DIY Landscaping Projects Shown in Pictures

Several tutorials with pictures explaining popular how-to's

tulips and phlox
David Beaulieu

Our tutorials lead you to a step by step, using pictures, through some DIY landscaping projects you may have been keeping on a back burner for a long time, just hoping for a little inspiration—and some simple instructions—to come along. All of the steps in these tutorials are described with beginners in mind. So move your dream projects to a front burner, roll up your sleeves, and let's get going!

DIY Landscaping Project 1: Water Features

Have you ever considered installing a water feature in your yard? Decorative fountains add immediate impact to a yard. In this DIY landscaping project, we show you how to turn ceramic planters into decorative fountains. We also show you how to take the design to another level through an artistic use of copper pipes. Or maybe you are more of a "plant person" than a "hardscape person?" In that case, you may be more interested in a different installation: a small water garden composed of lovely plants.

DIY Landscaping Project 2: Rock Gardens

Don't think that you need a large space to build a rock garden. In this simple project, we use rocks of a moderate size to build, in essence, a small raised bed. Our pictures illustrate not only how to construct the rocky raised bed, but also how to select suitable plants to use within it, plus how to arrange them. Special attention is paid to color selection in choosing the plants to build this rock garden.

DIY Landscaping Project 3: Portable and Unconventional Raised Beds

Another twist can be applied to the "raised bed" concept: make a portable raised bed! This tutorial tells you how to build what amounts to a large container garden on wheels. Building a portable raised bed is an idea that will be especially attractive to those seeking to landscape for small yards. It is unconventional but effective. We offer a separate tutorial on constructing an equally unconventional small raised bed that doubles as a garden bench; being unusually tall, it is also great for those with bad backs, as it eliminates bending over to tend your plants.

DIY Landscaping Project 4: Winterizing Flowering Bushes—the Natural Way

If you live in a region with heavy snowfalls and ice storms, you should consider protecting prized flowering bushes from the elements during the winter. Winterizing flowering bushes via a rustic shrub shelter is a fairly straightforward task if you have access to the woods, and it will also save you money. City slickers may be unable to find the needed materials and will have to spend the extra money to buy lumber for a conventional shrub shelter.  

DIY Landscaping Project 5: Installing Landscape Fabrics

Weeding is nobody's favorite gardening activity. The best defense against weeds is prevention, and the modern landscape fabrics can be a key component in a preventive weed-control strategy for folks who are "on the go." They are not for everybody or for all situations, but landscape fabrics do offer a high-tech solution to weed control that some people will find appealing, especially in large shrub beds with ample space between the shrubs, where you do not want to be continually on alert for weeds popping up in between your bushes.

DIY Landscaping Project 6: Planting Flower Beds, Borders

Once you know how to use landscape fabrics, apply your knowledge by using landscape fabrics to install a lovely, low-maintenance planting! This project, which incorporates landscape fabrics, shows you how to plant flower beds. If you do not care for weed barriers, just skip the steps that call for their use. This project is a good beginner's lesson in installing a mixed bed of perennials and shrubs, offering observations on such issues as choosing color schemes and establishing focal points. A follow-up tutorial that you may wish to consult is how to create a dazzling flower border.

DIY Landscaping Project 7: Planting Hedges

A defined area catches the eye more readily than does one that is "open-ended." This accounts, in part, for the popularity of fences in landscape design. But for plant-lovers, hedges may be preferable to fences as a means of defining a property. Learn how to plant a hedge in this tutorial. 

DIY Landscaping Project 8: Trimming Hedges

All right, you have followed the advice above, and your row of shrubs is planted. But how do you shear it now, transforming a mere "row of shrubs" into a true "hedge?" Trimming hedges is fairly easy if you start when they are young and set up "guides" to follow as you trim. Using pictures from my own hedge-trimming work, we show you how to put a nice, straight edge on your hedge.