Garden Design Ideas #502

Landscaping with stone and unifying planting beds.

Landscape Design and Gardening Newsletter
Written by Steve Boulden
Owner of S&S Designed Landscaping,LLC

Welcome to another great issue of your landscape design and gardening newsletter.

I guess it has been a while since this newsletter was last published.

I won't keep you with a lot of excuses and long stories. However, I will tell you that in the time I've been out of circulation, we've put together a lot of great stuff that I intend to share with you.

We've designed and created a lot of great designs over the last year. And we're gearing up to do a whole new block of even better. We're going to take a look at all this, the theory and reason behind it, and more.

I do apologize for the extended absence and I'll do my best to make it up to you.

Let's get going.

Steve Boulden,
S&S Design


  • Designing With Different Color Stone
  • Landscape Tip - Unifying and Separating Planting Beds
  • Unanswered Emails
  • *****************************************
    Designing With Different Color Stone

    This first design that I'll show you gives functionality of hardscape a different meaning.

    This front yard design could be termed a "stand alone" design because that is exactly what it's designed to do. It is created to have form even when there are absolutely no plants in the dead of Winter.

    While most designs should have this to some degree anyway, it's not usually just the groundcover that creates it.

    We just finished this design so it won't be planted until spring. This will give you an opportunity to see how it's intended to look in Winter.

    I do hope you enjoy and get something out of this lesson.

    Let's take a look:

    Circular Driveway Entry Way

    Unifying and Separating Planting Beds

    There are thousands of plant combinations, companion plantings, and color combinations that will work well in garden planting schemes.

    And form a beginner or do it yourselfer standpoint, simplicity and repitition in planting is a good starting point that can be added to later. I usually say to pick a color scheme of two or three colors and repeat it throughout the garden.

    For more curious, experimental, or advanced home landscapers there may be a feel for planting in masses or even random, assorted, and wildflower and ornamental grass beds.

    In any instance, there's always a chance that even the best of planting intentions can disrupt harmony, balance, and unity in the garden instead of creating it.

    Periodically adding a neutral colored plant throughout your landscape can help unify planting beds that differ in color, texture, and even height.

    Silver or gray plants such as Lambs Ears, Artemesia, Dusty Miller, Santolina, Sage, Horehound, and others are considered neutral colored.

    Using white flowers as a neutral also works very well. Anything white is a natural focal point and especially in the garden. In a mass of green foliage, orange flowers, mixed flowers, etc., white always draws our eyes to it. Using it throughout the garden will create a sense of unity.

    Use white sparingly. Too much of it tends to feel cluttered.

    Unifying a garden that's out of sorts is really quite simple. As well as moving and matching existing elements, try adding a neutral color plant to the different planting areas.

    Separating or "buffering" beds from each other can be as simple as adding a neutral or group of neutrals between colors or beds.

    Unanswered Emails

    When I first started this site and newsletter I was able to keep up with the small amount of email and questions that I would get periodically.

    Soon the emails became daily. But still not too much to keep up with. I continued for a while to answer every landscape question, plant question, software review, and garden design question that came across my desk. To date I've answered 3,103 personal specific questions.

    However, today I get piles of digital mail. It has become impossible for me to keep up with the amount that comes in. So instead of throwing my hands up in the air in frustration, I've limited myself to only ten a day.

    Believe me, that's still a lot after a full day in the offline world.

    What I'm getting to here is that possibly you and a whole bunch of other folks aren't getting replies from me. Some folks probably think I'm just deleting their emails. That's simply not so. I started this site so that folks wouldn't need to hire a contractor or designer and I'm doing my best to keep up with it.

    If your question didn't get a reply, I am truly sorry. I'm not trying to ignore anyone and I really am just one guy here. If you did send me an email that didn't get answered, you might try sending it again. Who knows? Still no guarantee.


    If you get stuck on your planting scheme, see Pre planned gardens - Plans for creative and economical ways to use pre planned garden designs in your landscaping project.


    That's all for this issue.

    Steve Boulden S&S Designed Landscaping,LLC

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