY Planters to Dress Up Your Garden
Why put your plants in a boring pot, when you can make your own unique planter with materials you may already have on hand?
- 10 Inventive Designs for a DIY Garden Fountain
The soothing sound of flowing water has long been a feature of celebrated gardens around the world. Not only does a fountain add welcome beauty to an outdoor space, but it also provides a pleasing white noise, helping to screen out the sounds and cares of the larger world. To give a sense of cloistered calm to even the most modest backyard, you needn't shell out for expensive designs found in home and garden centers. Instead, here are 10 imaginative DIY fountains that will delight visitors to your outdoor space.
- 10 Inventive Ideas for a Perfect Porch
If your porch is feeling a little down, pump it up with these fantastic additions to turn the everyday porch into the one-of-a-kind.
- 10 LED Holiday Lights to Brighten Your Holiday Nights
It's the most wonderful — and darkest — time of the year, so check out all the ways you can use LEDs to light up your life and keep the holidays bright.
- 10 Low-Maintenance Mums
These hardy and low-maintenance chrysanthemums will survive even the most forgetful gardener's care.
- 10 Luxurious Doghouses for Your Pampered Pet
If Snoopy's standard doghouse won't cut it for your pooch, browse ten puppy palaces that can even put some human-size houses to shame.
- 10 Morsels of Grilling Wisdom from the Pros
To help you grill like a pro this summer, here are ten helpings of wisdom from some of your favorite chefs.
- 10 Natural Ways to Combat Summer Mosquitoes
There's nothing more annoying than having your summertime fun ruined by the buzzing and biting of the season's peskiest foes—mosquitoes. Before they breed, congregate, bite, and drive you indoors, consider some natural ways to keep them at bay. Start by eliminating standing water wherever you discover it—from gutter spouts to birdbaths—and consider herbs like rosemary and thyme that are known for their insect-repellant scents. What about installing a bat house? We've included that and more in our 10 natural ways to keep you bug-free this summer.
- 10 New Perennials to Perk Up Your Garden
Add excitement to your flower beds this spring by planting standout varieties from 2013's crop of new perennials.
- 10 Not-to-Be-Missed Sunflower Blooms
Nothing better symbolizes summer than a robust sunflower's bright yellow face, often so high you could easily mistake it for the sun itself.
- 10 Outdoor DIYs You Can Do for a Dollar
Now that the worst of winter is behind us, it’s time to set our sights on relaxing, entertaining, and eating alfresco. But outfitting these spaces with decorative and functional elements can get expensive. Instead of heading to the home goods store, take a U-turn to your local thrift shop or dollar store to craft one of these clever, creative, and incredibly cheap projects that are sure to give your outdoor retreat the spring spruce it needs.
- 10 Outdoor Living Ideas to Steal from California
California is well loved for its sunny skies and mild year-round weather. It's the type of place where outdoor living is a given. California homes reflect that way of life, with outdoor spaces that seamlessly blur the line between the indoors and the backyard. But you don’t have to live in California to value an outdoors attitude. Check out our favorite ideas for outdoor living inspired by the Golden State.
- 10 Plants Sure to Stop Deer in Their Tracks
If your backyard and garden have become a buffet for deer, these 10 Bambi-resistant plants will encourage them to forage elsewhere.
- 10 Plants to Grow for a Pest-Proof Yard
It’s inevitable—just as you sit down to enjoy a quiet moment in the garden, the irritating buzz of an insect approaches. Your hopes of enjoying a cup of coffee in peace on the patio are quickly forgotten as you swat the offending bug away. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a pest-free garden, but there are some types of plants, especially herbs, that insects aren’t overly fond of. So, if you’re trying to keep annoying pests at bay, place a few of these plants in containers strategically arrayed around your patio and deck. Then, get ready to enjoy some bug-free time outdoors.
- 10 Popular Driveway Options to Welcome You Home
From asphalt to brick, basalt to concrete, this is the stuff dream driveways are made of.
- 10 Pretty Plants You Didn't Know Were Poisonous
Not every beautiful plant has a pleasant disposition — here are 10 of the most common venomous blooms to keep out of your garden!
- 10 Reasons to Reconsider the Aboveground Pool
Aboveground pools have never been known for high style. Still, they remain a popular and budget-friendly option for those unable—or unwilling—to shell out a fortune for a cool-off spot. These days, however, with pool manufacturers and installers offering new shapes and surround designs, aboveground pools deserve another look. With thoughtful planning and a dose of inspiration, an aboveground pool can be every bit as lovely to the eye and welcoming to swimmers as the in-ground variety. Don't believe it? Click to see proof.
- 10 Rooftop Gardens That Bring Gardening to New Heights
Gardening is a way to connect with the earth, and this connection becomes even more striking in a rooftop garden, where the earth sits closer to the sky. Rooftop gardens allow city dwellers to embrace their valuable outdoor space and interact with nature. While some rooftop gardens are created using potted plants, others are lawn-like environments, magically transformed by their urban owners. Whether your rooftop space is large or small, it has the potential to become a lush oasis. Click through our photo gallery to pluck some ideas for designing your own garden in the sky.
- 10 Simple "Under $60" Curb Appeal Updates for Any Home
Sometimes little changes can make a big difference. Here are ten ways to liven up a drab entry without breaking the bank.
- 10 Smart Ways to Bring Shade to Your Outdoor Space
Outdoor areas don't have to be all about soaking in the sun. Sometimes it's nice to relax in a shady spot, shielded from the harsh rays. There are many ways to bring shade to an outdoor space. You can build a new freestanding structure or enhance an existing patio or pergola through the addition of a shade screen. Many such screens are made from fabric or canvas, but even materials like lattice and bamboo are popular options that cast delicately dappled light onto the outdoor living space beneath or behind. Best of all, there's no need to call in a contractor; most of these projects are simple enough for the average homeowner to complete easily and quickly, often within the space of a single weekend. So click through our gallery to see a selection of yard improvements that will have you made in the shade.
- 10 Steps to Paradise in Your Own Backyard
Any outdoor living space, be it a compact apartment terrace or an expansive poolside patio, becomes much more inviting once it’s been outfitted with a few creature comforts. Designers Jeff Curren and Julian Calderon share outdoor room design tips to help you create a comfortable and beautiful refuge right outside your house.
- 10 Sun-Loving Plants That Thrive in Summer
We've gathered a bountiful bouquet of flowering plants that can survive a full day in the sun and still serve up a slew of show-stopping blooms.
- 10 Surprising Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Ice and Snow
What do you do when the weather outside is frightful, but you still need to get out and go to work, school or shopping? Snow and ice removal is a major hassle and an unfortunate fact of life for those who live in northern climes, as well as being a big off-season business for landscapers and other contractors. But before you shell out a lot of cash for a professional snow removal service, try using some of these unconventional methods to get rid of all that cold white “stuff.”
- 10 Things to Do Now for a Better Garden Next Year
By the time colder weather rolls in, most people are ready to call it quits in the garden. But before you hang up your trowel for the winter, there are several things you should do to ensure your garden gets off to a great start next spring.
- 10 Time-Tested Tricks for a Bug-Free Backyard
While insects are important in the chain of life, their buzzing and biting can ruin a backyard picnic. Take note and then take aim using these 10 tips that will help you keep your yard bug-free this summer.
- 10 Tiny Gardens You Can Grow on Your Windowsill
Starting your own garden doesn't have to be daunting. Start as small as you like with a windowsill garden. These space-saving planters are just right for a modest indoor garden—whether you're a green thumb or a chronic plant killer.
- 10 Top-Rated Grills to Fire Up This Summer
If you're shopping for a new grill, here are ten top-rated models (from deluxe to portable) worthy of your consideration—and your backyard.
- 10 Totally Unexpected Things to Remake as Planters
Houseplants aren't particularly picky about the containers they reside in—so long as their roots have enough space and water can drain properly, they're set to be happy campers. So why settle for the standard clay pot? Don’t limit yourself! Take a look around your property, and you may find one of these unexpected items to remake into your own unexpectedly creative planter.
- 10 Trees That Spell Trouble for Your Yard
Mature trees add a lot of value to your property, boosting both your home's price and your quality of life... but only if they are the right trees. When you make an investment in a tree, don’t inadvertently plant something that will become a maintenance headache or the eventual cause of a dispute with your neighbors. To play it safe, keep these 10 trees out of your landscaping plan.
- 10 Water Features to Make Any Backyard Landscape Complete
From koi ponds to waterfalls, birdbaths to garden streams, we've gathered together our favorite backyard bubblers, gurglers, and soothers.
- 10 Ways Your Backyard Can Hurt You
No one likes weeds. They invade our garden beds, siphoning soil nutrients and water away from flowers and shrubs. But which ones can do you real harm? Read on for 10 poisonous plants that might be lurking on your property.
- 10 Ways to Buy Better Curb Appeal for Under $50
It's a simple fact that curb appeal helps sell houses. But for those with no plans to move any time soon, a visually appealing exterior and landscaping is a point of pride, and a welcome sight whenever returning home.Take a look at some of our favorite buys that prove curb appeal doesn't have to come at a steep price.
- 10 Ways to Buy Your Garden on the Internet
It's one of the joys of spring and summer: stopping by the local nursery to pick out plants for your landscaping or backyard vegetable garden. Wonderful as it is to pick out your supplies in person, it can be a drag to haul your purchase home. That's why you might consider doing a portion of this year's garden shopping from home. Click through to see some of the surprising things you can buy for your garden—online!
- 10 Ways to Create Your Own Paradise in the Backyard
Any outdoor living space, be it a compact apartment terrace or an expansive poolside patio, becomes so much more invi...
- 10 Ways to Wake Up Your Yard for Spring
Outdoors and in, take care of a few simple tasks now to bring your house out of winter hibernation!
- 10 Ways to Weather-Proof Your Garden
Heat, frost, rain, and hail can wreak havoc in the garden, turning your lovingly reared plants into wilted, withered, or smashed versions of their former glory. Protect plants from all types weather by stealing these ideas for use in your own garden.
- 10 of the Best Trees for Any Backyard
Trees add much-needed shade, privacy, color, and value to your backyard. Check out this list of longstanding favorites that you can easily incorporate into your lawn design for stunning results.
- 11 Age-Old Gardening Tips to Ignore Completely
Ask any gardener for advice, and you’re sure to get an earful! Every one of them swears by a venerable collection of tips and tricks. But some of those ideas may be based on tradition, not reality. Here are 11 gardening tips you can feel free to completely ignore.
- 11 Creatively Stylish Ways to Display Succulents
If you don’t have a green thumb, then succulents might just be the plant for you. Succulents are a family of fleshy plants, including aloe vera and cacti, known for retaining water and standing up to harsh climates. Available in a variety of colors and textures, these hardy plants are known for their ability to thrive in unusual settings that can accommodate only small root systems, such as vertical gardens. Some species of succulents are considered “air plants,” which means they can live with little or no contact with the ground. Click through this gallery for fun ways to display succulents in your home.
- 11 Fire Bowls to Heat Up Your Outdoor Living Area
Stop running—and bring warmth and ambience to the night with one of these artisan-crafted fire bowls.
- 11 House Numbers to Count On for Curb Appeal
Giving your home's exterior an update with new house numbers is as easy as 1-2-3.
- 11 Ideas for Better Backyard Privacy
Sunshine and warm temperatures invite you and your family to spend entire days outdoors, so it's important that you be able to enjoy endless hours in your backyard without worrying about too much exposure to the sun—or curious passersby. Try one of these 11 solutions for adding privacy and shade to your backyard oasis.
- 11 Low-Cost Buys to Boost a Boring Backyard
Although it's nice to spend spring and summer visiting fancy parks and outdoor camps, comfort, cost, and convenience keep many families close to home. With some smart shopping, though, you can turn just about any backyard into a destination for fun, games, and seriously awesome cookouts. Read on to see our top picks for turning an average backyard into an out-of-this-world hangout.
- 11 Signs of an Unhappy Houseplant (and How You Can Help)
Who knew so much could go wrong with a houseplant? Here are 11 of the most common afflictions and their treatments so you can revive your friendly foliage in no time.
- 11 Things to Do Now for Your Best-Ever Backyard
Winter may be hanging on, but spring is just around the corner. If you're suffering from a bout of spring fever, take on one of these 12 projects that will give you a step up on the warm-weather season.
- 11 Ways Landscaping Can Save You Money
August, the downhill slope of summer, is a great time to take stock of your landscaping—and its impact on your finances. This year, did you sink cash into expensive purchases that didn’t thrive? Did it seem like you were always watering? Do you feel like you spent too much time on your yard with little to show for it? Thoughtful evaluation can yield valuable insights that will help you both beautify your garden and stretch your household budget as you approach the fall planting season. If so, try some of these 11 landscaping modifications that can beef up your bottom line.
- 11 Ways You're Accidentally Ruining Your Lawn
A beautiful lawn is a reflection of the care you put into it. But sometimes, a particular maintenance routine can do more harm than good. Here are 11 common care mistakes that could be transforming your lush green lawn into a brown, weed-covered mess.
- 12 "Different" Ways to Store Firewood
Don't settle for an ordinary pile of logs--showing-off your wood in a creative space will help add another dimension of warmth to your home.
- 12 Backyard Updates You Can Do in a Day
Whether you’re looking to increase storage space, expand your patio, or add interest to your garden, upgrading your backyard can be as fast and easy as an afternoon of labor. Find inspiration with these budget-friendly backyard projects that can be completed in a day.
- 12 Birdhouses We Love
Bird houses come in all shapes and sizes and, in addition to adding interest to your yard or garden, they provide accommodations for fine feathered friends. Here is a selection of some ready-made and DIY kits.
- 12 Clever Ideas for a Space-Smart Garden
There’s a common misconception that for a garden to flourish it has to be given lots of land and room to breathe. In reality, a small space can provide the foundation for a fantastic garden, one packed with appealing features like bubbling ponds, plenty of seating, and colorful, verdant plants that transform a cramped space into a beckoning backyard oasis.
- 12 Easy Ways to Create Curb Appeal in Winter
The winter blues are real, but there’s hope, even for what feels like a cold, dead, and lifeless yard. Eject the doldrums from your winter landscape with one of these cheerful winter decorating ideas.
- 12 Expert Tips for Eye-Catching Front Yard Landscaping
Your front yard, regardless of its size, plays an important role in your home’s overall curb appeal. Attractive landscaping, however, requires more than just a beautiful lawn. A well-landscaped front yard should take into account the style and size of your house, how it’s sited on the property, the amount of sunlight the yard receives, and how it can best be enhanced by plantings, bushes, shrubs, and trees. Your front yard should also include hardscaping features, from walkways and driveways to raised beds, planters, and decorative containers. What are the best practices for front yard landscaping? To learn more, we reached out to Dorian Winslow, certified landscape designer and owner and president of Womanswork, an online retailer of gardening apparel and supplies. Here are her 12 tips for successful front yard landscaping.
- 12 Garden Sheds You Could Actually Live (or Work) In
Whether you’re upgrading to a bigger building or find you no longer need your backyard shed to store lawn and garden tools, consider giving your old shed new life as a hobby room, guesthouse, or backyard retreat. With an ample budget, you can transform the space into a supplemental living area that rivals your own house, complete with electricity and luxe amenities. Yet even with a more modest budget, as some of these sheds show, you can cleverly transform an outbuilding into something beautiful and useful. If you crave more space in your house but an addition isn’t an option, a backyard shed with a few bells and whistles may provide what you need. Whether you’ll be upgrading, renovating, or starting from scratch, here are 12 outbuildings that prove that a backyard shed can be just as sweet as home.
- 12 Outdoor Rugs to Fit Every Budget and Style
Bring a resilient splash of color outside with these durable all-weather rugs that resist open-air perils like mildew and fading.
- 12 Seductively Serene Screened Porches
The porch has long been the perfect gathering place for summer evenings. While some folks may favor an open patio, an elevated deck, or a year-round sunroom, screened-in porches have a lot of allure—and nostalgia as well. Protected from the elements by a sturdy roof, screened porches allow both light and breezes to filter through their insect-proof barrier. A screened porch is great for seasonal dining and entertaining, or simply quietly relaxing and enjoying the view. Here's a quick look at some of our favorite serene and inviting screened porches.
- 12 Tiny Gardens You Can Grow on a Tabletop
Terrariums are trending big-time, and it’s not hard to see why. Requiring very little work, these self-sufficient planters make a beautiful addition to any tabletop, counter, or windowsill. Almost any glass container will get you started. Add some sand or stones, soil, and plants, and you’re on your way to creating your indoor garden—and conversation starter. Gather inspiration from these 12 unique variations on the tiny indoor garden, and get growing.
- 12 Ways to Wake Up Your Tired Outdoor Furniture
When spring is in the air and the weather starts to heat up, so does your outdoor entertaining. But after a long winter, your outdoor furniture might be looking shabby, particularly under the bright, unforgiving glare of the sun. Before you hop on the Internet to order new furniture, see if there’s something you can do to revive that patio set, picnic table, garden glider, or favorite pair of lawn chairs. If your furniture is actually falling apart, it may be time to retire it. If it's structurally sound, however, no matter what it's made of, there's probably a way to freshen it up. For example, spray paint is a panacea for wood, wicker, and metal. Most pieces can also be revived with a thorough washing, scrubbing, and sanding. If the finish is beyond saving, or if you're just sick and tired of it, you can recover it—by slipcovering or reupholstering. Or maybe all you need are the right accessories—a few throws and pillows—to bring your furniture back to life. Take a look at these smart ways to bring your old garden furniture to new glory.
- 13 DIY Lanterns to Illuminate Your Porch, Patio, or Garden
When the weather gets warm, outdoor living heats up, and porches and patios become the place to be. As your sunny days shift to balmy nights, add some atmosphere to your garden and yard with lanterns. Whether you want to make one lantern for a dining table, or a whole string of lanterns for the deck railing, there is a DIY lantern design to suit your needs and style. Fanciful and frivolous, or simply elegant, lanterns don't require much time or money to make, and they delightfully elevate the ambience of your outdoor spaces. Take a cue from one of these great DIY lantern ideas, and bask in the glow of gleaming light this evening.
- 14 Bright Ideas for Lighting Your Backyard
Make the most of long summer nights with the right kind of lighting for your outdoor space.
- 14 Plants Perfect for Hanging Baskets
No matter how small your garden, there's always room for hanging plants. Here are 10 plants that add color and interest to any porch, deck, balcony, or sunroom.
- 14 Totally Free Ways to Start Your Own Garden
If you look around your home, garage, and backyard, you may find dozens of handy items that can be repurposed or recycled to help you establish or improve your garden. And, best of all, you won't have to spend a cent! Here are some of our favorite "something from nothing" tips and tricks for growing a lush, lively garden.
- 14 of the Best Plants for Your Drought-Tolerant Garden
Water conservation is at the forefront of gardeners’ minds in many parts of the country. Luckily, there are a wide variety of drought-tolerant plants that thrive in dry conditions. Check out some of our favorite options for a garden that doesn't get much rainfall.
- 15 No-Effort Plants for a Foolproof Landscape
What homeowner wouldn't want a lush and colorful garden just outside the window? But while a garden definitely boosts your home's curb appeal, it also claims a lot of your free time. There's no such thing as a maintenance-free garden, but choosing smarter plantings does cut down on the amount of pruning and watering required. So, the next time you plant, try some of these lovely options that take care of themselves. Then get ready to enjoy your new low maintenance landscaping—from the comfort of your porch swing.
- 15 Plants Never to Grow in Your Yard
Many plants are beautiful, but not all are beneficial in a garden. Some of the most eye-catching cultivars can be invasive, poisonous, or attractive to unwelcome insects—issues you probably don't want to deal with. Check this list for 15 trees, shrubs, and other plants you should think twice about before planting on your property.
- 15 Plants for Where the Sun Don't Shine
Hardy, shade-loving flowers bring beautiful blooms even to those parts of your backyard that receive little sun.
- 15 Tricks to Know If You Hate Fall Yard Work
The beauty of fall is fleeting but the yard work that accompanies the season drags on forever—or so you thought. These 15 simple but reliable rituals make fall yard work as quick and easy as ever.
- 17 New Essentials for Your Best Ever BBQ
Backyard barbecues have taken on a new look in recent years. Innovative tools and technology are making the experience of prepping, grilling, and enjoying cookout fare more fun than ever. Take a look at some of our favorite new tools that will perk up flair and flavor alike at your next grill fest.
- 18 Design Ideas to Make Your Deck a Destination
Whatever its dimensions—expansive or small, narrow or wide—a deck is the ideal place to kick back and relax outdoors. But if you don't make the most of your deck, it can end up being just a bland stretch of wood—wasted space—rather than the attractive destination that it could be. Make use of every inch of your deck with these space-smart ideas for building, decorating, or maximizing its square footage so you can reap the benefits of sunshine and fresh air all season long.
- 18 Inspiring Ideas for Easy Outdoor Entertaining
Do you and your guests need a distraction from the heat this summer? These 18 DIY ideas for outdoor entertaining are high in crowd appeal and unbelievably low in effort!
- 18 Ways to Color Your Garden This Fall
Step away from the traditional cabbage-and-Mum routine this fall by introducing some new bloomers into your fall planting repertoire. Although the old stand-bys are hardy and give good, consistent color, these alternates choices will certainly set your pots apart from the Jones's.
- 19 "Zero Dollar" Garden Hacks
Walk into any garden center and you'll find gadgets and gizmos for nearly any outdoor malady. But did you know the remedy for many backyard problems might be shelved in the garage or hiding in your recycling bin? Whether your garden suffers from poor soil, dry and arid conditions, cold snaps, or more—there's a nearly-free fix almost anything that ails it. Read on to discover our favorite garden hacks.
- 19 "Zero Dollar" Upgrades for Your Outdoor Living Area
Between furnishing, lighting, and decorating your patio, porch, or deck, outdoor ambiance is anything but free—unless you DIY it. Complete one of these 19 upgrades to make an everlasting impression on your outdoor living area without making a dent in your wallet.
- 20 Plants That Survive With or Without You
The satisfaction a seasoned gardener enjoys is the result of patience, time, and experience: trial and error, taking some chances, watching things thrive—and sometimes watching them fail. But a beginning gardener needs a few sure things, plants that are easy to grow and maintain, and that will give them the confidence to move on to greater challenges. Check out these 20 garden gimmes, practically guaranteed to bring lush beauty to the garden with minimal effort.
- 20 Tiny Backyards We Love
From woodland wonderlands to no-mow lawns, these 20 backyard design ideas showcase the countless fun and functional possibilities that lie on your home turf—no matter its size.
- 2011 Trends in Outdoor Entertaining
When home entertaining moves outdoors with the warmer weather, the gourmet cooking experience doesn’t have to be conf...
- 21 Ways to Color Your Yard This Fall
As summer wanes, so do the blooms from our favorite flowers, leaving us grasping for the last vestiges of natural color before winter takes hold. Those who long for a bit of color in an autumn yard can take heart. Here are 21 plants that will provide vibrant color and visual interest in your autumn landscape, even as cooler fall days give way to winter.
- 25 Plants to Choose for Your Easiest-Ever Garden
Sure, you could spend all spring and summer weeding, watering, and tending the garden, but there's an easier way to grow a stunning landscape. It all starts with the right plants. Choose one of these low-maintenance options and watch your garden flourish—with little effort on your part.
- 3 Essential Fall Lawn Maintenance Tasks
As you start putting your lawn to bed, you must take care of three fall lawn maintenance tasks now to secure healthy ...
- 3 Fixes for a Lawn Mower That Won't Start
Lawn care can be a tedious chore, but once the grass starts growing in the spring, mowing becomes an inevitable fact ...
- 3 Fixes for a Mosquito-Filled Backyard
Their vampire-like tendencies and itchy bites make mosquitoes a nuisance in any setting, but they're especially aggra...
- 3 Fixes for an Icy Walk and Driveway
Snow days may be cause for celebration, but the party comes to a screeching halt when you shovel your snowy walkway o...
- 3 Keys to Planting a Fall Vegetable Garden
As summer wanes, gardeners turn their attention to such "cleanup" activities as removing failed plantings. But while ...
- 3 Special Geraniums to Seek Out for Your Garden
With a reputation for hardiness, geraniums can be found in literally hundreds of varieties, many that boast impressiv...
- 4 Questions to Ask Before You Get a Hot Tub
A hot tub is a wonderful luxury to enjoy at home. There are few better ways to relax. But for the reality to match yo...
- 5 (Nearly) Kill-Proof Houseplants
These easy houseplants will enhance your decor and purify the air in your dwelling.
- 5 (Nearly) Kill-Proof Houseplants
Bringing a plant into your home doesn’t just enhance your décor but it will actually help purify the air in your dwel...
- 5 Common Lawn Care Problems—And How to Fix Them
Overcome common lawn blights and return your grass to its former green glory.
- 5 Fall Plants to Plant Right Now
Now that the temperature has dropped, it’s the time to replace those fading summer blooms with plants that thrive in ...
- 5 Fiery Fall Bushes
Finding your garden lacking when it comes to fall color? Our favorite fall bushes will not only add a bright spot of ...
- 5 Great Ways to Garden in Comfort
Growing a beautiful garden is no small feat. Not only does it take regular attention, watering, and cooperative weath...
- 5 Grills That Smoke the Competition
Summer might be gone, but that doesn't mean you have to give up grilling! Whether you need a setup for tailgating or you just want to host a few more backyard parties before winter weather sets in, we've got you covered.
- 5 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring
Nothing renews that feeling of pride of ownership more than attending to annual home maintenance tasks (especially on...
- 5 Natural Outdoor Lighting Bargains
Natural outdoor lighting is the rage in backyard renovation, offering an easy and environmentally friendly way to she...
- 5 Outdoor Shed Storage Bargains
Sometimes the garage doesn't cut it for storing garden tools and lawn supplies. That's when outdoor storage enters th...
- 5 Plants to Divide in Fall
October is a great month to look over your property and determine which perennials are in need of dividing. Splitting...
- 5 Rakes Every Homeowner Should Know
Like more sophisticated indoor tools, landscaping rakes are designed to meet specific challenges.
- 5 Simple Ingredients for Successful Rainwater Harvesting
People have been harvesting rainwater for thousands of years. In the last decade, the practice has emerged as a popul...
- 5 Simple Steps to Renew Your Concrete Driveway
In an alternative universe—in a world with neither vehicles nor inclement weather—your concrete driveway might never lose its pristine, freshly poured look. But in reality, driveways are put to the test by the harsh winters they're fully exposed to, and by the daily comings-and-goings they facilitate. Stains and cracks, depressions and flaking are all common problems with concrete driveways, and they only get worse with time. So take action now, not only to prevent further damage, but also to restore the appearance and dependability of your home's little highway.
- 5 Spring Garden Favorites to Plant Right Now
The time to dream about your spring planting has passed. Now is the time to get going in the garden. So here are five...
- 5 Things to Do with... Artificial Turf
When artificial turf came onto the scene in the mid-1960s, it offered several advantages over natural grass lawns, ea...
- 5 Ways to Create the Perfect Garden Room
Unlike the glass-enclosed garden rooms or conservatories in the UK—glazed interior spaces that provide visual access ...
- 5 Ways to Jump-Start Your Garden for Spring
Ready for spring to arrive? So is your garden. The ground may still be cold, but longer days have already begun to co...
- 5 Ways to Make Your Lawn Care GREEN
Everyone wants a green lawn. Not only does it look good, it reflects a pride of home ownership that is undeniable. Bu...
- 5 Ways to Use Bamboo in Your Landscape
Bamboo is one of the most exotic and eco-friendly materials used in construction. Long associated with Asian cultures...
- 5 Ways to a Greener Lawn
To achieve a greener lawn, you don’t have to layer on the artificial fertilizers and toxic pesticides. Using natural ...
- 6 Common Houseplant Pests—and How to Get Rid of Them
You may have a certified green thumb, but that won't keep bugs away from your plants. Follow these guidelines to identify and eliminate the most common houseplant pests.
- 6 Fast-Growing Shade Trees
A house surrounded by mature trees is simply beautiful. If your landscape is light on trees, choose one of these six varieties to deliver shade—FAST.
- 6 Pro Tips for Successful Container Gardening
When she's not sharing her knowledge of container gardening as a guide on About. com or photographing New England gar...
- 6 Secrets to a Successful Container Garden
When she’s not imparting advice in her role as an About.com guide, and on the days she takes off from photographing New England gardens (for a forthcoming book from Timber Press), you’re likely to find Kerry Michaels tending to the nearly 100 potted plants that surround her home in coastal Maine. “No matter how hectic life can be,” she muses, "I get such enormous pleasure from these pots!" Here, Michaels shares six secrets that can change your luck with container gardening.
- 6 Simple Steps to a Refreshed Deck
Winters put backyard decks to the test. If yours emerged from the ravages of the season worse for wear, take heart. Today, the floorboards may be weathered and the handrails may be dingy, but tomorrow—or at least within the space of a long weekend—you can restore your deck to its former glory, and with a lot less hassle than you feared. Click through now for a step-by-step action plan.
- 6 Steps to a Budget-Friendly Porch Makeover
If you're lucky enough to have a front porch, you may think of it mostly as a repository of muddy shoes, cobwebs, and chipped paint—a far cry from the relaxing retreat, complete with a porch swing and pitcher of lemonade, that you had imagined it would be. Luckily, there are ways to give your outdoor space a much-needed spruce up without overspending. These 6 easy steps are all you need to get started on a better, brighter—and cleaner!—front porch. (Lemonade not included.)
- 6 Ways to Make Your Home (Almost) Maintenance-Free
We used to frequent brick-and-mortar shops and keep hard copies of every document; today, we buy our groceries online, stream our favorite videos, and store everything from personal photos to paperwork in the cloud. Well, when it comes to home maintenance, technology moves just as fast: It seems like every time we turn around, there’s a new development designed to reduce our workload—a very welcome trend, given the unrelenting attention a home requires. Fortunately, the building materials industry continues to improve upon durable, low-maintenance products that can reduce or eliminate the time spent on upkeep and repair. If you’re tired of sealing that wood deck, painting that picket fence, or climbing up on that ladder to clean your home’s gutters—and, let’s be honest, no one relishes those backbreaking tasks—maybe it’s time for an upgrade! Take a spin through these 6 advances in building and home improvement materials that can help you speed through your to-do list so you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy.
<em>This content has been brought to you by LeafGuard. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.</em>
- 7 Camping Favorites Destined for Your Home
If you've ever set foot in a camping goods store, you know that for any adventure into the great wide open, an appropriately vast selection of equipment exists to make your trip safer and more enjoyable. While the quality of these products varies significantly, the best camping gear has always been designed and built to meet the unforgiving demands of nature, with a focus on durability and performance. There's a lot to love about a product that just works, whether you're hiking a mountain or just relaxing in the backyard. Click through now to see 7 back-to-basics favorites that, although originally intended for the campsite, would prove equally handy at home.
- 7 Easy Budget-Friendly Backyard Makeovers
If your backyard feels a little ho-hum, get ready to give it a makeover. Whether you have a small yard, or a property where acreage is no object, you can enhance your lawn and garden in a number of ways. You can add a patio or a simple deck, beef up your landscaping, or create a garden that brings beauty and wildlife into your backyard. If you’re on a budget and need to do it on the cheap, there are several easy and inexpensive things you can do to accomplish a first-rate backyard makeover. Create the space of your dreams—where you can host a party, or just relax and read. Matt Blashaw, host of DIY Network's Yard Crashers, offers some easy, inexpensive ideas for upgrading your backyard and outdoor living areas.
- 7 Eye-Catching New Annuals
While there’s no need to dismiss those hardworking favorites with which you fill your garden year in and year out, he...
- 7 Ideas to Steal from Real People’s Tiny Backyards
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a sizable backyard, but here's some good news for those of us who lack square footage: Even the smallest outdoor space can be transformed into an inviting destination for entertaining and relaxing. Learn how to take advantage of every inch of your yard from those who know best—other homeowners who share your plight. Here are 7 ingenious ideas worth replicating in your own space.
- 7 Ingenious IKEA Hacks for Your Backyard
Having a backyard is a luxury and (let's face it) also a lot of work to keep it looking like the oasis you want it to be. You could spend a ton of money on planters and seating or you can flex your creative muscles and come up with some inventive DIY solutions. We've done a little of the work for you and found amazing ways to repurpose some of IKEA's classic products into backyard staples.
- 7 Irresistible Outdoor Living Trends for 2015
It seems that each year, summer takes its good old time to get here, and when it finally arrives there's a to-do list of home improvement projects and recreational activities at the ready—all items that have been put on hold for months. This year, challenge yourself to move updating your outdoor living space to the top of that list.
You can treat the spaces you have for outdoor living the same way you would those inside your home. Each area—the kitchen, living room, bedroom—has a separate purpose, and are designed with that functionality in mind. Think about your outdoor spaces the same way. What do you want and need? A space to play? A space to relax? A space to entertain? Designate the best spot in your yard for each of your needs. Then, set to work designing the floor, walls and ceiling (if necessary) for each space. Grass, stone, decking, and mulch are your flooring. Hedges and fences can serve as walls. And structures like arbors, pergolas and canopies create ceilings in areas where you need protection from the elements. The choices you make in plants serve to add color and texture to each “room.”
Making your outdoor living spaces first priority will, in turn, make every next minute you're out of the house fun for the whole family. Not sure where to start? Click through for backyard inspiration from the seven biggest trends this summer.
- 7 Lawn Care Myths Debunked
Keeping your lawn green, lush, and healthy might as well be a full-time job for many homeowners. It's a time consuming seasonal task that leaves many folks desperate for easy tips and tricks that will make for quicker and cheaper results. Beware, however, because not everything the your next door neighbor—or the Internet—advises is true. Even we've been taking in my a few of these thoroughly debunked myths before now, but we're setting the record straight once and for all.
- 7 New "Must Have" Annuals
Here are seven of the most eye-catching new annuals on the market to fill in your summer garden.
- 7 Popular Ground Covers to Enhance Any Yard
A great solution to those patchy parts of your landscape, groundcover is a general term for perennials that are known for their ability to spread.
- 7 Projects Perfect for a Lazy Summer Day
Looking forward to a staycation, or a blissfully commitment-free Sunday? The backyard hammock or patio lounger may be calling your name. But if you want to add a sense of satisfaction to your rest and relaxation, these are some low-effort, high-impact projects to consider knocking out before calling it a day.
- 7 Real Reasons to Consider Fake Grass
Is your lawn getting to be a real pain in the… grass? If your relaxing weekends have been supplanted by the never-ending work of mowing, fertilizing, watering, and weeding, it may be time to consider artificial turf. This isn't the Astroturf of the old days—today’s “fake” grass has come a long way. There are many options available that replicate lush natural grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, rye grass, and fescue. Artificial turf is becoming a viable and increasingly popular landscaping choice—but is it right for you? Here are just a few grass facts to help you answer that very question.
- 7 Remedies to Rescue a Dying Lawn
The road to a beautiful lawn doesn’t have to be paved with a schedule of chemical treatments. There are several homegrown tips and techniques you can use to help your grass to grow lush and green this summer.
- 7 Smart Ways to Save Water in the Yard
Essential for everything from bathing to eating, and from cleaning your house to maintaining your garden, clean water is one resource that is hard to go a day without. But when a drought restricts your consumption, you have to make some changes. Fortunately, you don't have to say goodbye to your dream garden just yet. Instead, try out some water-saving strategies. Click through for 7 simple ways to save water in your lawn and garden.
- 7 Things Your Lawn May Be Trying to Tell You
Your grass can tell you a lot about its health and well-being, if you only know how to listen. Learn the language of your lawn by clicking through this list of signs of the most common yard problems.
- 7 Things to Do Now for a Greener Lawn Next Year
Congratulations, you've managed to keep your lawn alive through the stifling summer heat. Now in fall—with winter on the horizon—you may be tempted to rest on your laurels and relax your routine. After all, the yard will soon be covered by snow, and as the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” But the truth is that in many parts of the country, fall is a key season for lawn care. What you do at this time year largely determines the state of your grass in spring. So take these steps now to ensure a greener lawn all next year.
- 7 Things to Do in Spring for a Healthy, Gorgeous Lawn Year-Round
At the tail end of the winter season, homeowners face the sometimes daunting but always exciting prospect of readying...
- 7 Thrifty Designs for a DIY Walkway
<p>Garden paths serve both a practical and aesthetic purpose in the yard. They provide a safe and easy walkway to and from the house and garden, and give you an opportunity to visually connect your yard and home. Garden paths also help define the spaces in your outdoor landscape, and can bring overall beauty to your property. There are many options to choose from for the material and design of a garden path. From pavers, to stepping-stones, to plain mulch, there’s something for every budget. Depending on the material you choose and the topography of your yard, creating a garden path is a very attainable DIY project, even for a beginner.<p>
<p>Whether you are laying bricks or spreading gravel, there are a few general tips that will help make your DIY garden path project more successful. Lay out your path with spray paint or a garden hose before you start any work. Make sure it’s wide enough to accommodate an adult comfortably. Remember to level the area so that your materials lay properly, and so that your garden path is safe for guests and family to walk on. Hard surface materials like brick or pavers will need to slope away from your home 1/4 inch per foot to ensure proper drainage. And don’t forget to put a weed barrier under the base of your path to minimize maintenance in the future. Even if you don’t want to install lighting when you install your garden path, it’s a good idea to lay electrical conduit above the base, so you can add it later if you want to.<p>
<p>We’ve rounded up some of the best ideas for attractive and affordable DIY garden paths. Your inspiration is just a click away.<p>
- 7 Times to Throw Garbage in Your Garden
There’s something extra satisfying about making do with what you have and using only as much as you need—about striving to be self-sustaining. This impulse is particularly strong with gardeners. Their connection with nature encourages them to support their gardening habit by reusing and recycling a lot of what most people consider garbage. So, the next time you take out the trash, help your plants and the planet by bringing these items into your garden instead of out to the curb.
- 7 Tips to Keep Your Mower in Working Order
You know how to care for your lawn, but how about your mower? Mowers need some TLC after sitting in a cold shed or garage all winter long. Before grass-growing season gets into full swing, show your mower some love by giving it a tune-up and blade sharpening. Performing some regular maintenance on your lawn mower is a pretty simple affair, and will make lawn care easier all season long. <br/><br>
Doing the proper maintenance on each system involved in the engine of your lawn mower is half the battle. Most small gas engines have six basic systems that work together: fuel, exhaust, ignition, combustion, cooling, and lubrication. Lawn mowers also have blades that need to be maintained and sharpened, which can be done by a professional, or at home with the right tools. To cover your bases, you'll want to check all fuel lines and filters, cleaning and replacing them when necessary. Spark plugs and wiring can get dirty and loose over a season, so make sure those are in working order before your grass has its first growth spurt in the Spring. And then feed your mower right—invest in the fuel additives that will help it run most efficiently. <br/><br>
The payoff for your attentiveness to lawn mower maintenance will definitely worth the effort. Treat your mower well, and it will reward you with greater efficiency, better handling, and a fresher-looking lawn. Not sure where to start? Here, we've compiled an essential guide for keeping your mower—and your grass—growing strong all season.
- 7 Trees You Can Grow Indoors
If you're trying to add a touch of life to a room, houseplants are the way to go. But if you're looking to make a bigger statement, you can't beat the impact of an indoor tree. The right specimen can immediately brighten and reinvigorate a dead corner or create a focal point in a lackluster room. Bring a little bit of the outdoors in—literally—with one of these indoor trees, ranging from traditional to trending, that can add drama, color, and texture to your interior spaces.
- 7 Ways to Buy Yourself a Green Thumb for Under $40
Bad gardeners, take heart—there's yet hope for your houseplants. With the help of a few handy (and affordable) tools, you can keep your little garden in health and verdure all year round.
- 7 Weirdly Effective Ways to Weed
There's nothing more frustrating than seeing weeds flourish in your garden while the veggies and flowers languish. Even worse is seeing weeds pop up in those hard-to-pull areas between flagstones or within concrete expansion joints. Yet, while we hate weeds, we're just not comfortable dousing our yards with harsh, weed-killing chemicals to take care of the problem. That's where these effective and affordable options come in.
- 8 Best Buys for an Outdoor Kitchen You Can Afford
An outdoor kitchen might not seem essential to some homeowners, but for those who treasure long summer nights and backyard fun, it's an absolute necessity. Whether your outdoor setup consists of a simple grill or an elaborate array of furniture and appliances, there are some amazing upgrades your can make to your space. Read on for eight of our favorites.
- 8 Budget Buys for Your Best-Ever Fall Porch
Half the fun of welcoming fall is decorating your home in rich, seasonal colors—and there's no better place to showcase your creativity than on your own front porch. Here, we've collected some of our favorite ideas for fall curb appeal you can buy and install to give your home a quick dose of autumnal charm.
- 8 Budget Buys to Bring Indoor Comfort to Outdoor Living
As warm weather invites you back outside to enjoy sun and fun, take a moment to reconsider your outdoor spaces. A few well-chosen amenities for your porch, patio, or deck can make outdoor relaxation and entertaining even more comfortable and carefree, leaving you free to enjoy some well-deserved R&R in your own backyard. Click through for a roundup of some of our most interesting finds that can enhance your outdoor living space.
- 8 DIY Pick-Me-Ups for a Plain Patio
Outdoor spaces extend our homes and make the time we spend outside more enjoyable. No matter how small your porch or patio, a few simple ideas can turn yours into an oasis—and on a budget, too. When working with a small patio, stay focused on one or two purposes for the space. Do you want an outdoor dining area? A place to relax and unwind? Or will you use it to entertain? Limit your ideas to what’s essential.<br>
Furnishing a small patio takes some forethought. Select smaller scale furniture, and avoid big backs, arms, and cushions, which will fill the space up fast. Choose multifunctional pieces where possible—like tables that double as storage, or ottomans that work as side tables.<br>
Plants bring an outdoor space to life. When you don’t have a lot of real estate, use your vertical space as best you can. Dress up your small patio with hanging plants and wall gardens, and keep any floor planters minimal in scale. That idea goes for the other decor as well. Less is more in a small patio. One statement accent piece is better than many small decorative items that end up feeling like clutter.<br>
Check out our favorite ideas for perking up your small patio, and make the most of your outdoor space this summer.
- 8 Disease-Resistant Apple Tree Varieties
To cut down on yard maintenance and reduce the need for dangerous pesticides, opt for one of these eight hardy apple tree species.
- 8 First Aid Supplies You Can Grow at Home
Before modern pharmaceuticals, people turned to nature to find cures for what ailed them. The efficacy of those medicinal plants hasn’t changed. You can still grow herbs, shrubs, flowers, and trees that can treat minor ailments and injuries, from headaches to bee stings, right in your own backyard.
- 8 Innovative Snow Shovels to Help You Clear the Path
Keep the snow—and backache—at bay this winter with one of the best snow shovels that money can buy. We've picked ten smart, ergonomically-friendly options as our favorites.
- 8 New Ideas for DIY Outdoor Lighting
Sure, days are longer in summer, but still not quite long enough to squeeze in all the seasonal fun. Stay out after dusk when you light the night with these 8 DIY luminaries, lamps, and lanterns.
- 8 No-Care Plants for Killer Curb Appeal in Every Season
If you live in an area of the country with harsh winters, you may be resigned to a dead and dreary yard and garden during the cold months. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of plants that look great all season long, even in the northernmost reaches of the country. Check out our favorites, and see if you can get some of these cold-weather wonders in the ground before winter’s chill sets in.
- 8 Plants Never to Grow Indoors
A healthy houseplant can bring vibrant color and fresh fragrance to any room. But some indoor greenery collects dust or releases pollen, both of which can trigger symptoms in allergy sufferers. Prevent sniffling and sneezing by avoiding these worst offenders the next time you head out to the nursery.
- 8 Reasons to Love Azaleas
From Southern roots, azaleas have grown into a countrywide favorite, prized for their beautiful blooms in so many colors.
- 8 Smart Ways to Put Your Garden on Autopilot
Whether you want to be able to go away for a week without having to worry about your garden, or you just hate yard work, these tips and tricks will help put your garden on autopilot, so you can spend more time enjoying the season.
- 8 Tiny Backyard Buildings for Work or Play
You know that disheveled shack in the corner of the yard? It might just be one of your home’s major assets. These backyard buildings prove that an underutilized backyard shed is a work or play space simply waiting to be discovered. Get ready to shed your preconceived notions—because outbuildings are in.
- 8 Ways to Combat Garden Pests
There's nothing that can stand in the way of your best garden ever—until the pests arrive, that is. Perhaps your harvest is being raiding by tiny aphids, cabbage-loving caterpillars, tomato worms, or even larger intruders, like deer and rabbits. But no matter which critters have besieged your garden beds, there are multiple lines of defense from which you can choose, and most of them won't involve an extra trip to the garden center to pick up nasty chemicals. Check out our 8 easy pest control solutions to combat these destructive pests.
- 8 Ways to Make Your Small Yard Look Bigger
Even a small yard can feel spacious if you design it the right way. Read on for our favorite ways to make your small yard look bigger.
- 8 Ways to Upgrade Your Backyard with Pavers
Pavers are more commonly thought of as sturdy patio bases than as useful design tools for your landscapes. But these outdoor essentials are endlessly versatile, perfect for creating an interesting pattern, a clever walkway, or even a backyard game. Incorporate this functional material in your own spaces by thinking outside the patio with these fresh ideas for ways to use pavers in your backyard.
- 9 Backyard Games to Make and Play This Summer
As temperatures warm up and we unglue ourselves from the television to head out into the yard, that hardly means we need to leave the fun inside. Before your next barbecue or party, craft a few of these classics, and let the backyard games begin!
- 9 Bright and Colorful Houseplants You Can't Kill
There are many benefits to decorating your home with bright and colorful potted plants, the most obvious being that they bring in the beauty of the outdoors even in the dreariest of months. But tending to houseplants can be a bit of a struggle, often leading to drooping leaves or spotty blooms, despite one's best efforts. Don't be discouraged! Instead, try one of these 9 hardy varieties that can survive even the brownest of thumbs.
- 9 Budget-Friendly Ways to Revive Your Porch
Sunny days and warmer weather signal that summer is right around the corner. What better time to freshen up your front porch? Rest assured that you can create an inviting front veranda without breaking the bank. Start with one favorite item, theme, or color, and work out from there. For example, if you love the idea of a bold front door, paint it in your favorite dramatic color and let that shade guide your choices for lighting, draperies, planters, and accessories. Or, do you have an heirloom piece of furniture or decorative accent that you love, such as a planter, rug, or lantern? Take inspiration from its shape, color, or style, and search out flea market finds or attic treasures that may be polished, painted, or upcycled into frugal, complementary front porch accessories. Complete your scheme with decorative touches like welcome signs, hanging baskets of greenery or ferns, or unusual plants in distinctive planters. Need some examples? Here are 10 inspiring front porches that prove that it’s possible to design a welcoming front veranda on a budget.
- 9 Creative Ways to Build a Backyard Hangout
There's no reason to settle for a barren backyard when there are seating options like these to inspire you. As this collection of DIY projects demonstrates, you can take basic materials and transform them into stunning additions that are sure to make your backyard the place to be this summer.
- 9 DIY Ideas for a Summery Backyard
The best way to truly enjoy the summer? Enhance your outdoor spaces to maximize your time in the fresh air. Any of these awesome projects will make your parties so fun guests will never want to leave.
- 9 Daffodils to Cheer Up Your Garden
Plant any of these jolly perennials for a bright and cheery bloom come springtime!
- 9 Double-Duty Favorites for Tiny Outdoor Spaces
Don't let a small backyard cramp your outdoor entertaining plans this season! Fitting a table, fire pit, potted garden, and more into your tiny space falls within the realm of possibility, should you invest strategically in hard-working tables and seating that do more than just their job. With these nine multifunctional pieces of outdoor furniture, you can fill out your dream deck, porch, or patio—without feeling short on space.
- 9 Easy-to-Make Garden Luminaries
Garden luminaries are a creative way to add light and sparkle to nighttime backyard scenes. We found some of the best DIY projects to inspire you.
- 9 Essential Tools for Every Gardener
Getting your yard ready for spring? The right equipment can mean the difference between a beautiful garden and a barren wasteland.
- 9 Incredibly Cool Pool Houses
Waterfront property sells at a hefty premium. But don't be discouraged if you're landlocked. You can create your own home-by-the-sea environment with a pool house. Come along and dream with us.
- 9 Insanely Easy 1-Hour Backyard Projects
Spring and summer bring longer days—but that doesn't mean it's much easier to squeeze in all the projects and repairs that you'd like to do. But when it comes to outdoor DIYs, you can accomplish more than you'd think in the span of a mere hour. We've rounded up 9 incredibly these simple outdoor projects that takes only 60 minutes to complete—and offer (at least) a full season of enjoyment!
- 9 Lessons Learned from Tiny Backyards
It’s a basic human desire to own a little plot of land. But what if your plot is really, <i>really</i> little? With some clever planning and a few spatial and visual tricks, you can still make a very modest outdoor space into an interesting, functional, and enjoyable spot to relax and entertain alfresco. Read on for 9 strategies for living large in a tiny yard.
- 9 Mowing Mistakes Everyone Makes
What's the difference between your lawn and the one next door? If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it could be that you're making one of these cardinal mowing mistakes. We spoke to Greg Weekes, Product Marketing Manager at John Deere, who filled us in on some of the biggest mowing mistakes to avoid. So have a look and see if any of your bad habits is costing you a better looking lawn.
- 9 Natural Ways to Kill Weeds
There are a number of children, pet, and environmentally friendly ways to rid your garden of pesky weeds— they're much safer and less costly than using harmful chemicals.
- 9 No-Kink Garden Hoses That Test True
Loads of hoses claim to be kink-free, but is there really such a thing as a no-kink garden hose? As it turns out, there is.
- 9 Tricks for Fast and Easy Fall Yard Cleanup
No one enjoys sacrificing a weekend to raking, weeding, and winterizing, but fall yard cleanup is a necessary evil. It's important to clear debris away from your yard and landscaping beds before snow falls and a deep freeze sets in. Make your end-of-season maintenance chores go faster with a few of these simple tips and tricks.
- 9 Ways to Extend Patio Season into Fall
As temperatures drop in the fall, our outdoor activities start to dwindle, and the bustle of life moves indoors. But there are still beautiful days and evenings left to enjoy outside if only we have something to draw us out there. For example, a fire pit or spa can turn your yard into the place to be on a bracing autumn evening. Beefed-up outdoor lighting can make your property more inviting as the days grow shorter, and installing an outdoor kitchen will keep the food prep—and the party—humming away outside. And don't plow the garden under just yet! Plant fall vegetable crops and fruit trees to keep your green thumb nimble until the ground freezes. There are so many ways to prolong the season. We've gathered just a few of our favorites.
- 9 Wheelbarrows to Lighten Your Load
Just as shovels and rakes come in every size and shape, wheelbarrows are now available in varying designs to suit your gardening needs.
- A Kitchen Garden
If you have a summer home, you know that referring to it as a "retreat" or "get-away" doesn't relinquish you of the r...
- A New Tool in the Shed Promises to Replace All the Others
Next spring, one yard care system is going to revolutionize the way homeowners stock their sheds. We're used to such ...
- Add Flavor to Your Kitchen with a Winter Herb Garden
During the dull days of winter, I long to get out into the garden to harvest something for my dinner table. Having ha...
- Add a Little Spice to Your Life with a Culinary Herb Garden
If you love to cook, then you know the value of fresh herbs. Modern transportation and preservation methods make all ...
- Adding Ornamental Grasses to Your Garden
Ornamental grasses bring more than just bulk to your garden—they add various textures, movement, and color, and they ...
- Adirondack Chairs: 10 New Classics for Today
A New England creation turned countrywide outdoor favorite, this American standard is as popular as ever.
- Adirondack Chairs: Modern Takes at Reduced Prices
The Adirondack chair dates back to 1903, when Thomas Lee couldn't get comfortable. While vacationing with his family ...
- Air Plants: Growing Tillandsia
Air plants—or tillandsias—are one of my favorite indoor plants. I bought my first little pup about a year ago and sin...
- All Garden Hoses Are Not Created Equal
Let's talk garden hoses. Every home needs at least one, whether to water the lawn, wash the car, or run the Slip 'n S...
- All You Need to Know About Begonia Care
Prized for their prolific blooms in a rainbow of colors—from creamy white and soft pink to shades of deep rose and cr...
- All You Need to Know About Fence Materials
From the zigzag post-and-rail of the Colonial era to the elaborate molded vinyl styles of today, fences have always b...
- All You Need to Know About Insecticidal Soap
Are aphids gnawing on your heirloom roses? Are spider mites munching on your tomato plants? If garden pests are buggi...
- All You Need to Know About Mulch Types
Mulch may not be a miracle cure for all that ails your garden, but according to professional gardeners and arborists,...
- All You Need to Know About Soil Types
Every gardener wants to grow the best-tasting tomatoes, the brightest zinnias, and the healthiest shrubs, but no one ...
- Amaryllis, Year After Year
The amaryllis is usually thought of as a one-off winter bulb that makes for a great holiday accent. But with very lit...
- An Instant, Low-Maintenance Lawn
Having a lawn doesn’t always mean you can grow grass. Some places are simply too shady or too wet for any variety of ...
- Anatomy of an Adirondack Chair
Warm summer nights make me want to lounge back with a cool beverage and watch the sunset from our back deck after the...
- Arbors: A Garden's Best Friend
Few things can lend instant character quite as dramatically as the addition of an arbor. Vinyl, wood, and aluminum options abound, but the most striking arbors are altered to reflect the garden’s personality.
- Are You Spending Way Too Much to Operate Your Swimming Pool?
For those who are lucky enough to own a swimming pool, this is the best time of year. But as you soak in the sun, you...
- Area Rugs Set Fashion Free in the Great Outdoors
Thanks to modern advances in fabrication, outdoor rugs have never featured more extensive design options. A favorite ...
- Artificial Turf: 7 Reasons to Consider the New "Grass" Alternative
There's more to today's artificial turf products than just good looks. Made of polypropylene and featuring colorations and blade compositions that mimic real grass, they eliminate the need for mowing, watering and fertilizers and manufactured for lasting durability and beauty.
- Axes and Hatchets
Axes goes back into prehistory almost as far as the hammer. The axe, too, started out as a stone, but some clever Sto...
- Backyard Decks Go Green with Redwood Construction
Contrary to popular belief, redwood can be a very environmentally-friendly building material especially when compared...
- Be Dark Sky-Compliant When Lighting Up the Night
Warmer weather encourages us to spend more time on the deck, porch, or patio. Of course, lighting can extend outdoor ...
- Beat the Heat with These 10 Cool Outdoor Umbrellas
No need to rush off to Kokomo—you'll get there fast and then you'll take it slow with these stylish umbrellas that can create a paradise right in your own backyard.
- Beat the Heat: 16 DIY Outdoor Showers to Cool You Down
Just because you can't afford a luxurious outdoor pool and spa doesn't mean you can't enjoy a cooldown with one of these easy-to-make outdoor showers.
- Before & After: This Tropical Patio Started as a Pile of Pallets
With the mercury rising and spring in full swing, we're ratcheting open the windows and stepping gratefully back outd...
- Before and After: 6 Landscapes Totally Transformed
Remodeling is always a risk, but updating the outside of your house is a seriously smart investment. From framing a new addition to getting to work in the garden, see how these real-life remodels transformed six west coast homes.
- Beyond Security: 3 More Reasons to Install a New Floodlight
Where I live out in the country, the nights can be very dark—no city lights down the street, and nothing more than th...
- Blend Your Deck into the Landscape
Outdoor decks connect the interior of a home to the natural world. “Decks are the first transition from the inside of...
- Blown Away: 12 Upcycled Wind Chimes You Can Make
Do you want a unique set of wind chimes to add some personality to your garden, patio, balcony, or deck? You’re in luck—no need to go to an expensive home boutique to find what you’re looking for. Instead, take a look around your kitchen, garage, tool shed, or even your backyard. You'll find all sorts of items you can upcycle into a pretty and sweet-sounding set of DIY wind chimes. When looking for the perfect pieces, choose items that make a pleasing sound when they hit each other. Note that heavy items will be slow to make contact unless you place the chimes in an area with high winds; delicate items made of glass or china could shatter in the same windy location. If the spot where you want to place your chimes doesn't get enough wind, hang one wide, flat piece lower than the other items—it will catch the wind and start the music! Here are 12 unique DIY wind chimes to get your creative juices flowing.
- Bob Vila Radio: A Tidier Garden Hose
Is your green thumb confined to a small space? If you’re watering window boxes, a container garden on your deck, or a...
- Bob Vila Radio: Adding a Fire Pit to Your Backyard
If you enjoy cozying up to the fireplace in your home, why not consider adding a fire pit in your backyard? Fire pits...
- Bob Vila Radio: Backyard Bubbles
The sound of running water can be very soothing—that is, as long as it’s not coming from a broken pipe in the middle ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Backyard Chickens
If you’re in the market for fresh, locally raised eggs, you can’t get more local than your own backyard. Here are a f...
- Bob Vila Radio: Backyard Ponds
The sense of serenity you get relaxing in your yard can be enhanced by the sound of a babbling brook or waterfall, bu...
- Bob Vila Radio: Battery-Powered Lawn Mowers
With the cost of gasoline continuing to rise, battery-powered lawn mowers have been getting a lot of attention lately...
- Bob Vila Radio: Best Practices for Mounting Outdoor Speakers
If you often host outdoor get-togethers and seek a better method of providing music, installing outdoor speakers is t...
- Bob Vila Radio: Bird Feeders
Winter’s a great time to feed the birds, but if that means feeding the squirrels too, they can quickly wear out their...
- Bob Vila Radio: Building a Raised Garden Bed
There are lots of reasons why you might want to plant in a raised garden bed rather than directly in the soil. Raised...
- Bob Vila Radio: Butterfly Gardens
Watching a butterfly flit low above a garden is one of summer’s great delights. You can attract these delicate creatu...
- Bob Vila Radio: Buying a Grill
If you’re shopping for a new gas grill this season, you can pay anywhere from $100 to more than $10,000. You usually ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Chain Saws
Chain saws aren't just for lumberjacks anymore. These powerful tools now come in a range of sizes, with lightweight o...
- Bob Vila Radio: Choose the Right Fuel for Your Fire Pit
A fire pit introduces a festive yet intimate feeling to any outdoor living area, and perhaps best of all, there are c...
- Bob Vila Radio: Choosing Outdoor Furniture
Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing)...
- Bob Vila Radio: Clean Garden Tools
After a hot day’s work in your garden, you may be tempted to just toss the shovels and tools back into the garage, ev...
- Bob Vila Radio: Cleaning Plant Containers
If you’re like a lot of people, you have a stack of old pots in your garage or shed just waiting for the next time yo...
- Bob Vila Radio: Clover
If you want to spark a raging debate among gardeners, ask them how they feel about clover. Some homeowners will give ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Composters
I get alot of questions from folks who want to improve their garden soil with compost, but aren’t sure which kind of ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Composting
No fertilizer can do your garden as much good as compost can. It’s impossible to overfertilize with it. Even in colde...
- Bob Vila Radio: Container Gardens
There’s nothing quite as fresh as food that you grow in your own backyard. You may think your soil is too poor for a ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Cooling Plants
Most people know that planting a tree to shade your house is a great way to keep it cool. But actually, the south-fac...
- Bob Vila Radio: Crabgrass
Crabgrass is a pesky interloper that can really ruin the look of your lawn. Left unchecked, it can spread quickly acr...
- Bob Vila Radio: Curb Appeal
mp3 linkListen to BOB VILA ON CURB APPEAL, or read text below:I got a question from Julie in Tacoma: “I want to sell ...
- Bob Vila Radio: DIY Concrete
Even though the words are often used interchangeably, concrete and cement are not the same thing. Portland cement is ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Dandelions
Kids love them, but landscapers hate them. I’m talking about dandelions, whose cheerful yellow flowers can make you w...
- Bob Vila Radio: Day Lily Care
There are few flowering plants as satisfying as day lilies—they bloom in late spring and early summer, just as the sp...
- Bob Vila Radio: Decking Options
If you’re building a deck this summer, you’ve got a lot of decking choices. Pressure-treated southern yellow pine has...
- Bob Vila Radio: Does Pressure Washing Ruin Your Landscape?
Want to remove years of dirt and grime from the exterior of your home? A power washer might be the right tool for the...
- Bob Vila Radio: Dog Fences
We all know they don’t like to be fenced in, but after thousands of years of domestication, dogs need boundaries to b...
- Bob Vila Radio: Dog Home Safety
A dog is happy when he knows where home base is. a pet crate, a designated corner, a closet with a pet door or even a...
- Bob Vila Radio: Driveway Drainage
There are lots of options available in driveway materials, including asphalt, gravel, brick and pavers. In addition t...
- Bob Vila Radio: Driveway Options
Like it or not, working on the car, washing the dog, rinsing the lawnmower and all the other work we do on our drivew...
- Bob Vila Radio: Fall Bulbs
Always looking ahead, it’s time to plant spring-blooming bulbs. All they require is a bright, sunny location and a li...
- Bob Vila Radio: Fall Composting
All those piles of raked leaves and mown grass don’t do much good in your local landfill. If you garden, you can cut ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Fall Equipment Prep
As the weather gets colder, it’s a good idea to do some fall maintenance on your outdoor equipment and put it to bed ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Fall Lawn Care
Summer is a tough time for lawns, and this summer was especially tough on some. But every year we get a do-over in th...
- Bob Vila Radio: Fencing Options
If you’re looking for a way to give your home some character, to frame your garden, or to get a little privacy from t...
- Bob Vila Radio: Ferns
Leafy, green, and graceful, ferns bring drama and texture to the garden. They are attractive in rock gardens and make...
- Bob Vila Radio: Finishing a Deck
Painted decks are nice to look at, but they can require a lot of maintenance. Constant exposure to sun, water, and fo...
- Bob Vila Radio: Firewood Storage
There's nothing better than a crackling fire on a chilly night, except maybe not having to go back outside for more f...
- Bob Vila Radio: First Day of Spring
Today is March 20, the vernal equinox, better known as the first day of spring. For most of us around the country, th...
- Bob Vila Radio: Flag Poles
Today is Flag Day, the day we honor the Stars and Stripes. Whatever your politics, this is a good day to fly the flag...
- Bob Vila Radio: Fly the Flag
So independence day is upon us, and what better way to show your spirit than to fly the flag…but did you know there a...
- Bob Vila Radio: Front Yard Landscaping
Every garden needs a focal point; for the front yard, that's usually the home’s entryway. When the front door is the ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Garden Hoses
A hose is a hose is a hose, right? Not so fast—not all garden hoses are created equal, so before you spring for a new...
- Bob Vila Radio: Garden Journals
You can read all you want about gardening, but a garden journal is the best tool for making sure you remember what wo...
- Bob Vila Radio: Garden Planning
A little garden design and planning before you spend any money or pull on the gloves can give you a better garden eve...
- Bob Vila Radio: Gardening Greener
"What goes around comes around. " The old adage is especially true in your garden. Because plants aren’t the only th...
- Bob Vila Radio: Gardening Online
Nothing's more heartening in the depths of winter than leafing through a bulb catalog or shopping for next season’s g...
- Bob Vila Radio: Give Your Gas Grill a Tune-Up
Grilling season is back, and not a minute too soon! To avoid any unpleasant surprises on your inaugural cookout, give...
- Bob Vila Radio: Give Your Mower a Tune-Up
With the summer season nearing its peak, chances are that your lawn mower would benefit from a bit of mid-season TLC....
- Bob Vila Radio: Going Green in the Garden
Playing nice with the planet includes conserving resources, and good old H2O is at the top of the list. Every gardene...
- Bob Vila Radio: Grill Maintenance
Keep your grill running smoothly this season by doing a few key maintenance checks. LISTENListen to BOB VILA ON GRILL...
- Bob Vila Radio: Help Your Lawn Thrive This Sweltering Summer
Summertime is great for beaches, boating, and barbecues. But it's not so great for turf grasses. They tend to take a ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Hiding Trash Cans
Nothing kills a home’s curb appeal faster than a couple of trash cans and recycling bins parked in the driveway, or l...
- Bob Vila Radio: Homemade Remedies for Driveway Oil Spots
Oil spots on asphalt driveways certainly don't add to a home's curb appeal. Ask ten people what remedies they recomme...
- Bob Vila Radio: Hose Repair
If your garden hose has seen better days, don’t just send it to the landfill. There are some simple, inexpensive ways...
- Bob Vila Radio: Hot Weather Tree Care
Hot weather can really take a lot out of a person. . . and out of a tree as well. That’s why it’s important to take s...
- Bob Vila Radio: How to Relocate a Young Tree
Ever come to the frustrating conclusion that you've planted a young tree in exactly the wrong place? Here are some ti...
- Bob Vila Radio: In the Doghouse
Giving your pet a place of his own to take shelter from wind, rain and sun is a noble pursuit. Doghouses now come in ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Indoor Herb Gardens
Fresh herbs add flavor, fragrance, and sophistication to your cooking—and they can’t get much fresher than those you ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Integrated Pest Management
To control garden pests without using toxic chemicals, work with nature, not against it. LISTENListen to BOB VILA ON ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Irrigating Sustainably
Irrigating your yard can really be wasteful and expensive; clean water is a precious commodity, and not just in deser...
- Bob Vila Radio: Is It OK to Cut Protruding Tree Roots?
You love that tree in your backyard. But one of the roots is protruding above ground, creating a sure toe-stubber, an...
- Bob Vila Radio: Keeping Backyard Mosquitos at Bay
With Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses on the rise, it’s a good idea to take a close look at the mosquito contr...
- Bob Vila Radio: Kitchen Composting
Composting’s a great idea: it helps your garden thrive and keeps valuable organic waste out of landfills. But once yo...
- Bob Vila Radio: Know the Signs of a Dying Tree
It's not always easy to spot when a tree is in trouble, but it's important to keep your eyes open for problems. Here ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Lawn Care Hell
It’s the great American obsession, and we spend about twenty-five billion dollars a year on it, but if lawn care is e...
- Bob Vila Radio: Lawn Mower Blade Height
Whatever type of turf you have in your yard, if you want to keep it looking its best, make sure your mower is set to ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Lawn Prep
Fall lawn care is as important as what you do in the spring, because encouraging deep roots will help your lawn resis...
- Bob Vila Radio: Lawn Tractors
If you’ve got a half-acre or more of lawn to mow, a riding lawnmower or a garden tractor is a great tool to have. LIS...
- Bob Vila Radio: Lilac Pruning
If you didn’t prune your lilacs right after they bloomed, you still have a little time left, but don’t delay: Pruning...
- Bob Vila Radio: Moss Lawns
If you think of moss just as a nuisance in your lawn, or as something that doesn’t gather on a rolling stone, it’s ti...
- Bob Vila Radio: Mower Air Filters
With all the turf you've been trimming this summer, now's a good time to give your mower some well-deserved TLC. That...
- Bob Vila Radio: Mulch
Autumn leaves are a gift to your garden that literally just falls out of the trees. Instead of getting rid of them al...
- Bob Vila Radio: Natural Pesticides
Encouraging birds and bats to visit your yard is a great way to keep BUGS down without spraying. LISTENListen to BOB ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Outdoor Furniture
Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing)...
- Bob Vila Radio: Outdoor Speakers Hit a High Note
Audio speakers designed for the outdoors? They’ve been around for years—but recent innovations in weather-resistant c...
- Bob Vila Radio: Patio Heaters
Fall is a lovely time of year to enjoy your outdoor spaces. With the worst of summer’s heat and insects behind you, y...
- Bob Vila Radio: Planning Birdhouses
It’s one of life’s true pleasures to watch birds as they nest in the spring. If you’d like to encourage birds to buil...
- Bob Vila Radio: Planning a Pet-Friendly Yard
Cats and dogs need just as much time outside as people do, but designing a safe space for pets and protecting your la...
- Bob Vila Radio: Planting Bulbs in Spring
When we think about flowering bulbs, we often picture beautiful spring bloomers like daffodils and tulips, whose bulb...
- Bob Vila Radio: Planting Fruit Trees
Do you dream of picking a crisp apple or juicy peach from a tree right in your own backyard? Planting a fruit tree ca...
- Bob Vila Radio: Planting Ground Cover
If you've grown a bit weary of spending your weekends wedded to your lawn mower, perhaps it's time to replace some of...
- Bob Vila Radio: Potting Benches
A potting bench can be a handy addition to any yard or patio—even if you’re not much of a gardener! Here’s why. Liste...
- Bob Vila Radio: Prep Your Snow Blower for the Off-Season
As winter begins to loosen its grip, start thinking about storing your snow blower for the off-season. But before you...
- Bob Vila Radio: Prepare Your Garden Tools for the Off-Season
Once you've put your garden to bed for the winter, why not clean your garden tools before storing them away? TLC star...
- Bob Vila Radio: Protect Trees from Lightning
Beautiful trees enhance the look and value of residential properties, so no wonder people spend so much time trying t...
- Bob Vila Radio: Pruning Azaleas
Late spring is the time to sit back and admire those azaleas as they bloom; azaleas add a veritable explosion of colo...
- Bob Vila Radio: Pruning Young Trees
A good way to help your young tree stay healthy is to prune it wisely. The best time to prune a tree is late winter, ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Quieter Leaf Blowers Are Here, Finally
This time of year, the intrusive sound of leaf blowers is a constant presence in nearly every neighborhood. But blowe...
- Bob Vila Radio: Radical Hedge Pruning
Hedges make great privacy screens, and they’re certainly friendlier than stockade fences. At some point, though, you ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Rain Gardens
In a heavy downpour, all of that water pouring through your downspouts can overwhelm your local sewer system, leading...
- Bob Vila Radio: Raising Sunken Pavers
If a few of the pavers in your patio or driveway have begun to sag, don't fret—there’s an easy, DIY-friendly fix. Her...
- Bob Vila Radio: Rakes
The first job any gardener has this time of year is that all-important spring cleanup that starts with raking out any...
- Bob Vila Radio: Raking Tips
This time of year, those of us who are lucky enough to have trees that provide summer shade have to pay for that priv...
- Bob Vila Radio: Removing Tree Stumps
At some point, you may need to remove a tree, whether because it’s too close to the house or because it’s dead or dyi...
- Bob Vila Radio: Retaining Walls
A sloped yard is hard to use, and if it’s got erosion problems or it’s channeling water toward the foundation of your...
- Bob Vila Radio: Safe Decks
More than a third of new homes are built with backyard decks, and they’re a really a popular do-it-yourself project. ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Separating Squirrels from Your Bird Feeder
What’s the best way to keep those persistent squirrels from pigging out at your bird feeder? Here's an assortment of ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Sharpening Your Hedge Trimmer
Powered hedge trimmers are a tremendous time-saver for any homeowner who prefers to handle his own landscaping. But i...
- Bob Vila Radio: Shovels
Picking the right shovel for the job saves time—and can save your back as well. Here are a few shovels you’ll want in...
- Bob Vila Radio: Shrub Success
Fall is a great time to upgrade your landscaping. Plants, trees, and shrubs are slowing down from the hot summer and ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Sites for Compost
Composting puts your yard and kitchen waste to work creating nutrient-rich soil for your garden. It’s a true win-win,...
- Bob Vila Radio: Small Yards
A well-designed outdoor space is like having an extra room in the house. Even a small yard is a great treasure, but i...
- Bob Vila Radio: Solar Garden Lights
Outdoor lighting looks great along a walkway or in the garden, but it can be a pain to install the wiring for it. Sol...
- Bob Vila Radio: Spring Fence Routine
A wooden fence is a beautiful accent on any home, but it takes some maintenance to keep it looking neat and trim. Spr...
- Bob Vila Radio: Spring Lawn Preparation
There’s nothing like a beautiful green lawn to make your house look great. Now that spring is here, it’s time to get ...
- Bob Vila Radio: Starting Seeds
If you get a thrill out of watching your garden grow, you might want to get a jump on the season by starting from see...
- Bob Vila Radio: Starting Vegetables from Seeds Indoors
Now that spring is here, many people’s thoughts turn to gardening, and to the joys of leafy salads and delicate sprin...
- Bob Vila Radio: Stone Walls
Nothing beats the natural look of a dry-laid stone wall, but building one requires a strong back, deep pockets, and a...
- Bob Vila Radio: Stop Deer in Their Tracks
You might enjoy their pastoral presence, but there’s no doubt that deer wreak havoc on garden vegetables, plants, and...
- Bob Vila Radio: The Easiest Way to Fertilize Trees and Shrubs
Looking to give your trees and shrubs a nutritional boost? If so, consider fertilizer spikes. Filled with vital nutri...
- Bob Vila Radio: Tickscaping
The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance reports that as many as three-quarters of all Lyme Disease cases are caused by tick b...
- Bob Vila Radio: USDA Zone Maps
Farmers and gardeners alike are familiar with the USDA plant hardiness zone map, which divides the country into growi...
- Bob Vila Radio: Watering the Lawn
A beautiful green lawn requires regular watering to keep it looking great. The trick is to use enough water to keep y...
- Bob Vila Radio: What Is a Rain Garden?
Rain gardens are essentially natural or man-made depressions on the property, which the homeowner fills with a variet...
- Bob Vila Radio: What Is the Cooperative Extension Service?
I’m sure you’ve read articles that suggested contacting your local Cooperative Extension Office for services like soi...
- Bob Vila Radio: Wheelbarrows
This is a busy time of year in the garden, what with planting and mulching, weeding and feeding. All that heavy lifti...
- Bob Vila Radio: Why Have a Raised Garden Bed?
Growing plants in raised beds is a tradition that goes back at least hundreds of years. Here are five reasons why a r...
- Bob Vila Radio: Window Boxes
Window boxes can really amp up a home’s curb appeal by adding color and a sense of welcome. Here are some tips for cr...
- Bob Vila Radio: Winterize Your Lawn
If you haven’t done it already, this is the time to winterize your yard! Make a list of the things you need to do to...
- Bob Vila's Guide to Front Yard Landscaping
Your front yard, regardless of its size, plays an important role in your home's overall curb appeal. Your landscaping...
- Bob Vila's Guide to Lawn Care
Americans are not bashful when it comes to expressing their love of lawns—it has been estimated that there are more t...
- Bob Vila's Holiday Gift Guide: For the Gardener
We've rounded up time-tested standbys and the coolest new products destined to delight the gardener in your family.
- Bold and Beautiful: 10 Fall-Blooming Flowers
Bright colors and big blooms don't end in summer. In fact, nothing says fall quite like these 10 ubiquitous autumn blossoms.
- Bonsai for Beginners
Bonsai—caring for and nourishing miniature shrubs and trees in pots—has long been a way for hobbyists to reduce stres...
- Botanical Tulips: Jewels of the Garden
With their dainty proportions and showy blooms, botanical tulips are sure to bring surprising beauty and interest to your spring garden.
- Boxwoods: Maintaining Structure in Your Garden
Boxwood hedges might look formal, but they are a workhorse in the garden. The evergreens can define areas and be the ...
- Breathe Easier at Home with Indoor Plants
As winter draws to a close, things are getting a bit stuffy in our house. Like many energy-conscious consumers, we’ve...
- Build Your Own Greenhouse: 11 Easy-to-Assemble Kits
If you're looking to extend your gardening beyond the summer, perhaps one of these easy-to-assemble DIY greenhouse kits will find its way to your backyard.
- Building a Basic Deck
Decks and other outdoor spaces are different from ordinary rooms. They serve as an intermezzo between home and nature...
- Building a Concrete Pool Deck
Textures and coatings can give you a lasting concrete pool deck to match your needs and weather challenges. Creating...
- Buy or DIY: 7 Hanging Planters for the Great Indoors
<p>What brings more life and texture to a wall than any piece of art? A thing of natural beauty: the hanging planter. There are oodles of design ideas incorporating plants that will prettify any room in your home. You have lots to choose from, whether you are a newbie to keeping plants, or have a bona fide green thumb. When considering a planter, just keep a few ideas and considerations in mind. </p><br/>
<p>Be sure your planter will have the proper support. Once you add soil and a plant to the structure, it could be quite heavy. Secure hangers into studs, or use anchors that are rated appropriately for the weight of your planter. Like any other potted plant, those in your hanging planters will need good drainage. This can be tricky when planters are indoors. You don’t want to damage your floors with water. Make sure you have a drip pan attached that’s big enough to accommodate draining water. Or, in the absence of a drip pan, pot your plant in a separate liner with drainage holes, and then set that into your planter. In some cases, the best idea is to take the plant down and set it in the sink or outside for its regular watering routine, hanging it back once it has drained. </p><br/>
<p>Whether you prefer flowers or philodendron, there’s a multitude of planter designs to string up and suit any budget or style. Click through to check out our favorite ideas for planters that you can buy or DIY.</p>
- Buyer's Guide: Best Leaf Blowers
In many parts of the country, 'tis the time for trees to start showing signs of crimson and gold. Yet while fall foli...
- Buyer's Guide: Chainsaws
As much as chainsaws hold appeal for tool geeks and aspiring lumberjacks, they are also quite handy for the average h...
- Buyer's Guide: Grills
Nearly 8 out of 10 (or 77 percent) households own an outdoor barbecue grill or smoker, according to the Hearth, Patio...
- Buyer's Guide: Power Hedge Trimmers
The shape and tidiness of your shrubs is a crucial component of curb appeal. Whether you’ve got a densely landscaped ...
- Buyer’s Guide: Lawn Edgers
Whether your yard is large or small, minimally landscaped or filled with flower beds, one of the easiest ways to keep...
- Buyer’s Guide: Lawn Sprinklers
While your yard may take its fair share of work to maintain and manicure, it can actually be pretty easy to keep it f...
- Buyer’s Guide: Weed Whackers
If your lawn features a lot of “interruptions”—trees, shrubbery, pavers, and pathways—odds are that you struggle with...
- Care and Repair of Outdoor Furniture
When choosing outdoor furniture for a garden room, outdoor kitchen, or multi-level deck, some consumers prefer qualit...
- Celebrate Fall with 11 Thrifty DIY Projects for the Home
Autumn means cooler temps, crisper air, and, of course, pumpkins, leaves, and seasonal colors galore. Transform your front porch into a welcoming wonder with these easy DIYs that showcase the best of fall decorating.
- Chain Saws 101
Chain saws—the forest primeval has seen few tools with such devastating utility, not to mention sheer volume. If a st...
- Checklist: A Safe and Insurable Yard
To be sure that the outside of your home is safe and insurable, review the exterior for overall safety. Aside from al...
- Chick Magnets: 15 Irresistible DIY Chicken Coops
As the popularity of raising poultry in the backyard burgeons, so too does the variety and quality of designs in DIY chicken coops.
- Composite Decking 101
For what is meant to be a relaxing outdoor refuge, a deck can sure be a lot of work. Sanding, power-washing, refinish...
- Composite Decking: 10 Great Reasons to Rethink Wood
Durable, colorfast, and resistant to mold, mildew, and rot, composite decking is taking center stage in backyards across the country.
- Composting 101: What You Should and Shouldn’t Compost
The best gardeners know that compost is better than fertilizer, when it comes to providing a nutrient-rich growing en...
- Considering a Wood Deck? It's Not Just About Good Looks
There are many wood species that can be used for outdoor decks, but not all offer the same benefits and maintenance r...
- Cool Tools: A Next-Generation Mower Cuts Above the Rest
Even as a kid, when my five-dollar allowance depended on it, I hated mowing the lawn. Decades later, things have chan...
- Cool Tools: A Triple-Threat to Help Your Garden Thrive
Summer teases us with warm breezes and long days just perfect for relaxation and repose. But for many homeowners, too...
- Cool Your House with Smart Landscaping
Smart landscaping is more than a pretty yard—it’s a smart and efficient way to cool your home in summer. Trees shade ...
- Craft a Perfect Outdoor Kitchen
Nothing quite beats the enjoyment of cooking and dining outdoors. Fortunately, creating a lovely open-air kitchen is ...
- Creating Privacy Through Landscaping
Many homeowners use their porches, decks, and yards as extensions of their living space. To feel at ease, however, th...
- Creating Privacy and Beauty with Hedgerows
Whether you’re looking to create a privacy enclosure, windbreak, or wildlife deterrent, or simply bring some traditio...
- Creating Your Ideal Outdoor Room
No matter what climate you live in, chances are outdoor rooms are hot in your area — and with good reason. Outdoor ro...
- DIY Deals: Bird Baths
If you're looking to bring charm and variety to your outdoor space, a bird bath is the perfect choice. Not only will ...
- DIY Deals: Container Gardening
Whether you’re a city dweller, rural resident, or citizen of suburbia, container gardening is a convenient way to get...
- DIY Deals: Lawn & Garden
If you haven’t already started mowing the lawn, replanting the beds and cleaning your deck and patio in anticipation ...
- DIY Deals: Lawn & Garden Tools
It takes time and effort to maintain a beautiful lawn and the right tools definitely help. Here's a sampling of retai...
- DIY Deals: Outdoor Kids Play
It's mid-summer and the sales on outdoor play sets for children are in full swing. Online and in stores you'll have ...
- DIY Deals: Outdoor Lighting
Even though summer just started, many retailers have already put their outdoor and landscaping products on sale. With...
- DIY Deals: Outdoor Rugs
Outdoor rugs are a great way to add interest, warmth, and character to your patio, porch, or deck. And with the varie...
- DIY Kids: Build a Backyard Tire Swing
There’s something so incredibly appealing about a simple tire swing. Whether it’s the freeing feeling of soaring thro...
- DIY Kids: Make a Garden Stepping Stone
Whether you're looking for a way to personalize the lawn and garden with mementos from the kids or you're on the hunt...
- DIY Lite: A Beginner's Guide to Building a Wooden Planter Box
Some lucky homeowners with enough property for a large plot of land to be dedicated garden space; for the rest of us,...
- DIY Lite: A Wooden Bench That Anyone Can Build
As summer approaches, the growing number of sunny hours each day means that we have more time to spend out in the yar...
- DIY Lite: Build a Backyard Hammock Stand from Scratch
Wish that you had a relaxing moment in a camping hammock in your own backyard, but have nowhere to hang it? Rather th...
- DIY Lite: Easy Tiki Torches for a Bug-Free Backyard
Nothing spoils an outdoor gathering like unwanted guests, namely the buzzy ones. Enjoy summer nights free from the mo...
- DIY Lite: The Easy Way to Build Better Backyard Privacy
Are your neighbors so close that it feels like you practically share a backyard? There's no need to fence off your pr...
- DIY Lite: These 1-Hour Wind Chimes Star a Few Surprise Materials
Looking to enhance your backyard escape with little more than an hour-long DIY project? Consider the charm of an acce...
- Deck the Halls: Holly Bushes
As your home decor becomes festive inside, it’s nice to see a little of that color scheme reflected outside as well. ...
- Decked Out: 5 Approaches to Designing Your Dream Deck
Personal style plays a major role in so many of our expenditures, but in the backyard, we often settle for a plain wo...
- Design Ideas to Steal from 10 Amazing Outdoor Kitchens
If cooking out is a big part of your warm weather routine, an outdoor kitchen is a great investment. The joys of eating al fresco are multiplied when you have convenient appliances within reach and a well designed outdoor dining area to enjoy delicious fare. Take a tip from these well-situated outdoor kitchens.
- Designing a Driveway with Long-Lasting Appeal
When we were building our new construction home, the driveway almost seemed like an afterthought. With everything els...
- Ditch the Hose with a Drip Irrigation System
Tired of standing next to your planting beds, garden hose in hand? Concerned about getting too much water where you d...
- Dividing Perennials in the Spring
One of the pleasures of spring is taking stock in your garden: Which perennials are ready to be doubled (or even trip...
- Do Less Yard Work with 4 Smart Strategies
Whether it’s the colorful buds that line your front walkway or the blooming beds out back, incorporating a lush garde...
- Don't Forget to Fertilize Your Lawn This Fall!
Autumn is generally seen as the season of winding down before winter dormancy. But when it comes to lawn care, fall i...
- Don't Make These 8 Mistakes in Your Front Yard
Maybe you’re a first-time homeowner who is looking to put your personal stamp on your new abode. Or you may be thinking of putting your house on the market and want to enhance the property’s curb appeal. Or perhaps you are just tired of your home's current look and want to give the place a well-deserved facelift. Whatever your reasons for considering a small or large landscape overhaul, you probably don’t want to waste your efforts on costly, time-consuming, and aggravating mistakes. Here are just a few of the common landscaping blunders that can snare even experienced homeowners.
- Don’t Forget to Plant These Bulbs!
It’s the season to be planting bulbs. Many gardeners get fixated on the old standards—tulips and daffodils. Yes, ther...
- Double Digging Boosts Soil Health in Your Garden
Quality, nutrient-rich aerated soil is the foundation of a good garden. Sure, the "no dig" gardening method has its a...
- Dreaming of Daffodils
I’m a beginning gardener. I have lots of ideas but little experience. The basic landscaping package that came with ou...
- Early Bloomers: 7 Spring Flowers Bringing Color NOW to a Yard Near You!
Nothing heralds the coming of spring like perennial flowers. Their reliable return each season is one of the reasons gardeners love to plant bulbs; put in the ground in the fall, they will reward you with beautiful blooms during the earliest growing months. Every year, the dormant bulbs awake to send green shoots through the cold ground—even snow! Although a late frost can harm them, these early bloomers are generally of hardy stock and can grow in colder zones. If you don't already grow bulbs in your garden, a stroll through this gallery of lovely flowers might just be enough to make even the gardening-averse consider taking up a trowel.
- Easy Ground Covers: 7 Varieties to Enhance Any Landscape
A great solution to those patchy parts of your landscape, 'ground cover' is a general term for perennials that are kn...
- Eating Out: 10 Essentials for Alfresco Dining
With summer upon us, now is a great time to get yourself set up for celebrating a season of food and fun in your outdoor spaces. Once you've covered the basics, adding some no-fuss dinnerware, comfortable seat cushions, or special decorative accents can make your outdoor gatherings truly special. Ready to get started? Here are 10 alfresco ideas that will make you and your guests want to eat every meal outside.
- Editors' Picks: 7 Tools to Wage War Against Leaves
In fall, we love the crisp nip in the air, the taste of freshly picked apples, and of course the vibrant hues of the changing foliage. But our enjoyment of the latter quickly gives way to woe, as we spend hours on the weekend removing leaves from the lawn. So long as you’re armed with the right equipment, however, leaf collection doesn’t need to be a backbreaking chore. These clever pieces of gear can save you both time and effort—check them out now!
- Ergonomic Snow Shoveling Tips from the Experts
As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, Old Man Winter gears up to blow squalling snow all over our decks ...
- Everywhere Ferns: Choosing the Right Variety for Your Garden
With a history dating back 300 million years, ferns have proven their staying power. Today, their frilled fronds and ...
- Fab Doghouses
We dog owners are a strange breed. We obsess about the day-to-day comfort, happiness, and health of our pets. We own ...
- Fence Styles: 10 Popular Designs to Consider
With so many fence styles available today, it can be hard for homeowners to choose the one that best fits their property and needs. Fences generally fall into three categories: privacy, functional, and decorative. Whether used to define property boundaries, keep pets and children safe, or keep out unwelcome visitors (two- and four-legged), a fence can dramatically enhance your home’s curb appeal. Made of myriad materials, including wood, metal, vinyl, stone, and brick—you can be sure there is a fence style that’s right for you. And, since installing a fence is one of the most common do-it-yourself projects, you’ll find a wide variety of kits and premade panels to make assembly a snap. Here is a look at some of the most common styles of fences used today.
- Fences 101
Through the ages, fences have been made from a variety of materials. Around my neighborhood, I see vinyl, cedar, meta...
- Fenway Park’s Groundskeeper Shares His Secrets to a Lush, Green Lawn
David Mellor was on his way to an athletic scholarship and a promising pitching career when tragedy struck: He got hi...
- Flag Etiquette
On this Fourth of July weekend, we thought we would share some information on the proper etiquette for displaying the...
- Flowering Climbers: 8 Cures for the Common Garden
Grow your garden from ordinary to extraordinary with flowering vines that add a beautiful new level of interest to your landscape.
- French Drains 101
Things with "French" in the title are usually fancy, right? Poodles, perfume, pastries. But a French drain is nothing...
- Fresh Flowers: 10 New Annuals for 2013
Mix and match these new-to-market annuals to ensure an unforgettable garden this year.
- Garden Fountains: 10 Water Features to Beautify Any Yard
An outdoor fountain presents a win-win feature for your yard. In addition to creating an attractive focal point on your patio or lawn, a fountain also adds a soothing dimension and the mesmerizing movement of water.
- Garden Hose Storage: 8 Stylish Solutions
Looking for a way to remedy kinks and knots in your garden hose? Consider one of these eight decorative hose management solutions.
- Garden Paths: 16 Easy-to-Imitate Stone Walkways
Garden paths come in all shapes and sizes, many of them easy enough to accomplish in a weekend. Here are sixteen easy-to-imitate designs that are certain to add beauty to your garden.
- Garden in Comfort with These 10 Ergonomic Tools
Gardening can sometimes leave you feeling achy and sore. But don’t despair, because there are many ergonomic gardening tools available to help take the pain out of planting.
- Genius! Build a Bee Hotel for a Healthier Garden
Decades ago, famed physicist Albert Einstein predicted that once the bees were gone, people would disappear, too. He ...
- Genius! DIY a Custom, Collapsible Sunshade
Some days, hanging out under an awning is the closest we can get to enjoying the breeze underneath a shady beach umbr...
- Genius! Double Your Grilling Space Without Spending a Dime
From searing a steak to piecing together the perfect kebabs, manning the grill is a juggling act. For BBQ-ers without...
- Genius! Grow a Garden on a Curtain Rod
"My mom once said she could only keep so many things alive at once," writes Jill Kurtz, photographer, architect, and ...
- Genius! Hack This Old Appliance for the Perfect Fire Pit
This story starts out like many other tales of DIY savvy. While browsing the a trendy retailer store, Sarah of House ...
- Genius! Hack a Bookcase for Healthier Houseplants
Millennia ago, Roman philosopher Marcus Cicero wrote, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you ne...
- Genius! Instant DIY Hammock
We're always choosing between saving time and saving money. So when a DIY comes along that's both quick and inexpensi...
- Genius! Make a Mini Greenhouse with Dollar-Store Photo Frames
Sure, your indoor plants might be doing just fine on their own with your current watering schedule and carefully sele...
- Genius! Raid Your Recycling Bin for Free Garden Tools
When A Farm of Your Home's blogger Melissa Barrett first moved to Australian city of Perth, her backyard was a tiny d...
- Genius! The $0 Sled You Can Build in 10 Minutes
For kids, nothing beats the thrill of the first snowy day of the season. While they get busy building a snowman, you ...
- Genius! The Backyard Movie Theater You Can Build in a Day
A night at the movies doesn’t come cheap. With the steep price of tickets, not to mention the popcorn and M&Ms, t...
- Genius! The Easy Way to Add Privacy to a Chain-Link Fence
Chain-link fences have bordered American yards for more than a century, and with good reason—they're cheap, easy to i...
- Get Inspired! 17 Sensational Deck Designs
If you're planning to build a wood deck—or just dreaming of one—here are twelve extraordinary deck designs to inspire you.
- Give Your Facade a Facelift: Simple, Affordable Ways to Boost Curb Appeal
Just like windows are the eyes to the soul, the outside of a home gives viewers a first impression of what’s inside. ...
- Goodbye Grass: 7 Inspiring Ideas for a "No Mow" Backyard
Americans love our lawns but let's face it: Creating a perfectly manicured yard is time-consuming. Just think about all the weekend hours you've spent cutting, watering, fertilizing, and weeding the grass. And even after all that hard work, it may still not be perfect. But we've got a little landscaping secret for you. Ditching the lawn doesn't mean giving up on your space. In fact, some of the most luxurious, green and well-designed yards don't have a single blade of grass. So what are you waiting for? Click through to find incredible no-mow ideas that could forever change your outlook—and your lawn.
- Great Entrances: 10 Welcoming Garden Gates
A thoughtfully designed gate can make an already welcoming garden even more so, and give a much-needed decorative boost come winter. Whether integrated into a fence's design, overrun by wildflowers, or a standalone element, a gate is an extension of your home's (and garden’s) personality—but that doesn’t mean it can’t make a statement all its own. We found 10 examples of gates that serve as a barrier to the outside world while still saying "come on in." Even if your gardening prowess hasn't yet produced the landscape of your dreams, these fences will still make for a scenic and inviting welcome to your home.
- Great Grill Gear from the International Gift Fair
Charcoal or gas? Beef or chicken? Veggies or fruit? There are so many decisions to make about grilling—and best of al...
- Growing Up: 10 Inventive DIY Vertical Gardens
Spring is in the air and it’s time to get growing! Whether you’re working within the confines of an apartment balcony, a modest backyard, or an expansive ranch, a vertical garden provides new opportunities for growth. Vertical gardens use a variety of methods to grow herbs, vegetables, and flowers in a structured environment. While there are numerous commercial vertical planters on the market, it is easy to make your own by upcycling items from your garage or attic—or hunting for affordable finds at your local flea market. The key ingredient is good-quality potting soil and a planting vessel that allows for consistent drainage. If you’re wondering whether you have any household items that could be used to build a DIY vertical garden, here are 10 creative ideas to get you started.
- Growing a Bamboo Garden
Clumping and Running BambooBamboo is a member of the grass family, with more than 200 species available in the U. S. ...
- Heirloom Apples: Growing a Slice of History
Shopping at the grocery store, one can usually find only eight or ten varieties of apples. That selection represents ...
- Here’s What Your Favorite Houseplants Look Like in the Wild
Truth be told, all houseplants were wild at some point in time, until humans decided to bring them indoors to grow for food or medicinal purposes—and for their beauty. So, where did your houseplants come from? Check out these 10 popular houseplants in their wild habitat.
- Homemade Fertilizer Makes the Grass Always Greener
Spring is near, and for many that means coaxing the lawn back into shape. Growing grass can be frustrating and reward...
- How To: Aerate Your Lawn
It's not easy maintaining a lush carpet of green grass. We only see the blades on the lawn surface, but the health of...
- How To: Bevel a Fence Post
Here's how to dress up a fence post with a beveled cap. It's easy to do with a radial arm saw. Set the blade at a 45-...
- How To: Build a Basic Backyard Fire Pit
Many homes have fireplaces or propane stoves inside, but there’s nothing quite like enjoying a fire pit under the sta...
- How To: Build a Brick Patio
Of the materials suitable for use in patio construction, brick stands out for its beauty and ease of installation. De...
- How To: Build a Deck
The beauty of a deck is that—unlike bare ground or lawn—it’s level, stable, supports furniture, sheds rain, and provi...
- How To: Build a Dry Stone Retaining Wall
Depending on the size and weight of the stones used to construct the retaining wall, the tools and materials for the ...
- How To: Build a Horseshoe Pit
When summer is on, it’s time to get outside and play. If you're looking for ways to make your backyard more fun, why ...
- How To: Build a Paver Patio
Patio. The very word conjures up visions of lazy, relaxing afternoons spent with friends and family. For those whose ...
- How To: Build a Quick and Easy Trellis
Low-cost additions to any landscape, easy-to-make garden trellises can be used to introduce shade or privacy, or to s...
- How To: Care for Garden Tools
A quality garden starts with quality care—and that doesn’t just mean keeping up with your weeding. Maintaining your g...
- How To: Care for Roses
Like most stars, roses are divas. When left to their own devices, they get tangled and produce only when they feel li...
- How To: Care for Winter Birds
Sure, the majority of birds head south for the winter, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop buying birdseed. Accor...
- How To: Care for Your Grill
Summertime! The living is easy and—more often than not—the food is grilled. From burgers, dogs, and steaks to chicken...
- How To: Choose a Lawn Mower
If your current lawn mower was built to last, it's probably been a while since you've shopped for a new one! When you...
- How To: Choose a Wheelbarrow
With planting season around the corner, it’s time to hit the garage and take inventory: what have you got, and what d...
- How To: Choose the Right Materials for Your Outdoor Project
Thinking of building a fence? Looking to add a deck? Both projects will be subjected to the whims of Mother Nature, s...
- How To: Clean Patio Furniture
A fixture of backyard barbecues and poolside parties, patio furniture must withstand not only the elements, but also ...
- How To: Clean a Gas Grill
It's one of the most loved rituals of summer—friends and family gathering together in the backyard to enjoy some hot-...
- How To: Clean a Grill
For some of us, summer doesn't mean sunbathing on the beach or hiking along a mountain trail—it means grilling burger...
- How To: Close Your Pool for the Winter
Of all homeowner responsibilities, few so clearly indicate the end of summer as closing the swimming pool. Properly d...
- How To: Combat Garden Pests (Part 1)
It’s the time of year when garden pests become especially irritating. Your ripening harvest might be snacked on by ap...
- How To: Combat Garden Pests (Part 2)
Most people react to deer, groundhogs, and rabbits with a smile acknowledging their adorableness. But gardeners know ...
- How To: Create a Gravel Driveway
A gravel driveway can be very attractive in a characteristically unpretentious way, introducing casual curb appeal to...
- How To: Custom-Build The Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen
Whether you're accustomed to hosting the big barbecue or simply enjoy the occasional family dinner from the grill, yo...
- How To: Dry Hydrangeas
The end of the summer is just days away but instead of celebrating the season, the last bright blooms are starting to...
- How To: Dry Your Garden Herbs
If you want to keep a little bit of your summer garden with you all year long, you can do so by drying herbs and stor...
- How To: Edge a Lawn
Beautifully mowing a lawn without edging the perimeter and beds is like getting an amazing haircut but leaving an ove...
- How To: Get Rid of Caterpillars
A love of gardening often goes hand in hand with a hatred toward the pests that pervade the fruits of your labor, bot...
- How To: Get Rid of Clover
Stubborn weeds are the bane of a beautiful lawn. Yet, although it's pretty stubborn, clover (aka Trifolium repens) is...
- How To: Get Rid of Crabgrass
If you are one of the many homeowners who labor in pursuit of the perfect lawn, then you know what a menace crabgrass...
- How To: Get Rid of Gophers
Even if you’re not an avid cultivator of prized begonias or caretaker of an expensive golf course like Bill Murray’s ...
- How To: Get Rid of Grubs
They don’t care who you are or where you live. You won’t see them coming, and by the time they make their presence kn...
- How To: Get Rid of Ladybugs
A healthy outdoor ladybug population is a good thing. Gardeners appreciate their voracious appetite for the destructi...
- How To: Grill Like the Pros
The most satisfying summer meals usually involve a backyard and a grill. According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue...
- How To: Grow Fresh Produce from Your Leftover Groceries
It’s truly gratifying to grow your own food, but not everyone has the time and space for an entire vegetable garden. Fortunately, getting a start on growing your own can be as easy as a trip to the market! You can regrow food from your kitchen scraps, which means that you'll always have on hand such recipe staples as green onions, basil, bean sprouts, and fresh ginger. While you can try to use produce bought at the grocery store, much of it has been treated and cold-stored to inhibit growth and decay. As a result, your best bet for success is locally grown produce picked up at the farmers' market. Whichever route you choose, the preparation process doesn’t demand a big investment of time or money, so why not give regrowing your food a try! Click through for some of the best contenders for your kitchen-scrap garden.
- How To: Grow Moss
There are two main types of mosses—acrocarpous and pleurocarpous. The former grows vertically and resembles strands o...
- How To: Grow Potatoes
If you've never tasted homegrown potatoes, prepare to be amazed. A hundred days or so after planting—more or less, de...
- How To: Hang a Hammock
Laying in a hammock is the epitome of summertime relaxation. Getting the hammock set up, on the other hand, can be a ...
- How To: Install Landscape Edging
A tired planting bed can be refreshed with new landscape edging, available in a range of prices and a wide variety of...
- How To: Install an Underground Sprinkler System
Lawn care can be especially demanding these days, with wacky weather throwing homeowners around the country for a loo...
- How To: Keep Deer Out of Your Garden
Though deer look innocent, home gardeners know they can be a menace to plants and trees. Gardeners also know that bar...
- How To: Kill Grass
Grass can be great—when it’s like lush, lovely lot-to-lot carpeting beneath your feet. Flawless grass can be a pain t...
- How To: Kill Tree Roots
Trees add great beauty to your landscape and their shade can help keep cooling costs low. But when a tree outgrows it...
- How To: Lay a Dry Stone Patio
You can lay a stone patio yourself. Here's how. Prepare a base of sand or stone dust to provide good drainage in a le...
- How To: Lay a Stone Path
A stepping stone path is easier to create than a full-blown walkway and lends charm and practicality to your yard. He...
- How To: Maintain a Snow Blower for Peak Performance
There is a definite chill in the air, and the first snow flurries are flying… that means it’s time to get our snow bl...
- How To: Maintain the Metal in Your Yard
Enter the yard of most homes in America and somewhere among the trees, shrubs, and grass, you're bound to find metal....
- How To: Make Concrete Garden Edging
Always affordable and at once both decorative and functional, concrete garden edging effectively defines garden beds,...
- How To: Make Mulch from Scratch
Treating your trees, garden, and landscaping beds to mulch helps retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and arm plants...
- How To: Make Weed Killer
You work hard at horticulture, so the last thing you want is gnarly weeds littering your lawn or popping up smack dab...
- How To: Make a Birdhouse
The homemade birdhouse is a DIY classic. And with good reason: It’s usually the first woodworking project for many; o...
- How To: Make a Butterfly Garden
Butterflies are mesmerizing creatures with more to offer than beauty alone. Because they are nectar eaters, they are ...
- How To: Make a Concrete Walkway
A walkway or garden path enhances a home's landscape and complements its exterior features. While traditional materia...
- How To: Make a Rain Barrel
Rainwater collection has an ancient history with archeological evidence dating back at least 4,000 years. Urban deman...
- How To: Make a Stone Walkway
Here are some tips on how to make a stone walkway. After marking the walkway with string, the first step is to lay a...
- How To: Make a Straw Bale Planter
Straw bale gardening is an old idea that, over the last several years, has witnessed a great deal of renewed attentio...
- How To: Make a Terrarium
Terrariums can be as basic or elaborate as you want. While those featuring sand and air plants (tillandsia) are popul...
- How To: Make an Outdoor Shower
Whether you’re cooling off, rinsing off, or actually bathing, an outdoor shower is a fun and relatively easy summer D...
- How To: Mow Your Lawn Properly
When it comes to your landscape, one of the most time-consuming summer chores is mowing. At this time of year, under ...
- How To: Mulch Your Flower Beds
Laying mulch before the winter gives your soil a head start for the next growing season. It also protects delicate pl...
- How To: Plant Grass Seed
Do you want to establish a new lawn or rescue a worse-for-wear patch on your property? The solution is, of course, to...
- How To: Plant a Shrub
Here's how to properly plant a new shrub around your house. Mix one part peat moss with two parts top soil for high w...
- How To: Plant a Tree
The Arbor Day Foundation was founded in 1972 with a mission toward conservation and education. It’s the largest nonpr...
- How To: Plant a Vegetable Garden
One of the joys of summer dining is fresh, local produce. Nothing tastes better than a tomato or cucumber just off th...
- How To: Plant an Apple Tree
Since moving to the 'burbs, I’ve been slowly trying to convert on this fantasy I have of backyard sustainability. I p...
- How To: Pour a Concrete Patio
Whether rectangular or curvy in design, next to the home or freestanding in the yard, a concrete patio establishes ne...
- How To: Pour a Concrete Walkway
Keep these things in mind when pouring a DIY concrete walkway. Set a level frame with one-by-four lumber. Lay plastic...
- How To: Propagate Succulents
Want to juice up your space, indoors and out, without spending a bundle? Think succulents! From the rosettes of Echev...
- How To: Protect and Beautify a Wood Deck
There are lots of ways to refinish a deck. If you want to showcase a fine wood species, such as mahogany, cedar, or r...
- How To: Prune a Tree
Sometimes a homeowner prunes a tree for aesthetic reasons, trying to keep the landscaping neat and tidy. Other times,...
- How To: Refinish Rusty Old Patio Furniture
Although metal patio furniture is elegant and durable, it can over time become a rust-coated symbol of neglect. Inste...
- How To: Refinish Rusty Patio Furniture
Don't throw out that rusty garden furniture. Restoring it can be a great weekend project. Use a wire brush or sandpap...
- How To: Remove Poison Ivy from Your Yard
Homeowners know too well that not all greenery contributes to the beauty of a garden. Weeds, for instance, are a chie...
- How To: Repot a Plant
Even if you've never before tried to repot a plant, you can do it today without much trouble, probably in under 15 mi...
- How To: Reseed Your Lawn with a Power Rake
Here's an option for reseeding your lawn. If you have a large lawn or yard area, consider renting or having your lan...
- How To: Resurface a Concrete Driveway
Durability ranks high among the many reasons to choose concrete as a driveway surfacing material. After years of expo...
- How To: Seal a Driveway
Sealing your driveway may seem like a bothersome chore, but its benefits are significant. First, a regular coat of se...
- How To: Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades
At the start of growing season, part of the necessary prep every homeowner with hopes of a greener yard tacks (or sho...
- How To: Sharpen a Chain Saw
Like any other tool in your arsenal, a chain saw must be properly and consistently maintained in order to perform eff...
- How To: Stain a Wood Deck
A wood deck is certainly a thing of beauty, but only if it is well maintained from year to year. If your deck is show...
- How To: Stake a Tree
Most new trees do just fine on their own. In fact, the movement they experience from normal wind and weather helps th...
- How To: Start a Lawn Mower (and Troubleshoot Common Problems)
Regular mowing is not only beneficial to the look of your lawn, but also to its health. Whether you've recently purch...
- How To: Test Soil pH
Soil matters. To the plants you wish to grow in your garden, nothing is as important as what's in or missing from the...
- How To: Transplant Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials
With the sun shining, the birds chirping, the temperatures rising, and the days getting longer, this is the season to...
- How To: Transplant a Tree
Whether they’re deciduous or evergreen, shade or ornamental, trees add value and curb appeal to any property. But, oc...
- How To: Use a Leaf Blower
Fall is full of football, hot apple cider, and pumpkin pies. And leaves. For some, lots and lots of leaves. A leaf bl...
- How To: Weed Your Garden
Even late into the season, the summer can seem like one prolonged fight against garden weeds. The bad news? There's n...
- How and When to Plant Garlic
Now is the perfect time to get garlic into the ground. The cloves get a head start on the growing season so that by l...
- How to Help Your Houseplants Survive the Winter
Even though your plant resides in a pot indoors, it’s still keenly aware of the seasons. With shorter days, drier air, and cooler temperatures, winter is perhaps the most challenging time a year for houseplants. The trick to helping your plant endure the harsher conditions is simply modifying your care routine. Check out these tips to keep your plant happy and alive this winter.
- INFOGRAPHIC: Best Houseplants for Indoor Air Quality
Leave it to the good folks at NASA. In 1989, as part of the agency's landmark Clean Air Study, researchers discovered...
- INFOGRAPHIC: Get a Head Start on a Healthy Lawn
After a cold and blustery winter, homeowners are geared up and ready to get back outside. First on many to-do lists i...
- INFOGRAPHIC: Your Quick & Easy Guide to a Lush Lawn
Remember that old saying, "The grass is greener on the other side"? Not true. You can get the lawn of your dreams. Th...
- In Search of the Ultimate Garden Hose Storage
Since moving from a small NYC apartment a little over a year ago, we have been slowly acquiring all of the suburban h...
- Instant Curb Appeal: 15 Fast Facade Fix-Ups
"You don't get a second chance to make a first impression." While this phrase usually refers to people, it also applies to houses. The exterior of your home offers visitors and passersby their first hint at the people who live inside, so why not make it truly reflect your personality? A tidy, well-decorated facade and well-landscaped front yard speak volumes about your design style and maintenance habits. A few quick updates like those gathered here will get your home's facade looking its very best and ensure a great first impression!
- Is Your Swimming Pool Pump Up to Speed?
Living in the northeast and being a "pool-free" homeowner, I rarely think about the luxury enjoyed by countless homeo...
- Is an Electric Lawn Mower Right for You?
Many people are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint, driving more efficient cars and improving the energy e...
- It's All in the Details—House Numbers
House numbers may seem to be one of the most basic and utilitarian features of your home, and in the past, this may h...
- It's Bulb-Planting Time!
For gardeners in areas where the weather has cooled, it’s time to plant bulbs for spring tulips and daffodils. Bulbs ...
- Keep Cozy in Cool Weather with an Outdoor Patio Heater
Now that it's fall, chilly weather chases you indoors after dinner al fresco, and low temperatures in the morning kee...
- Keep Off the Grass: 5 Alternatives to a Traditional Lawn
[bobsays_inset]Grass. It’s easy to plant, covers most types of terrain, and feels good under bare feet in the summer....
- Keep Ticks at Bay with 9 Smart Landscaping Tips
Strategic landscaping choices can help you keep your family and pets safe from the danger posed by ticks in the backyard.
- Keep, Don't Kill: 9 Weeds to Welcome
One man's weed is another man's best friend. That's certainly true for many of the weeds that are found in backyards around the country. While some gardeners labor to rid their patches of earth of any stray stem or sprout, they might do well to live and let live. At least, that's the case for a handful of weeds that boast a bevy of benefits, from attracting pollinators to repelling pests, and from fertilizing soil to filling a salad plate (although you should take care not to consume any weeds that have been treated with chemicals). Read on to discover the hidden benefits these misunderstood plants can offer.
- Landscape Edging: 10 Easy Ways to Set Your Garden Beds Apart
Set your lawn apart from walkways, paths, and garden beds with easy-to-install decorative landscape edging products.
- Landscape Lighting 101
Landscape lighting can turn a visitor from feeling wary to welcome. It can change the rest of the yard from Nightmare...
- Landscaping Ideas
Your yard can do more than just look pretty. Consider the following landscaping ideas, which are not only aesthetical...
- Landscaping Made Easy
If you think landscaping design requires heavy machinery and an even heftier checkbook, think again. Enlivening shade...
- Landscaping: A Good Investment
A professionally landscaped property is a sure ticket to quick resale. It gives a home curb appeal, a sense of place ...
- Lasagna Gardening: It's Only a Little Like It Sounds
Mulching has its rewards: Not only does it give you richer and more nutritious soil, but it can also suppress weeds, ...
- Lawn Care Tips from Pennington Seed
Pennington Seed has been cultivating and improving lawn seed for more than 60 years, so I was delighted to have the o...
- Lawn Mower Pit Stop: 5 Maintenance Musts
Your lawn mower has more in common with a race car than you might think. To stay in top working order, both require t...
- Laying Sod: Shortcut to a Beautiful Lawn
Laying sod is a great way to have a lawn without the wait, but don’t kid yourself—it’s a big job. If your lawn is siz...
- Laying a Walkway with Bluestone
There’s a lot to recommend a bluestone walkway. The natural colors and textures look great in almost any setting. Mai...
- Light, Water, Warmth: Tips on Germinating Mail-Order Seeds
With the last frost imminent in most parts of the country, you can begin working on your garden today. Instead of buy...
- Liven Up Your Winter Porch with 8 Cold-Loving Plants
A spot of color and life on your front porch can ease the winter doldrums. So dust off your gardening gear and pot up a couple cold hardy containers. Plants in containers require different care than those in the ground. Being in a pot, there’s less soil around roots to hold moisture, so container plants require more frequent watering. Those roots are also less insulated, and receive more exposure to the cold. For best results, use plants that are cold hardy two zones colder than your own. And use containers that can withstand freezing temperatures, like wood, stone, concrete, or fiberglass. Come mid-winter, you’ll be grateful for the time spent, and will enjoy a lush view, even while sitting inside, sipping something warm.
- Living Fences: 11 Boundary-Setting Solutions
Natural fences constructed of shrubbery, trees, or flowering bushes are attractive and environmentally friendly havens for songbirds, butterflies, and other desirable fauna. These living fences also provide an eye-catching way to define your property’s boundaries, and they serve as effective and visually pleasing privacy screens—as the adage says, “good fences make good neighbors.” Here are 11 ideas for integrating a natural fence into your own property.
- Look Ma—No Wheels: The Hovering Mower
I had the pleasure of touring the Husqvarna Research & Development headquarters in Charlotte, NC a few weeks ago ...
- Mail-Order Seeds: Variety, Viability, Value
It couldn't be easier to go out and buy seeds from the local nursery or the nearest home improvement store. A large s...
- Make a Splash! 10 Stunning Backyard Ponds to Enhance Any Landscape
Looking to add some personality to an underwhelming backyard? Maybe it’s time to add a water feature. Installing an outdoor pond or water hole can be a simple weekend project using a kit from your local nursery or building supply store, or it can be an elaborate landscaping job that requires professional services. Before beginning, think carefully about the purpose of your outdoor pond. A small water hole edged with a narrow perennial garden adds tranquility to a small garden area, whereas a multilevel pond with waterfalls and flowering shrubs becomes the main focus of a backyard. If you want fish in the water, you’ll need proper filtration and nutrition to create a healthy environment for them. Also consider the shape of the pond and the topography of your yard. These can affect the placement of rocks, greenery, and other features such as fountains or statues that you may want to include in the design. Not sure where to start? Take a look at these 10 outdoor ponds for inspiration—you may be able to fish out some ideas for your own yard.
- Managing 3 Common Problems Faced by Roses
The rewards of roses are not easily earned. These universally prized flowers behave temperamentally whenever they are...
- Martha Stewart and Bob
You may remember Bob's blog post a couple weeks ago in which he shared a photo of himself with Charlie Sheen on the s...
- Michelin Quite Literally Reinvents the Lawn Mower Wheel
Imagine the perfect riding lawn mower: Are its tires low-maintenance and highly durable, and do they make for an impe...
- Mower Maintenance: 5 Ways to Keep Your Machine Up and Running
This summer, to ensure you’re spending more time enjoying your weekend and not struggling to get your mower to start,...
- Mower Safety Tips from John Deere
Mowing accidents lead to 68,000 trips to the emergency room every year, according to the American Academy of Pediatri...
- Mums: Hardy, Colorful, and Fall-tastic!
Boldly colored mums on porches or planted in garden beds are wonderful harbingers of fall, going hand in hand with th...
- Natural Swimming Pools: 10 Green and Gorgeous Designs
It wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the pool—but those harsh chemicals can be a real turnoff. These days, eco-conscious and design-savvy homeowners are increasingly adopting an unorthodox means of pool filtration: plant life. Aquatic plants and naturally occurring bacteria not only filter the water, they also contribute to the landscaping. Yes, natural pools require more planning than the standard-issue variety, but you can—with a little know-how and not an overwhelming amount of trouble—build a fairly self-sufficient swimming pool (or give an earth-friendly upgrade to your existing pool). Besides being less costly to maintain, natural pools come with an additional bonus: They don't have to be shut down come winter. In fact, if temperatures drop low enough, your pool can double as an ice rink. So come take a tour of some of our favorite natural swimming pools, each more inviting than the next.
- Need a New Lawn Mower? 6 Top-Rated Grass Guzzlers
These mighty mowers made the cut by earning high marks from consumer and testing sites around the web.
- Never Shovel Snow Again After This One Improvement
Though winter's worst storms are likely yet to come, many homeowners around the country have already had ample opport...
- New & Notable: 10 Gadgets to Tech Out Your Garden
If you want to put your best gardening foot forward this spring, it is important to take your first steps in the right direction. Decisions you make in early spring have enormous impact on the health and appearance of your garden later in the season. To help you plant smart, we've compiled a list of 10 tech gadgets that can make your thumb a little greener. These tools use the latest technology and science to help you analyze, monitor, and tend to your plants. Check out this collection of smart tech, from pollen extractors to weather forecasters, that can help make this year's garden your best ever.
- New & Notable: 15 Lighting Solutions to Brighten Up Your Outdoor Decor
Few activities are more relaxing than spending time outdoors with friends and family—and the fun doesn't have to stop when the sun goes down. There are plenty of fashionable outdoor lighting fixtures just perfect for a yard, garden, or patio that will hold up to adverse weather conditions without sacrificing aesthetics. Available in a variety of styles, including wall sconces, hanging pendants, and stake lights, today's outdoor fixtures also take advantage of energy-saving technologies like LED bulbs and solar power. With so many possibilities to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect light in a flash.
- No Money to Burn? 9 Fire Pits You Can Afford
<p>An outdoor fire pit can add character and utility to your garden landscape. It can knock the chill off a fall evening and make it downright cozy. It will cast a warm glow on any nighttime gathering. And do we even need to mention the marshmallows? Whatever you do around your outdoor fire pit, there are some basic tips that will help keep you, your guests, and your home safe and comfortable while you enjoy your evenings outdoors.<p>
<p>Make sure your fire pit is located at least 10 feet from your home or any trees, and is sitting on a level surface. A hard surface like brick or concrete is best. Never put a fire pit on your wood deck or in an enclosed porch. Keep a bucket of sand or water (or even a fire extinguisher) close at hand in case flames get out of control. Start your fires the old-fashioned way with paper and kindling, not lighter fluid. And burn dry, seasoned wood—preferably that’s been cut for at least six months. Always keep an adult nearby when children are present, and never go inside for the night until the fire is completely snuffed out.<p>
<p>Use your common sense and your outdoor fire pit can safely be the highlight of your backyard gatherings. Check out our collection of reasonably priced fire pits in a range of sizes and styles to suit almost any taste, whether aesthetic or practical.<p>
- No More Mowing: 10 Grass-Free Alternatives to a Traditional Lawn
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with our lawns. Although we enjoy the cool carpet of green grass to lie on and play on in summer, no one wants to spend hours every weekend mowing and trimming—not to mention battling weeds, insects, and fungus, and aerating, feeding, watering, and seeding. Turf lawns take a lot of time and money to maintain. They require the use of precious water resources to keep them alive, and the pesticides and herbicides we apply to them can damage the environment. More and more, people are turning to low-maintenance, no-mow lawn alternatives like meadows, rock gardens, and ground covers. These fresh options prove that you can have a beautiful yard without growing a single blade of grass. If that sounds right up your alley, check out these 10 no-mow alternatives to a grass lawn.
- No Sweat: 7 Best BBQ Shortcuts
Elevate your status from burger-flipper to grillmaster with these hacks for preparing, roasting, and minimizing cleanup at your next summertime barbecue.
- On the Deck
This year the deck on our summer place turns 11. The deck isn’t vast, maybe 10' x 30'—just the right size for evening...
- On the Edge: 16 Garden Borders You Can Make
Put some imagination—and recycled products—to good use in your landscape with inventive DIY garden edging.
- On the Fence: 7 Top Options in Fencing Materials
Browse some of today's most commonly used fencing materials, from timeless wood to utilitarian chain-link.
- One Attachment Turns Your Garden Hose into a Powerhouse Cleaning Tool
This time of year, we all rely on the garden hose for any number of chores around the yard. But useful though it may ...
- One-Step Spring Upkeep with a Multitalented Outdoor Tool
Here's what the real estate agent doesn't say: Owning a home near the ocean is rarely a day at the beach. Salt air pu...
- Outdoor Kitchens: 12 "Delicious" Designs to Drool Over
No matter where you live, there is an outdoor kitchen design that suits your project budget and style preferences.
- Outdoor Lighting: 12 Products to Light Your Way
Before you purchase outdoor lighting, consider the type of illumination that you are looking to create. Floodlights, wall sconces, path lights, and in-ground or recessed fixtures, all serve different needs. Determine what type of light you are hoping to create and then shop for the light-specific fixture that meets that requirement.
- Outdoor Showers 101
Outdoor showers accent pool areas or backyards, providing a convenient place to clean off and a yard feature that is ...
- Outdoor Showers: The New Accessible Luxury
Whether they are freestanding, store-bought, or built-in, today's outdoor showers are accessible luxuries for many. Here are some of our favorites.
- Outdoor Wall Sconces: Lighting the Way with Style
One of the easiest curb appeal updates for any home is to install stylish wall sconces. There are a wealth of styles to choose from at a variety of price points. Best of all, it's a project you can tackle on your own, should you choose to.
- Pass on Grass: 7 Reasons to Landscape with Gravel
Lower maintenance lawns are becoming more and more popular. Finding ways to decrease the amount of grass in the yard can reduce your reliance on watering, chemical fertilizers, and weekend mowing to keep it beautiful. Gravel and stone to the rescue! There are excellent alternatives to turf grass that you can incorporate into your landscape.
- Patio Design: Today's 7 Most Popular Materials
In the course of designing your dream patio, be sure to factor the material's aesthetic value, expected longevity, and maintenance requirements into your decision-making.
- Patio Materials 101
[bobsays_inset]Patios can make your outdoor space more enjoyable, increase your home's value, and not so insignifican...
- Patio Pavers 101
Pavers are a versatile, DIY-friendly, landscaping material that can be used for laying paths, steps, driveways, pool ...
- Pea Gravel Brings Beauty to Any Patio
Outdoor spaces add value, not only for resale, but in lifestyle terms as well. If you're in the process of designing ...
- Pergolas: What’s Old Is New Again
[bobsays_inset]It is interesting how a chance comment can cause you to pay attention to a garden design feature you h...
- Perk Up Your Pool: Resurfacing in Fiberglass or Plaster
Ah, pools. Whether humble aboveground 15-footers or elaborately designed in-ground beauties, swimming pools are refre...
- Pet-Proof Your Yard with 5 Tips from a Pro Trainer
The great outdoors is great for everyone, particularly your four-pawed pals. “The home can get boring for pets," says...
- Pick the Right Grill
Whether you like charcoal or gas, a single grill or a cooking station, how and where you use a grill will help you de...
- Picnic Tables at "Summer-Friendly" Prices
Picnics are as much a part of summer as swimming pools and mosquitos. So we've rounded up some great picnic table bar...
- Planning Guide: Above-Ground Swimming Pools
Nothing epitomizes leisure more than a swimming pool. For some it is a symbol of affluence, but for others a pool is ...
- Planning Guide: Backyard Ponds
Just to be clear, the kind of pond we’re referring to doesn’t involve swimming, fishing, or boating. We’re talking ab...
- Planning Guide: Building a Backyard Greenhouse
Shorter days, colder temperatures, and frozen earth: For most, the advent of winter marks the year's end of planting,...
- Planning Guide: Driveways
Why do we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway? That’s just one of life’s little mysteries, but there’s no m...
- Planning Guide: Outdoor Kitchens
The summer backyard barbeque, an American tradition, has developed into a year-round pastime that includes everything...
- Planning Guide: Patios
Patio. The word itself calls to mind an image of splendid sun-drenched days spent sipping chilled drinks under the we...
- Planning Guide: Wood Decks
Deck building is on the rise. According to a 2011 report by The Freedonia Group, leading business researchers, “U. S....
- Plant Cool Weather Crops in Containers for Spring Salad
Though Punxsutawney Phil has barely gotten back into his den, you’re already itching to start spring planting! Unfort...
- Plant More, Spend Less: Shop Nurseries Off-Season
Browsing the local nursery, you may find yourself wanting to bring home half the store: There are so many beautiful a...
- Play Sets: Enjoy a Park in Your Yard
When today’s parents and grandparents were growing up, many backyards boasted a simple, inexpensive swing set made of...
- Pool Fencing for Improved Safety
Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children under five in the United States. Most deaths occur in fami...
- Porch Style
Americans love their porches, and for good reason. This neutral sliver of space between household tasks and yard work...
- Pro Tips: 5 Easy Ways to a Better Lawn
A green, good-looking lawn adds serious curb appeal and can even increase a home’s value. Thanks to major improvement...
- Pro Tips: Square Foot Gardening
Compact, efficient and easy to maintain, Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening offers new and experienced gardeners a smart, space-saving backyard alternative.
- Pro Tips: The Best Ways to Deal with Snow and Ice
The severity of this winter has surprised many parts of the country. With more storms on the way, many homeowners are...
- Product Round-Up: Decor for the Great Outdoors
With all of the emphasis on outdoor living, it comes as no surprise that products to decorate gardens, patios, decks ...
- Project Guide: Building a Sandbox
With little or no woodworking experience, you can easily build your own backyard sandbox—here's how.
- Quick Tip: Building a Cold Frame
Gardening doesn’t have to be just a summertime activity, even in colder climates. Spend a weekend building a cold fra...
- Quick Tip: Buying a Snow Blower
Before You BuyWhether you call it a snow blower or a snow thrower, before you shell out for one this winter, make sur...
- Quick Tip: Compost
Successful Composting: Balance Is Key Successful composting requires four things: carbon, nitrogen, water and oxygen....
- Quick Tip: Control Weeds Using a Propane Torch
How you choose to eradicate weeds depends on your patience, physical abilities, and environmental ethics. You could g...
- Quick Tip: DIY Deck Building
Here are some basic things to remember when building a deck. Attach joist hangers sixteen inches apart on center to t...
- Quick Tip: Design a "Green" Garden
A Green, Healthy Garden The old adage, what goes around comes around is especially true in your garden. Because plant...
- Quick Tip: Felling a Small Tree
Here's a helpful tip you can use when you need to cut down a small tree. Make sure you wear proper safety gear and ma...
- Quick Tip: Mix Sand with Paint for Non-Slip Surfaces
Slippery when wet: Those words of caution may be most familiar in the context of hospital and airport floors, but the...
- Quick Tip: Mulch
Choose the Right Kind of Mulch There are lots of different kinds of mulch to choose from, depending on what’s in your...
- Quick Tip: Snow Blower Safety
'Tis the season for snowblowing, and it’s no joke that hundreds of emergency room visits each winter are caused by un...
- Quick Tip: Speed Up Snow Shoveling with Cooking Spray
Winter’s first snowfall is greeted with open arms for affording fun-filled activities like bobsledding, skiing, and b...
- Quick Tip: This Simple Trick Helps Plants Water Themselves
There are lots of household chores to take care of before going on a vacation: board the dog, clean the fridge, empty...
- Quick Tip: Tree Care
Contrary to what we used to believe, we now know that the vast majority of tree roots are in the top foot of soil. Al...
- Quick Tip: Where to Find Green Garden Solutions
What Is a Local Extension Service? When it comes to finding gardening solutions specific to your area, most experts w...
- Quick Tip: Wooden Fences
Wooden fences are a terrific finishing touch. They give a home privacy and character. They surround and define your p...
- Quick Tip: Your Plants Can Cool Your House
Watch Where You Plant Your TreesMost people know that planting a tree to shade your house is a great way to keep it c...
- Raking Leaves for Dummies
Fall brings football, hot apple cider, pumpkin carving, and other seasonal delights. But for homeowners with deciduou...
- Reblooming Amaryllis
Far from a one-time treat, forced amaryllis bulbs in a pot, with their big trumpet flowers, are one of the bright spo...
- Recycled Fences: 8 Clever Ways to Put Salvage to Good Use
Don't overlook the usefulness that old doors, wine bottles, shipping pallets—and even bowling balls and surf boards—can offer as fence material alternatives.
- Rejuvenate Your Lawn with 7 Spring Musts
Reviving your lawn after a cold winter can be a challenging task. From seeding and aerating, proper spring lawn care encompasses a range of responsibilities. In order to create a thriving, beautiful lawn, you'll need to start early. Include these 7 important tasks to your spring to-do list, and by the time summer rolls around, you'll have a lush, thick carpet of green grass.
- Repairing a Retaining Wall
Walls, normally thought of as interior design elements, are useful in landscaping, too. A landscaping wall can be fre...
- Retaining Walls 101
Retaining walls offer aesthetic as well as practical benefits: In addition to beautifying the home, they inhibit soil...
- Rhododendrons: Keeping It Green All Winter Long
Bursting with vibrant blooms in the spring and retaining their leaves through the colder months, rhododendrons are the perfect "evergreen" for your winter landscape.
- Ripe for the Picking: 10 Full-Bodied, Full-Flavored Heirloom Tomatoes
Nothing says summer like juicy tomatoes—particularly heirloom varieties—fresh from the garden. Here are 10 top varieties sure to tempt your taste buds.
- Rock Salt vs. Sand to Prevent Slips
When I lived in a New York City apartment building, I never thought about shoveling snow. We had a wonderful superint...
- Roses: 11 Sensational Varieties to Consider
There are countless varieties of roses available today, but it pays to familiarize yourself with the specific habit, care, and hardiness of the one you choose for your yard or garden.
- Save Money with an Irrigation Well
The development where we chose to build our house is about 2 miles from the beach. We can ride our bikes to the state...
- Save Seeds, Save Money
Many veteran gardeners save seeds almost compulsively. Why? Because if you harvest the seeds from your own garden, yo...
- Sheds Reach New Style Status
On the day that Mary Jane McCarty’s prefab shed was delivered, it was raining cats and dogs. But the Bucks County, PA...
- Shop for a Snow Blower Before First Flakes Fall
Winter’s chill is in the air, and that means it may be time to shop for a snow blower. There are a number of factors ...
- Shopping for a Swing Set
One thing we miss about living in New York is the awesome city playgrounds. You could walk to a different one every d...
- Should You Buy a Used Riding Mower?
When we moved from New York City to a beach town in Southern, DE, we suddenly went from having zero lawn to caring fo...
- Sizzling Hot Deals on Grills—NOW!
If you don't have a grill—or are in need of a replacement or upgrade—this is the week to shop. With July 4th just day...
- Smart New Choices for Outdoor Lighting
What most urban dwellers forget is that we can see a great deal entirely by moonlight. Our ability to see in low ligh...
- So You Want to... Hang a Porch Swing
A porch swing symbolizes one thing: leisure. That’s why it became such a popular fixture in the mid-19th century and ...
- So, What Is Your Local Extension Office, Anyway?
I’m a novice gardener. We moved to Southern Delaware after living 20 years in New York City. I struggled there to kee...
- So, Who Are Master Gardeners and What Can They Do for You?
If you live on a property with a lawn or garden, you should be aware of Master Gardeners. In 1972, the first Master G...
- So, You Want to... Build a Floating Deck
Summer isn’t summer unless you’re soaking up the sun, grilling, and chilling in your own backyard. Yet a traditional ...
- So, You Want to... Build a Porch
A porch is simply a deck with a roof on it, right? Not quite. While some porches may be as simple as that, many are m...
- So, You Want to... Plant an Herb Spiral
Sustainable agriculture is all the rage, even at home. Looking for an easy way to participate? Try building a DIY her...
- Solved! The Best Time to Water Grass
Q: I notice neighbors’ sprinklers running at all hours of the day. What’s the best time to water grass—and how much i...
- Solved! What To Do About Mushrooms in the Lawn
Q: After every rain shower, I find mushrooms popping up all over the lawn. What can I do to get rid of them and keep ...
- Solved! When to Fertilize the Lawn
Q: Help! Last year our lawn looked a little too brown for my liking. When should I fertilize our grass to ensure a lu...
- Starting Tomatoes from Seed
During the cold, dark days of January and February, my mind turns to sunny, bright red tomatoes—for this is the time ...
- Summer Stars: Hydrangeas
Native to Japan where hydrangeas are beloved not just for their full, lush blooms, but also for the tea made from the...
- Swimming Pools 101
An in-ground pool is the ultimate in backyard upgrades. If you’ve always wanted one, now may be the time. Prices have...
- Swimming with the Stars: 12 Celebrities' Cool Pools
Dream a little with these 12 extraordinary celebrity pools—each one more spectacular than the next.
- The 10 Best Bird Feeders for Your Wintertime Yard
This winter, keep the birds happy and fed with one of these fully functionally yet delightfully decorative feeders.
- The 10 Best Buys to Make Yard Work No Work
Spring is here—and with it comes a long list of to-dos for the yard. Performing regular lawn maintenance, doing damage control on storm-damaged trees, and planting new landscaping takes labor—often hard, backbreaking work. With the right tools, you can not only eliminate some of the dangers of yard work, but you can carve minutes, maybe even hours off of your monthly yard care routine. Read on to see some of the best outdoor products to try this season.
- The 10 Best Sheds for Your Backyard
Though modest in size, even the smallest shed can house your essentials, bust clutter, and keep seasonal gear out of the way and protected from the elements. A shed is no small purchase, so you want the best—a quality model that will last for years. We've rounded up some of the highest-rated sheds available on the web. Take a look to find one that's right for your backyard.
- The 10 Biggest Outdoor Living Trends Set to Dominate 2016
Spring is just a few weeks away, so it’s time to get serious about fix-up plans for porches, patios, and yards. To help, here’s a round-up of what’s new and cutting-edge for living with style in the great outdoors during the summer of 2016.
- The 12-Inch Farm: 10 Foods You Can Grow in Containers
Edible plants can be every bit as pretty as traditional ornamental plants. To get the greatest enjoyment from these ornamental edibles, pot them up in large containers and keep them close to your kitchen door or deck. One advantage of keeping your edibles nearby is that you will have a better chance of protecting them from birds and other marauders. Another advantage is that you'll get to witness the plants' beautiful development up close. On fruit-bearing plants, such as blueberries, figs, and lemons, buds unfold into flowers, flowers turn into fruit, and the fruit ripens—displaying a rainbow of colors under your watchful eye. For plants like lettuce or kale, it’s all about leafy texture. Here are some of my favorite edible plants for containers.
- The 9 Spookiest Houseplants on God's Green Earth
Looking to give your trick-or-treaters the fright of their lives this year? Put away your jack-o'-lanterns and set out these scary houseplants on your Halloween porch. These ghoulish, ghastly, and gross-looking plants will raise chills naturally—just the way nature intended.
- The Basics: Building a Raised Garden Bed
For the soil- and drainage-poor gardener, a raised garden bed offers the opportunity to perfect your environment and ...
- The Benefits of Working with a Landscape Designer
Almost three years ago, we moved from a 700-square-foot New York City apartment with a couple of ailing houseplants t...
- The Best 10 Plants to Grow for Backyard Privacy
If you need privacy in your yard, but don’t want to—or can’t—install a fence, you still have plenty of options. There’s a great selection of trees, shrubs, and vines that can help you turn your property into a secluded retreat. Check out this list of our favorites.
- The Best Plants for Every Room of the House
The right houseplant brings beauty and calm into a space and improves your home's air quality, but that's only the start of it. There are plenty of other good reasons to keep some greenery in every room. Houseplants offer a whole host of benefits, from promoting productivity to flavoring your next meal. Read on to find the perfect houseplant for every room in your house.
- The Bungalow Porch
The Bungalow style developed out of the Arts & Crafts movement. With its generous and deep front porch anchored by tapered columns, the heft and earthiness of this form truly set it apart.
- The Colonial Porch
Symmetrical two-story homes with porches ranging from a mere portico to a full-width wonder are the norm for the Colonial style. Let’s take a look at the other design elements that create this distinguished style, the most classical of our featured porch aesthetics.
- The Dos and Don'ts of Poinsettia Care
During the holidays, nothing rivals the floral festivity of the season’s favorite plant: the always colorful poinsett...
- The Dos and Don'ts of Swimming Pool Maintenance
Nothing says summer like a refreshing swim in the backyard pool. But your swimming pool does need care—and doses of t...
- The Dos and Don’ts of Deck Maintenance
A deck is a plein-air addition to your home. Like the space inside your residence, it needs regular cleaning and main...
- The Dos and Don’ts of Pressure-Washing
It’s tough to get excited about outdoor cleaning projects when you’d rather be at the lake or on the golf course. For...
- The Dos and Don’ts of Pruning Shrubs
Shrubs play a vital role in your landscape, serving as decorative borders, living fences, and foundation plantings th...
- The Dos and Don’ts of Setting a Fence Post
It's a bona fide do-it-yourself classic: Every summer without fail, legions of homeowners grab their toolbox and head...
- The Farmhouse Porch
The farmhouse porch provides shade and plenty of opportunity for relaxing and entertaining. It also calls to mind an idyllic, slower-paced lifestyle. See what other design elements set this porch-style apart from the rest.
- The Gazebo: At Home Everywhere
Nothing says “summer” quite like a gazebo. Images of languid afternoons sipping ice-cold lemonade in the sheltering s...
- The Good Guys: 8 Beneficial Bugs for Your Garden
Roll out the welcome mat for friendly insects that will get on your garden's good side. While some insects like aphids and grasshoppers can wreak havoc on gardens, not all insects have a destructive bent. In fact, many of these good bugs help eliminate their garden-eating cousins by snacking on them. Insects can also help your garden grow by pollinating flowers. Here are 8 great bugs that will be a pleasure to have around your garden, and suggestions for encouraging them to pay you a visit.
- The Great Deck Build: Part 1
Sundays can be a dangerous day in our household due to the abundance of home improvement circulars that arrive with t...
- The Great Deck Build: Part 2 (On Reflection)
Our home improvement projects often suffer from “mission creep,” as one seemingly simple project becomes hopelessly e...
- The Hardscaping Trend: Upgrade Your Outdoor Areas
Home sales are still recovering, but business is brisk when it comes to homeowners upgrading their outdoor spaces. La...
- The Importance of Deadheading
As your garden flourishes over the summer and your springtime planting efforts are rewarded with beautiful bursts of ...
- The Invincible Yard: 17 Ideas for Lazy Landscaping
Some people love the backbreaking business of tending to lawn and garden. Then there’s the rest of us—who’d rather relax and let that little piece of heaven largely take care of itself. Ahead, easy ways to make your outdoor space the envy of the neighborhood.
- The Plight of the Impatiens
This year, many are struggling to find a beloved mainstay of the American garden: impatiens. Sought for the vibrant c...
- The Queen Anne Porch
Over-the-top decoration is the cornerstone of Queen Anne design. A gracious front porch ensures residents a shady spot on a hot day. Click through to see the details of what makes a Queen Anne and its porch stand head and crown above the rest and how to achieve this specialized style.
- The Right Path: 15 Wonderful Walkway Designs
From gravel to brick, bluestone to concrete, these gorgeous walkway ideas can take you wherever you want to go in your landscaping.
- The Right Rake for the Job
Autumn leaves are falling, which means pumpkin donuts and lattes are available at your favorite morning pit stop. And...
- The Unexpectedly Important Truth About Snow Measurement
The minute winter arrives, my kids are dying to put on their snow boots to go sledding and build snowmen. That is, as...
- The Winter Garden: Hedge Your Bets
“Don’t stop gardening just because it’s winter,” says Cindy Baker, Manager of Grounds at the Chicago Botanic Garden. ...
- The Wright Doghouse
In the summer of 1956, a 12-year-old boy wrote a letter to Frank Lloyd Wright to see if the architect would design a ...
- This Old Flagpole
Summer folks on the New England shore have a long-standing tradition of flying the flag from Memorial Day to Labor Da...
- To Fertilize or Not to Fertilize?
As the growing season picks up, so does the drive to fertilize. Surely, your lawn could use a little help as it gets ...
- Today Is National Arbor Day: Plant a Tree
A couple weeks ago I stumbled on the sale of a lifetime: 6'-7' maple trees for under $20 at my local Tractor Store. O...
- Top 10 Classic DIY Projects for the Outdoors
It's time to embrace the warmer weather by tackling a couple of outdoor DIY home improvements. There's so much to be done, where do you start? How about right here! Browse our collection of ideas for easy outdoor projects that are perfect for a weekend—in fact, some can be completed in just a few hours. Are you thinking about an upgrade to your patio or deck? Are you itching to give your garden a new look? Well then, here's your inspiration. Who knows? If you're especially productive this weekend, someday soon you'll be able to sit in your newly spray-painted lawn chairs and admire the vegetables sprouting up in your DIY raised beds.
- Top 5 Tips for a Greener Lawn
Using these five lawn tips will help you maintain a greener lawn throughout the spring and summer.
- Top Tips for Adding a Garden Fountain
I don’t meditate and I don’t go for weekly massages to unwind. Years ago, I discovered something much more cost-effec...
- Top Tips for Creating Lovely Outdoor Environments
The perception people have of your home begins well before visitors reach your front door. Whether it’s a simple wild...
- Top Tips for Growing Azaleas
Azaleas are getting ready to set gardens on fire. The fluorescent shades of this plant's hallmark blooms tend to make...
- Top Tips for Growing Tomatoes
There’s really nothing better than a vine-ripened tomato plucked from the plant in your vegetable garden and still wa...
- Top Tips for Growing a Vertical Garden
Want to test your green thumb but lack the space for a traditional garden? It may be time for you to try vertical gar...
- Top Tips for Identifying a Hazardous Tree
It's not always easy to identify a tree that's in trouble. In part, that's because while trees face certain knowable ...
- Top Tips for Installing a Small Backyard Pond
Nothing quite soothes the soul like the sound of burbling water. Even though we have a long and narrow backyard, we a...
- Top Tips for Maintaining a Chainsaw
To safely and productively operate a chain saw, you must commit to maintaining it. Keep your chain saw in tip-top sha...
- Top Tips for Transplanting Sod
It’s been about 18 months since we moved into our house, but only recently have we begun to landscape beyond the basi...
- Top Tips for Watering Your Lawn
Now that spring has arrived, it’s time to think about lawn maintenance again. Go ahead and tune up your mower and sta...
- Top Tools 2012: Black & Decker 36v Cordless Lawn Mower
Why You'll Love It: Leave the gas can behind and forget about annual machine maintenance tasks with the Black & D...
- Transform and Protect Your Deck in a Single Coat
Your deck was no small investment: If you haven't been taking good care of it, now's the time to give your deck the c...
- Turn Your Lawn Tractor into a Snow Plow or Blower
When the weatherman starts predicting the next blizzard, we get a little shaky in our house. Armed with only two snow...
- Turning a Frown Upside Down: Repurposing Bricks to Make a Walkway
No one likes cleaning up after a storm. But when the storm causes structural damage to your home, the cleanup process...
- Ultimate Lawn Care Guide: 12 Steps to a Prize-Winning Yard
<p>A green lawn is the coveted prize of every homeowner. Nothing feels better than walking through the cool grass in your bare feet during summer. Though we love our own little piece of nature, most homeowners know a beautiful lawn doesn’t necessarily come naturally. It takes effort—and knowledge. </p><br/>
<p>Learning how to plant grass seed and when to water and fertilize the lawn is a worthwhile endeavor. You may have learned how to mow a lawn when you were a kid, but you might not have mastered the balance between proper blade height and the perfect timing for mowing. (Hint: NOT when it’s scorching hot out.) Mowing the lawn becomes a breeze when you achieve zen in the art of lawn mower maintenance. Just like a car, your mower needs regular TLC. Weeds are inevitable unless you are vigilant with preventative care. Luckily, there’s no lack of options in both conventional and natural weed killers.</p><br/>
<p>Still overwhelmed? There are beautiful grass alternatives that will render your yard nearly maintenance free. But with a bit of planning, and diligent upkeep throughout the year, you can cultivate the ultimate lawn and still have time to enjoy it. Check out our top 12 list of lawn care tips that will get you the yard of your dreams.</p><br/>
- Umbrellas: Stylish, Versatile, and On Sale!
Umbrellas are good for more than just keeping you dry in a rain storm. They're also ideal for adding a practical and ...
- Using a Pressure Washer Around the House and Yard
What a difference the right tool or appliance can make! For instance, we were late arrivals to the pressure washer pa...
- Vegetables On Demand: How to Grow Edible Plants Indoors—Starting from Seeds!
Don't let a lack of fertile land prevent you from getting the fresh vegetables your body needs and deserves. By following a couple of vital guidelines, you can grow a slew of delicious edible plants right in the comfort of your house or apartment. In less time than it takes to learn how to drive a tractor, you can fill your home with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and enough leafy greens to put the Garden State of New Jersey to shame. So pull on a pair of overalls, grab your straw hat, and get ready to grow vegetables indoors.
- Viva La Outdoor Fireplace
It’s January and, while some of the country is buried in snow, people in more moderate climates are still enjoying th...
- Wage War on Weeds with 7 Unbeatable Tools
No matter how much time, effort, and care you put into your lawn and garden, one thing is for certain: There will be weeds. Crabgrass, dandelions, and invasive species compete with your plants for nutrients and aren't always the prettiest addition to your garden. Luckily, there's a whole host of trusty tools to help you vanquish them from your yard. Read on for our top picks.
- Wait, Is It Actually a Mistake to Rake Leaves?
Every year, fall reintroduces us to a raft of pleasures that we get to experience in no other season—hot apple cider,...
- Warming Trends: 8 Patio Heaters to Keep You Comfy Outdoors
Fire up one of these innovative patio space heaters to keep your backyard toasty through the chilliest of nights.
- Watering Well: 10 Sprinklers to Quench Your Garden's Thirst
Innovation has transformed the landscape of lawn sprinklers for consumers, yielding an expanded field of quality performers.
- Ways to Save Water in Your Garden
Water has now become one of the world's most precious commodities, so we all need to become more water-wise. However,...
- Weekend Bargains: Get Grilling!
There's no denying it, grilling is one of the best parts of summer living. It is a great way to get the family outsid...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Creative Designs for a DIY Chicken Coops
Scientific studies certainly support the nutritional benefits of the incredible egg, but what they don't detail is wh...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Creative Ways to Build a Garden Trellis
You can buy a trellis, sure—but where's the fun in that? With no sacrifice in function, a unique DIY trellis separate...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Delectable DIY Picnic Tables
There’s nothing nicer than enjoying the company of friends and family over food and drink in the summertime. But do y...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Designs for a DIY Hanging Planter
‘Tis the season for winterizing your garden, a task that gives you the opportunity to bring your most beloved plants ...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Designs for a DIY Rain Barrel
These days, it would be hard to ignore the need for water conservation. Due to drought conditions, California now enf...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Easy Ways to Add Curb Appeal
In summer, it's a given that homeowners are spending more time on lawn care and gardening, but DIY curb appeal projec...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Low-Cost DIY Fire Pits
After a summer spent out in the Great Wide Open, we hate to retreat indoors, but in most parts of the country, it's o...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Quirky Ways to Build a Bird Feeder
Whether you're washing dishes at the sink or sitting at the desk in your home office, it's pleasant to look out the w...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Simple Designs for a DIY Plant Stand
'Tis the season to celebrate your green thumb! If you enjoy afternoons tending colorful blooms, then you understand h...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Simple Ways to Set Up a Compost Bin
Compost: It's what eventually becomes of all decomposing organic material. Essentially, it's dirt—but it's not just a...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Summery DIY Porch Swings
I'm not sure, I haven't researched it, but sitting—no, swaying—on a porch swing might be the most relaxing of all the...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Ways to DIY a Fence Gate
Adding a fence to your property provides a simple solution for shutting out unwanted animals and nosy neighbors from ...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Ways to Make Your Own Hammock
What else says summer like a hammock gently swaying in the afternoon breeze? If you do not love the styles—or the pri...
- Weekend Projects: 5 Ways to Prep for a Backyard Bash
Among the true joys of summer is the opportunity to spend more time outside relaxing, entertaining, and playing. But ...
- Weekend Projects: 6 Designs for DIY Garden Furniture
With the right furniture, you can turn your garden into an outdoor reprieve for rest and relaxation. But, unfortunate...
- What Would Bob Do? Removing a Tree Stump
I would like to remove a tree stump that is a couple of feet away from my house. It's starting to rot, and I'm afraid...
- What Would Bob Do? Solving a Yard Drainage Crisis
Please help. My yard stays wet when it rains. I live in a subdivision with flat terrain. Is there a solution that doe...
- Why Every Gardener Needs a Worm Bin
Anyone with a garden knows that fertilizer and enriched soil can be expensive. But did you know there is a source of ...
- Why Should You Keep a Gardening Journal?
Gardening is an ongoing process marked by victories and challenges, experiments and surprises. Seasons come and go q...
- Window Boxes That Raise the Bar
Window boxes are a great way to add curb appeal to your house, or gain more ground for creative gardening for the avid backyard do-it-yourselfer. Finding a model that is both easy to use and compliments your exterior should be the goal when shopping for your boxes.
- Wing It: 16 Approaches to a DIY Birdbath
Welcome feathered friends to your backyard with a DIY birdbath modeled after any of the following inspiring designs.
- Winter Care for Houseplants
Over the winter, when your outdoor garden has little to boast about, the greenery inside your home lifts spirits and ...
- Winterize Your Lawn and Garden in 7 Steps
You may practically live in your yard all summer long, but once the cool weather sets in, it's time to pack it in and get busy winterizing your lawn to protect it for next year. Autumn is a crucial season for yard work. It's the best time of year to lay down new grass seed and repair any damage to your lawn that may have occurred over the summer. Tasks like weeding and pruning are important, and they're much more enjoyable in these cooler fall days than they will be in a few weeks, when you'll have to wrestle with frozen and dead foliage. The earlier you start your autumn maintenance, the more manageable your lawn will be come spring. Click through our online gallery for a step-by-step guide to winterizing your lawn.
- Winterizing Your Patio Furniture
As sad as it is to move indoors after enjoying your outdoor furniture all summer, taking a little extra time to care ...
New AttitudeThe typical U. S. household can use 40 to 60 gallons a day on average just to water lawns and gardens. Ab...
- Your Easiest-Ever Garden: 7 Planters That Do All the Work
Worried that your thumb is a little more brown than green? A supersmart self-sufficient pot—say, one that waters itself or comes hooked up to a grow light—may be your best friend. Try implementing a few of these hands-off planters that make growing an indoor garden easy and rewarding.
- Zen and the Art of Weed Whacking
Since moving from the city to the 'burbs, I’ve gotten reacquainted with one of my weekly teenage chores (for which I ...
Lawn & Garden Videos
- Laying Out and Framing the Deck
Bob checks in with carpenter Bob Ryley as he lays out and begins to frame the deck.
- Building a Redwood Deck and a Redwood-and-Cedar Fence
Bob helps carpenter Bob Ryley build a redwood deck. Carpenter Danny Ruffini installs a custom-made redwood-and-cedar fence on the perimeter.
- Beginning the Landscaping
Bob meets with landscape architects Rick and Nancy Lamb to assess the back yard. Arborist Charley Cummings trims some Hemlock trees.
- Reviewing the Front Porch, and Installing Interior Columns and a Vanity
Bob reviews the Victorian design elements of his front-corner porch and the interior columns that echo the exterior ones, and then watches the turn-of-the-century plumbing installations for the powder room under the staircase.
- Reviewing the Landscaping Plans
Landscaping architects Rick and Nancy Lamb present their ideas to Bob for converting the landscape and creating urban spaces.
- Installing a Retaining Wall
Bob reviews the Allen Block retaining wall that is being installed in the backyard. This secondary terrace will serve to transition from the wood deck to the big terrace.
- Installing Bluestone Pavers on the Terrace
Bob meets with Mark Marini of Schumacher Landscaping to discuss the installation of the bluestone pavers on the lower terrace.
- Planting a Tree in the Patio
Bob meets with Mark Marini to discuss implementation of the landscaping plans and plant a thundercloud plum tree in the bluestone terrace.
- Revising the Landscaping Plan
Bob talks with landscape architect Rick Lamb about revisions to the plan. Bob points out the redesigned parking area and the plan for magically melting the snow.
- Fixing a Rotted Deck and Columns on the Porch
Carpenters replace a rotted deck, and a rotted porch column is reconstructed with concrete.
- Building a Retaining Wall, Front Steps, and Backyard Patio With Stone
Stone workers install a granite retaining wall, replace a front walkway, and build a backyard patio.
- Removing a Hazardous Tree
A large rotted tree is removed for safety reasons.
- Installing a Fence on a Sloped Site
Bob talks with a fencing expert about installing a white-cedar fence in sloped areas at the Melrose house.
- Replacing the Gutters, Trimming a Tree, and Creating a Low-Maintenance Front Yard
Old gutters are replaced and external landscaping continues with the trimming of a tree, installing a front garden, and creating steps from recycled granite.
- Hardscaping, Selecting Plants, Installing Artificial Grass in the Backyard, and Preventing Weed Growth
Backyard landscaping has progressed with the completion of stone work, new plantings, weed control, and the installation of artificial grass.
- Installing a Porch Floor and Light and Constructing a Porch Trellis
The front of the Melrose house gets finishing touches, including a new, insect-resistant porch deck, new trellises, and a porch light.
- Installing Exterior Lighting
Landscape lighting is installed in the front and back yards.
- Creating Decorative Styrofoam Columns
Bob works with Jesse Gonzalez to create Styrofoam columns for the decorative columns on the front of the house.
- Building a Gunite Cement Swimming Pool
Bob joins Tom McNealy to excavate and pour a gunite cement swimming pool.
- Sustainable Landscaping in Florida
Angela Polo and Ken Micklow shows Bob how to work with native plants, discuses fertilizers and pest control. They also discuss how to plant to protect from high winds.
- Sustainable Planting for Florida Landscape
Ken Micklow and Trent Culleny talk with Bob about native, storm-resistant gardening. Then Carm DiBella shows Bob an environmentally friendly termite protection system.
- Natural Fertilizers and Non-Toxic Pesticides
Angela Polo and Ken Micklow shows Bob dwarf planting ideas and install a raised vegetable garden which requires soil enhancement, Craig Harmer shows Bob natural pesticides.
- Swimming Pool Filtration, Sanitation, and Lighting
Bob watches as a pool cage is constructed. It is rated to withstand a wind load of 130 miles per hour
- Removable Swimming Pool Safety Fencing
Bill Jasper joins Bob for the installation of a removable Baby Barrier pool fence.
- Custom Bamboo Garden
Kalo joins Bob to create a Zen bamboo garden.
- A Sustainable Yard and Landscape
Bob does a walkthrough of the finished Punta Gorda home. He discusses sustainable gardening, water conservation and low-maintenance plants. Then he joins Leslie Chapman-Henderson from FLASH -- Federal Alliance for Safe Housing -- to review all the storm-resistant features of the house.
- Roof Deck Construction
Bob and Chris Vila meet with David and Jed Walentas of Two Trees Development on the top of a nearby building to get some ideas for the project building's roof deck.
- Safety Railing Installation
An ironworker secures the rooftop deck's safety railing to its footings. Then, Bob meets with the window installer who is putting frosted thermal glass walls on the head house (the structure surrounding the stairs that lead up from the penthouse). Bob points out that three separate building trades have worked to secure the fence: the roofers, ironworkers, and masons.
- Composite Deck Installation
Jim Precht from Advanced Environmental Recycling Technology (AERT) shows off a recycled deck material that uses no "first use" materials.
- Composite Deck Railing Installation
Bob watches the crew installing the deck railing. The composite railing product comes pre-milled to accept all the railing components.
- Tour of the Gardens at The Mount
Bob visits the Sunken Gardens at The Mount, where Stephanie Copeland, president of the Edith Wharton Restoration Foundation, serves as guide.
- Laying Down a Cobblestone Driveway Apron
Bob joins Jay Seminara (of Seminara Construction), who is in the process of laying down a new cobblestone apron at the edge of the driveway.
- Recreating a Colonial Garden
Bob and landscape designer Ruth Foster tour Mahoney's Garden Center to discuss landscape elements for the project house.
- Designing an Elizabethan Garden and Naturalistic Landscaping
Bob rejoins Ruth Foster to look over the landscape work in progress and to see how Foster's design has come to life.
- Shrub Planting Techniques
Landscape designer Ruth Foster offers a brief lesson about planting techniques
- Garden Irrigation System Installation
Jack Walters from Just Irrigation is on-site putting in a RainBird sprinkler system.
- Picket Fence Installation
Jay Triandafilou and a crew from Architectural Fence are on location to install the exterior fence.
- Retaining Wall Construction
Bob meets up with landscape mason Hector Santos, who is building a dried-laid stone retaining wall.
- Splitting Granite for the Retaining Wall
The mason on-site installing a retaining wall, Hector, shows Bob how to split a piece of granite that is too large and heavy to use as is.
- Discussing the Landscape Design and Living Amenities
Bob talks with landscape architect David Raphael of Landworks about his approach to designing the grounds surrounding the Vermont farmhouse. General contractor Ted Riley tells Bob about some of the amenities that come along with the house.
- Trellis and Lattice Fencing & Workshop Tour
Fred Goode (from Brattle Works) joins Bob to view the trellis and lattice fencing, and Bob visits the Brattle Works workshop to see how the fencing is manufactured.
- Building the Backyard Deck
Bob observes as general contractor Charlie Tomaszewski finishes up the picture framing for the mahogany deck.
- Working With Unilock Tumbled Concrete Pavers
Bob joins Brian Kallmeyer (from Unilock) to talk about concrete pavers. Unlike natural stone, these pavers are made in a mold, so they are easy to work with. In tight areas, there's handwork with mallets. In larger areas, it's done by machine.
- Discussing the Plantings on the Property
Bob, alongside architect Kristian Fenderson and Tom Strangfeld (from Weston Nurseries), walks the property, focusing on the planting selected for this home.
- Building the Back Porch
With the help of Herman Jaensch and his students from Saunders Technical High School in Yonkers, NY, Habitat constructs the back porch of the Blitz Build house.
- Discussing the Home's Landscaping and Hardscaping
Bob discusses the home's landscaping and hardscaping with general contractor Kevin Kalman and landscaper Josh Gavin.
- Lamp Making and Landscaping
Bob explores the practice of custom lamp making and learns more about the outdoor fireplace.
- Reviewing the Landscape Design
Bob and general contractor Sam Daniel discuss the landscaping of the Virginia governor's mansion.
- Building a Porch Railing
Carpenter Bob Ryley and George (from Crosswinds Enterprises) collaborate to build a porch railing for the accessible home. Looking on, Bob discusses the building codes that pertain to the rail and the materials used.
- Planting Trees and Shrubs in the Front Yard
Landscape contractor Janet Cox explains her approach to the plantings for Roxbury development homes.
- Discussing the Northern White Cedar Picket Fence
A Northern White Cedar picket fence is discussed and installed.
- Hot Tub Installation
Bob drops by the third Elmwood project house to watch as the deck is covered with rubber and the hot tub is installed.
- Laying Down the Mahogany Deck and Final Tour of Third House
The mahogany roof deck is complete, with the hot tub sturdily supported. Bob takes a final tour of the residence, the third Elmwood project house.
- Installing a Brick Walkway and Porch Lighting, and Milling the Railings and Balusters
Contractors put in the brick walkway. Forester Moulding and Lumber replicates the porch railings and balusters. Also, new security and sprinkler systems are installed, and lighting is added to the porch.
- Landscaping Plan
Bob reviews the existing landscape with landscape architect Juan Capote, and the two discuss Juan's plans to improve it.
- Patio Plan and Demolition
Bob meets with the contractor to take down the old patio slab and lay out the new one.
- Installing the Hot Tub
Bob joins contractors Ed Weller and Laez Wilent to observe the installion of a custom-made hot tub.
- Tiling the Patio
Bob joins contractor Ed Weller on the patio, where the crew from Agreda Brothers Tile and Marble is setting cement-based tile over sanded white thin-set mortar. Where the tile bends around the spa, the squares must be custom-cut.
- Creating a Tropical Sinkhole Garden
Bob meets with landscape architect Juan Capote to discuss planting a feature garden.
- Installing an Electric Outdoor Grill
Bob and contractor Ed Weller look at the outside electric grill.
- Installing a Sod Lawn
Bob meets with landscape architect Juan Capote to discuss the installation of a sod lawn. Juan talks about the types and grading of sod used in this project.
- Constructing a Patio Lanai
Bob meets with Ana Bolanos to watch the lanai built. Ana reviews the construction process and Bob joins in to help raise the walls.
- Framing the Back Porch
Bob reviews progress on the joist system being constructed for the new back porch. The concrete has been poured and framing has begun.
- Swimming Pool Construction
Larry Long (from Anthony & Sylvan Pools) explains the excavation and preliminary work of building a new pool. Reinforcing rods are used to help the concrete hold its shape, and to form the outer steps. And Larry shows off the filtering system.
- Installing Indian Slate Tiles on Back Porch and Pool Deck
Bob and contractor Cortney Lofton discuss the Indian slate tile being installed on the pool deck and back porch.
- Laying Redwood Decking
Bob confers with carpenter Cortney Lofton, as he lays the redwood decking for the back porch.
- Plastering the Swimming Pool
In the final step of the pool's contruction, the basin is washed and vacuumed before plastering begins. Bob discusses the materials and the mixing ratio used in the plaster, and watches as the plaster is applied.
- Discussing the Zen Garden Design
Bob meets with Donald Young for a tour of the home's Zen garden. Donald discusses the plant choices and lighting requirements in a garden of this size. Slate tiles are also added to create a rock garden.
- Deck Demolition
Bob and carpenter Bob Ryley begin demolition work on the deck. The supporting beams are cut and the deck parts are carried away, and Bob notes the flaws found in the existing footings, a result of frost heaves.
- Budget Landscaping
Landscape designer Ruth Foster explains her choices for the foundation plantings and her cost-saving measures.
- Landscaping for Energy Efficiency
Landscape designer Ruth Foster explains her selection of plant material and flowering shrubs for the backyard and directs the planting of a Sephora Japonica shade tree.
- Plant Shopping With Martha Stewart
When shopping for plants at Haskell's Nursery, the homeowner gets some professional help from Martha Stewart, who transforms the greenhouse into an elegant setting for "tea for three".
- Stone Patio, Landscaping, and Outdoor Lighting
Bob joins landscape designer Ruth Foster to discuss her plan for a stone patio and hot tub. Low-voltage outdoor lighting will also be installed.
- Installing the Outdoor Speakers
Bob talks over the installation of the outdoor speakers with Daryl Foster. The Bose speakers in question are made specifically for outdoor use-- they can stand up to the elements and still sound good.
- Planting Palm Trees in the Courtyard
Bob and the landscaper discuss planting five fully grown Queen Palm trees in the courtyard, partly in order to hide unsightly features of a neighbor's home.
- Landscaping Plans
Landscape designer Ruth Foster explains a few techniques for promoting drainage and keeping weeds under control, respectively. She also discusses the plants she has chosen for the garage property, all of which are expected to thrive in Cape Cod.
- Removing Trees from the Project Site
Bob joins contractor Bob Ryley and the tree removal specialist to discuss clearing the site. Special tips on chainsaw use and safety are provided.
- Victorian House Landscaping
Landscape designer Ruth Foster visits the project site to explain her choice of plantings for the formal courtyard garden.
- Constructing the Concrete Walkway
Bob and the contractor discuss the concrete walkway, with the contractor giving Bob tips on how to make concrete cure harder and have less cracks. Also discussed is the crushed, aggregate granite that will be added to the standard concrete.
- Landscape Design
Bob talks with landscape architect Clara Bachelor about the condition of the yard and the final landscape design.
- Garden Nursery Visit
Bob visits Weston Wholesale Nursery with landscape architect Clara Bachelor.
- Planting a Shrub
Bob, landscape architect Clara Bachelor, and contractor Bob Marzilli review how to plant a balled and burlapped shrub.
- Touring the Exterior and Entry
Bob tours the exterior of the project home, focusing on the architectural detail and final landscape design. He then moves inside to review the custom stair railing in the entry area.
- Reviewing the Landscape
Bob meets with a landscaper to discuss the existing plantings, some of which will be removed or cut back to maximize the amount of interior light. Trees, shrubs, and a trellis are recommended to create a barrier between the yard and the road.
- Building a Trellis
A trellis-- the frame and lattice of which have been built in the workshop-- is installed in the front yard.
- Altering Landscape Plans
With Bob having decided to alter the landscape design, shrubs are transplanted and perennials are planted. Plus, sodding goes down to create a grass lawn.
- Landscaping the Property
Bob meets with landscape contractor John Wall to talk over removing existing plant material.
- Discussing Swimming Pool Design
Bob discusses the addition of a swimming pool with the project architect.
- Plans and Preparations for Landscaping
Bob visits Joanne, a landscape designer, at a local nursery to find plants for the project house's outdoor space.
- Building a Free-Floating Deck
Due to flood plain regulations, the deck cannot be attached to the house-- it has to be free-floating. Bob helps the contractors set up the posts and joists, and assists in laying down the tongue-and-groove pine floor material.
- Plans for the Swimming Pool
Bob and Pete, the foreman of the swimming pool construction crew, survey the property and review the installation plans.
- Gunite Cement in Swimming Pool Construction
Bob observes as gunite is poured over rebar to form the bottom and sides of the swimming pool cavity.
- Tiling the Swimming Pool
Bob discusses tile and its process of application with the foreman of the pool installation contracting crew.
- Landscape Design With a New Fence
Bob has a discussion the landscape architect, Joanne Smallwood, and new wooden fence is installed.
- Landscape Tour of the Cracker Cottage
Remodeling of the cracker cottage is complete. Bob tours the home, starting with the exterior and the landscape.
- Clearing Trees and Stumping
Bob surveys the lot and oversees the preliminary work for building a new Cape Cod-style house.
- Discussing the Landscaping
Bob discusses landscaping with specialist Susan Hofer. Topics include sod, a gravel driveway, brickwork, fences, and perennials.
- Installing an Authentic Iron Fence
Bob finds an authentic iron fence for the front yard and watches as the welder installs it using the arc welding process. Next, Bob heads inside to join general contractor Ron Gan, who demonstrates how to install kitchen cabinets correctly.
- Landscaping the Front Garden
Gardener John Rasthenis landscapes the front garden.
- Landscaping the Coach House
Bob goes outside to observe a tree being planted and to see the little garden beyond the entryway landscaped.
- Expanded Outdoor Living
The expansive new outdoor deck brings indoor living outside. Meg Tarvin (from FrontGate) joins to describe the furnishings that create this outdoor living room, and Bob looks over the new barbecue station.
- Landscape Design on a Sloping Bank
A sloping bank descends from deck level to the yard. Landscape designer Ruth Foster explains her choice of plantings for this garden: It will be green, with junipers and yews for low maintenance, varying height, and good coverage. Also, Foster shows Bob the batch composter, used for making rich mulch.
- Planting Bulbs and Seeding the Lawn
Bob meets with landscape designer Ruth Foster, who explains the correct method of planting bulbs. For turf, Foster suggests a relaxed approach, with perennial rye and fescue planted, mown high, and over-seeded, both in the fall and at the tail end of winter.
- Landscaping with Hedges, Trees, and Perennials
Landscape designer Ruth Foster joins Bob to review the landscaping plan. Foster has selected a hedge and evergreens to screen the yard from street traffic and neighbors. Closer to the deck, she has created a flowering border.
- Facing the Retaining Walls with Cultured Stone
Retaining walls, foundation work, and curving stairways are faced with Cultured Stone from Owens Corning. These cast cement, pumice, and iron oxide products are made in molds taken from real field stones to look like regional stones, in both shape and color.
- Building a Western Red Cedar Deck
Bob reviews the structure for the new deck. Paul Mackie (of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association) joins to discuss the benefits of building with western red cedar, a sustainable product. The wood is naturally stable-- it will not warp, crack, check, or chip-- and it's insect-resistant. General contractor Tim Berky is busy nailing down the decking planks.