category_outlined / Home & Garden
Real GardensReal Gardens

Real Gardens


Creating beautiful gardens is a passion, a way of forging a personal relationship with nature that you then can share with friends and neighbors. But you don’t need a landscape architect—or even a lot of time—to create rewarding outdoor spaces. Real Gardens offers inspiration to create containers, structures and features by reusing old materials in new ways; eco-friendly methods and products; and ideas for borders, shrubs and other landscape features. Pages of inspirational gardens created by real homeowners will provide the needed encouragement to plan your own, real, beautiful garden.

United States
Athlon Media Group
Read Morekeyboard_arrow_down


access_time2 min.
just dig in!

We’ve all thumbed through glossy garden magazines, looked at the photos of botanical perfection and thought, “Well, that’s beautiful. But I can’t even keep snails from eating my hostas, and my patio has nothing but a couple of sad lawn chairs and a hibachi on it. How am I supposed to get my outdoor spaces to look like anything close to this?”We’re here to help. We’ve got the beautiful photos along with the information you need to make your garden or outdoor space look fabulous. Or at least dreamy enough to make the neighbors jealous.Want a quick shot of style? Check out 11 upgrades you can do in a weekend (p. 10). For those of you who are green-thumb challenged, we’ve got a list of plants you can’t kill (p.…

access_time4 min.
7 tips for garden design

1 Plant a Focal PointGive your garden a center of interest, a place for your eye to rest for a second, by creating a focal point. A focal point helps organize the other elements in a garden. You can use a water feature, a piece of art, a bench, a dramatic plant or, as seen here, a large urn. Place your object at the end of a path, where a border meets a fence or in the middle of a circular bed.We Love the varying shades of pink in this monochromatic scheme.2 Add Mass AppealGive your garden both drama and visual harmony by planting flowers in masses. Group large numbers of just a few types of plants. Place them haphazardly so they look is if they grew that way. You’ll…

access_time3 min.
fast, fun fix-ups

MAKE ROOM FOR ART A strategically sited sculpture adds structure and texture to the garden, creating a focal point. The rusted metal of this bird sculpture contrasts with the soft foliage and blooms of allium and poppy. (PHOTO BY GAP PHOTOS/GRAHAM STRONG)We Love accessories, like these orange pillows, that echo the surrounding flowers.HAVE A SEAT Put chairs and a table near a bed of flowers or under a tree and you have the perfect place for sipping iced tea with a friend. Neutral-toned wicker chairs and a weathered wooden table blend into the landscape, letting the garden be the star. Be sure to tote along some natural pest repellent so your stay is a pleasant one.PLAN A PATH How do you figure out the perfect place for a path? Find…

access_time6 min.
hardscape 101

Patios & MoreMake a stylish outdoor space into a private getaway just outside the door.Hardscape is the backbone of a garden, the non-plant structures that de ne its shape and function. The softscape, aka plants, change from season to season, but hardscape—paths, pergolas, walls, stairs, patios—are permanent elements. Making the hard elements work with the soft ones is paramount to creating a garden that’s beautiful and functional. Two key considerations are matching the style of your hardscaping to that of the house and garden, and choosing materials that will withstand the elements.LOWER THE FLAG Using flagstone for a patio, above, creates an organically shaped space that blends in with its surroundings. This one has plantings on three sides, providing a sense of enclosure. (PHOTO BY DOREEN L. WYNJA)Tip: Making your…

access_time3 min.
just add water

We Love the whimsy of a plastic flamingo next to a naturalized pond.BOULDER BEAUTY Thoughtfully placed boulders and water’s-edge plantings of horsetail rush and coneflowers make this pond look like nature put it there. Water lilies float on the surface, adding beauty and softening the hard edges of the rocks and reeds. (PHOTO BY DOREEN L. WYNJA)STYLE Make sure the materials and style of your water feature complement your house. A midcentury modern house would look best with a contemporary or even Asian-style fountain, while a Mediterranean-style home would look best with a classic, three-tiered fountain or a pond edged in Moroccan tile.LOCATION Placing your water feature in the right place is key. Situate a freestanding unit in a prominent location where it will be a focal point. In-ground…

access_time4 min.
flower power

You see the words “annual” and “perennial” on plant tags and in garden books. What do these terms mean, and why should you care?Simply put, annual plants live for a single growing season and die in winter. You must replant them every year. Perennials live through the winter and come back every spring. They can live as long as 15 years or, in the case of peonies, a human lifetime. Other perennials, like mums, are short-lived, lasting just three or four years.ROOTS ROCKPerennials grow back from roots that go dormant in the soil in the winter. Their leaves, flowers and stems die, but new growth sprouts from the roots when warm weather returns. Annuals reproduce via seeds. If you want more, you’ll need to sow new seeds each spring.BLOOM OR…