Amazing Landscaping Ideas For All Types of Gardens
Fed up with your garden?
The key to building your dream outdoor space isn’t spending a fortune on the fanciest ornaments and plants.
It’s all about creating a space that works for you.
Whether you’ve got a private driveway in mind, an enormous lawn to tackle, or you need garden landscaping ideas for sloping gardens, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this post you’ll find great tips and design ideas for the following topics, plus more:
• Driveways and paths
• Kids outdoor play areas
• What plants and shrubs work best
• How paving and decking can transform your space
• Ideas for sloped gardens
• Celebrity garden inspiration
Front Garden Landscaping Ideas For Adding Kerb Appeal
Your front garden is the face of your home, and first impressions matter.
It’s amazing the difference a well-kept front garden can make to the overall look of your home.
No matter what your budget or taste, take a look at our top ideas below for inspiration.
Off-Street Parking: How to Do It & Why It’s Good for Your Home
If you stay in a busy family hive with more than one car, then you’ll understand the importance of off-street parking.
There’s nothing worse than having to park miles away from your home on a wet miserable day because you can’t get a space close by.
Not only will private parking make your day-to-day life a heck of a lot easier, it can also increase the value of your home if you’re thinking of re-selling down the line.
If anyone knows a thing or two about selling properties, it’s ‘Location, Location, Location’s very own Phil Spencer.
“If you live in the countryside, and garden aesthetics are an important feature of the property’s presentation, keep the flower beds.
But if you want to add value in an area where parking is at a premium, then it is concrete every time.
You may need planning permission, and may have to spend £10-£20,000, but added value could be £50,000 in an expensive urban location.”
To transform your garden into a driveway, you’ll firstly need to get in touch with your local council.
Some homes, depending on their age, need planning permission before making any big changes to the building or grounds.
You’ll also need to apply for a dropped kerb to allow you easy access. This might also entail sloping the pavement outside your home.
Be prepared to pay anything up to £2000 for this alone.
Once the groundworks are in place, keep your own workload and other costs to a minimum.
You can add instant kerb-appeal with low maintenance landscaping ideas like water permeable gravel, block paving or simple tarmac with drainage.
Space for gardening too?
Add a pop of colour to a concrete drive with evergreen Hebe shrubs along the edging.
If you’d prefer to use the floor space purely for parking, then window boxes and hanging baskets will be your new best friend.
Just remember to water them!
Tubs of brightly coloured flowers under your windows will look great in full bloom over the summer.
Or, for a bit of year-round greenery opt for no maintenance topiary trees to stand beside your door instead.
Lead The Way to Your Front Door with a Stunning Pathway
If off-street parking isn’t an issue for you, then focus on creating a stylish pathway for visitors and guests instead.
Solid ground like block paving, large slabs and concrete work best under foot in urban areas, especially during wintry weather spells.
If you live in a Victorian terrace, make a feature of your pathway by laying some stylish black and white chequered tiles.
This isn’t a project to try yourself at home!
One simple mistake will only be exaggerated further down the pattern, making your whole pathway look uneven and unprofessional.
It can be a pricey job, so check with local experienced tradesmen for various quotes.
I found this Victorian tiled pathway pricing guide on the Building Sheriff website which gives you a rough idea of the overall cost. Estimated prices exclude VAT:
At £3,700, it’s definitely a job you want done right.
A traditional style front door painted in soft grey, duck-egg blue or even pillar-box red will finish the look perfectly.
Let’s look a bit further afield for our next garden path idea.
If you’re lucky enough to stay in the country cottage of dreams, then something more whimsical will work wonders for your home.
Look for cottage garden landscaping ideas that will add instant charm without looking too architectural.
If your front garden is an overgrown Eden, simply mow a clear path to your front door and keep the edges neat.
Top tips for creating a garden path:
• Straight lines and symmetry will keep your garden looking clean, tidy and well thought out.
• Winding paths sound great in theory, but you and your guests will end up cutting the corners to make the journey quicker.
• British weather isn’t ideal for wooden boards or metal ramps. Stick to non-slip materials like cement and stones (you’ll thank us when it’s raining)!
For a more structured front garden, gravel paths and cottages are a match made in heaven.
Line the edging with lavender bushes, tall grasses and romantic flowers like roses, wisteria vine, peonies and foxglove.
Setting Your Garden Boundary Without Isolating Yourself
Creating a clear boundary line around your garden is often thought of as the least exciting part of garden landscaping.
If you don’t want an open plan front garden for parking cars, then you can add some extra kerb appeal to your home with a short feature wall, pruned hedge or painted fence.
It's essential to choose your type of boundary carefully:
• Establish boundaries before the rest of your garden is in place. It’s much easier to work around them than destroy any hard work you’ve already done to start building walls etc.
• Pick a material and design that’ll fit in with the rest of your home and garden. If you have a cheerful country garden, opt for a full rounded hedge as opposed to a modern fence.
• As nice as it is to have privacy, remember that hedges and fences will do just as good a job at hiding potential burglars from your neighbours and passers-by.
• Generally speaking, fences, walls and hedges in front gardens should be no more than 4ft tall.
• If you choose to erect a boundary around the front of your home, try and keep doorways and areas near windows well-lit and in view to help deter thieves and keep your property safe.
• Take a look out your front window before you start any work. This will help you plan the best height for your boundary, and will also let you see where to place plants and decorative items too.
3 Creative Back Garden Landscaping Ideas for Kids
We know more than anyone that when it’s sunny your back garden becomes the most used room in your home: So to speak.
Transforming the space to best suit the needs of you and your family means you’ll all enjoy spending even more time in it than you already do.
If you’ve got young children at home, why not make them their own little haven for building sandcastles, playing on the trampoline or even growing their own plants and veggies?!
You can find lots of garden inspiration and yard landscaping ideas for kids on sites like Pinterest, but here’s some of our favourite DIY projects:
1. DIY Outdoor Chalkboard
An outdoor chalkboard is great for keeping kids of all ages busy outdoors - and reduces the amount of mess in indoors.
A win for parents too!
What you’ll need:
• 1 x sheet of plywood (prices from £21 for an 8ft x 4ft board at B&Q)
• Weather shield paint
• Chalkboard paint
• Outdoor spray paint
• Wood for framing
• Outdoor paint (any colour of your choosing)
• No more nails
• Power tools: drill & jigsaw
• Other materials: screws, caulk, dust sheet, dust mask, safety goggles, wall plugs & gloves
Step 1. Cut the plywood sheet to your required size and coat with the weather shield paint.
Step 2. Apply the chalkboard paint as evenly as possible. It will likely need a few coats, so store it in a garage or shed where it can dry overnight between each coat.
Step 3. Use the outdoor paint to add a pop of colour to dado rails or wood cut offs. These will create a frame for the chalkboard, so remember to plan ahead and make sure you have enough length.
Step 4. Screw the painted wood lengths onto the chalkboard using the drill. Use the caulk to fill in any gaps
Step 5. Attach the whole frame to your wall or fence securely using the power drill and screws. If you’re drilling into a brick wall remember you’ll need suitable wall plugs and masonry screws.
Step 6. Add a little bucket of colourful chalks and your chalkboard is ready to go!
2. Barefoot Sensory Path
Anna from playathometeacher.com made this amazing barefoot sensory path for her little one, Sophie.
A project like this will take a fair bit of elbow grease, but if you’re willing to put the work in the rewards will be so worth it!
What you’ll need:
• Paving blocks for edging
• Quick setting cement
• Gravel/garden chips
• Half round logs & log slices
• Smooth pebbles
• Ground cover
• Camomile lawn (or regular turf also works well)
• Shovel for digging the trench
• Saw to cut the logs to size
Step 1. Use the shovel to dig out a trench in your garden and lay the paving blocks to create a border. Cement them in for stability.
Step 2. Once the framework for your path has been created, it’s time to start filling the sections with different materials.
Step 3. Plant the camomile lawn and some soil in one section. Camomile lawn is great as it gives off a gorgeous scent when you walk on it, plus it doesn’t require mowing like regular grass!
Step 4. Next,lay some sand in one section and lay the sleeper logs on top. Fill up any gaps to the top with extra sand to keep the logs in place.
Step 5. Add ground cover and loose smooth pebbles in one section like Anna did. She didn’t cement them down, and it looks like Sophie’s favourite part of the path to walk on barefoot!
Step 6. In a separate section add a layer of chips/gravel and then cover with quick setting cement. Press some smooth, large pebbles into the top of the cement and leave to dry.
Step 7. Lastly, for the wood slice section, start with a layer of sand and push the wood pieces into it to stay in place. Fill up any gaps with stones and then cover with soil and press it into the spaces.
3. A Safe & Fun Sunken Trampoline
When you’re considering gardening landscaping ideas for your family garden, giving your outdoor space a clean & tidy vibe should be at the top of your list.
Large, bulky kids toys like trampolines and swing sets are really great, but their tall stature can overpower a small space instantly.
Reclaim those uninterrupted views of your prize plants by sinking your little one’s trampoline into the ground!
Not only do in-ground trampolines look so much better, but they’re a whole lot safer for your kids to enjoy too:
• Their ground-level platforms make it easier for small children to use them with ease
• As the tall legs are hidden underground, there’s less risk of injury.
• The trampoline can’t topple over or blow away in strong winds.
Check out this tutorial video from YouTube user LivingOnVideo13 to see how they dug out the foundations and installed their trampoline safely.
Ventilation is crucial when installing an in-ground trampoline.
Pipes can be laid to release some of the air pressure created from bouncing.
Alternatively, make sure the frame of the trampoline is 1 or 2 inches above ground level to let some air escape safely.
To prevent the soil falling back into the hole you’ve spent all day digging, you can surround the frame of your trampoline in corrugated metal or plastic like the video shows.
This ensures your child won’t end up jumping on solid soil after time.
A Guide to Planting & Why It’s Important to Know
Knowing how to plant well is the key to any well designed garden.
Some veggies thrive when planted alongside others. Some flowers can end up a costly investment for upkeep and others aren’t as pet friendly as you’d think.
If you own a cat or dog, then you know that they’ll sink their teeth into anything they can (or at least give it a good sniff, that’s for sure)!
Most common garden plants won’t have any affect on your pet.
But to prevent pet illness, dehydration or something more serious, avoid any of the following popular plant types:
• Amaryllis (it can cause abdominal pain, tremors, diarrhea, and hypersalivation for both cats and dogs)
• Lillies (can cause kidney failure in cats)
• Tomato Plants (contains solanine, a highly toxic element)
• Hyacinth (it can damage dogs & cats mouths and esophagus and cause violent tremors)
• Azaleas and Rhododendron (if leaves are ingested by animals they can cause digestive problems, excessive drooling, weakness, and loss of appetite)
• Geraniums (skin rashes, low blood pressure, lethargy, and loss of appetite are all common side effects for pets)
XS Stock’s Quick Guide to Planting
You don’t need an expensive garden designer to sort out your flower beds.
When it comes to ‘what to plant where’, think logically.
It’s always best to plant tall grasses, shrubs and trees that need little or no maintenance at the back of your flower bed.
Flowers and plants that need regular watering and pruning should be near the front for easy access.
Sadly, most of us don’t have time to properly look after a huge amount of flowers and trees in our gardens.
Some low maintenance landscaping ideas will keep your garden looking fresh and well-kept with minimal effort.
If a colourful low-maintenance garden is what you’re after then the likes of heather, lavender and crocus plants will fill out planters and pots beautifully.
For a modern garden landscape, artificial topiary trees and shrubs will be your new best friend.
No watering. No pruning. No ground cover and weeding. And you can plant them wherever you like.
Nestle a symmetrical border of garden chips and artificial topiary shrubs along your driveway or lawn for the most Instagram worthy garden on your street.
If you’re thinking of starting a vegetable garden this year, but aren’t sure where to begin, we’ve got you covered.
Growing your own veggies can save you a fortune in the long run, and once the planting’s done they don’t need much maintenance to keep them growing.
It’s also a great activity to get the kids involved with!
They’ll love having their own little veg patch to look after and making some delicious snacks with the produce.
You’ll only be able to grow certain types of vegetables, depending on the time of year you start your patch.
Beans, beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, carrots and corn are all great veggies to plant in May and enjoy in the summer!
This companion planting guide from Anglian Home is great for seeing which vegetables thrive when planted together:
Back Garden Landscaping: Transform Your Patio With Decking & Paving
Some well looked after decking on your patio is a great way to separate your outdoor dining space from the rest of your garden.
Decking can be used in any size of garden - from fully decked patios to accommodate family parties, to small decked corners that are perfect for bistro sets and morning coffee.
Garden decking is so versatile.
Here’s 5 top benefits of using decking compared to other materials:
1. Quick to build: Unlike a monoblocked patio or laying slabs, you can set up your decking in as little as one day.
2. Adds value to your home: Decked areas in garden are always sought after, especially in family homes. Kerb appeal and entertaining spaces can add as much as 10% on to the value of your home when you go to sell.
3. Easy maintenance: Decking upkeep doesn’t cost a lot. An annual deep clean and re-coat of paint will keep it in great condition for the rest of the year.
4. It’s durable: Decking panels bought from a reliable manufacturer will stand the test of time for anything up to 10-20 years. Check to see if they provide a guarantee before you buy.
5. Great for uneven ground: Installing a level decked platform can be done even on sloped gardens with uneven ground, where paving or slabs won’t cut it.
The great thing about decking is that it can be painted any colour to tie in with your existing garden decor.
Brands like Ronseal and Cuprinol offer a huge range of outdoor paints, no matter whether safe brown or quirky teal’s your thing!
Check out our Irvine store for the most popular decking paint and stains at discounted prices.
Once your decking has been installed, you can make it really pop with some decorative edging.
Strip lights, spot lights, solar decorations and modern gravel are all great decking border ideas that work well all year round.
If decking doesn’t suit your garden, then you might want look at other hard landscaping ideas like paving stones and slabs instead.
It will almost certainly cost more to pave your patio than it will to deck it, and you might require some professional assistance, but the end result always looks great.
Small paving blocks have a textured surface, meaning they’re naturally slip-resistant during rain, snow and frost.
They also expand and contract with typical British weather, meaning they’ll not crack or split like solid concrete and large slabs.
Once your paved patio is in place, there’s little maintenance required to keep it in tip-top shape.
Give it a good clean with a pressure washer or patio washer once a year, and spray with weed killer as needed to keep rogue weeds at bay.
A contemporary entertaining space will always improve the overall look of your home, and is a great way to spend more time with the people you love.
Barbecue parties, Sunday brunch, birthday dinners and chatting with friends over a chilled glass of wine can all be enjoyed with ease in your new outdoor living space.
Sloped Landscaping Ideas for Your Dream Garden
If you’ve recently bought a house with a sloped garden and have no idea what to do with it, then you’ve come to the right place.
Yes, sloped gardens at first sight can be terrifying.
What you have is the chance to create a magical multi-level garden that would cost the rest of us a fortune to install!
A sloped garden is the perfect blank canvas for turning a mudslide into a beautiful, well planned outdoor living space, with plenty of room for everyone to enjoy doing what they love.
Having a multi-level garden is great because:
• You can create different zones for gardening, eating and playing
• You can build directly into the landscape
• Draining excess water away from plants comes naturally
• They get lots of light exposure, particularly nearer the top
Terracing a sloped garden will take a lot of hard work, but with a bit of imagination you can make the space really work for you.
You might want to start by creating a flat patio area at your back door.
This will allow easy access from the side of your house, and putting a seating or dining area here with quick access to the kitchen makes things so much easier in the long run.
If you love hosting dinner parties and entertaining friends, then here’s your chance to build a dream sunken patio area.
Think cosy blankets, fairy lights, nibbles and the crackling of a fire pit with your favourite people on a summer’s evening.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Once you’ve designed your patio area, you should think about what type of retaining walls you want.
Materials like wooden sleepers and concrete can be made into planters, allowing you to plant directly into the landscape.
Decorative steps between each level in your sloped garden will work much better than ramps, which can become slippy underfoot during the winter months.
The first level will work really well as your main garden area.
Lay turf here for the kids to play on, install a washing line to hang laundry on or create a space for growing plants and vegetables.
If your garden can accommodate an extra level, no matter how small - do it.
Adding a few different areas to your garden is an easy landscaping idea that’ll give everyone their own personal outdoor space.
Plus, if you utilise the slope well, you can have an extra chill-out zone for the adults or a fun play den to surprise the kids with!
A little decked platform with a relaxer chair or small bistro set is the perfect place to perch with a G&T and admire your beautiful garden.
If you want to turn this level into a space for the little ones, then you can add slides and climbing frames directly onto the natural slope.
A built-in slide eliminates the need for hazardous ladders, and you can still decorate the surrounding area with child-friendly topiary and flowers.
Things to remember when creating a sloped garden:
• Drainage: Unless you want your patio area to double up as a swimming pool in Autumn, then plenty of drainage on each level is crucial.
• Retaining walls: Your retaining walls will need to begin under ground level and be made from strong, durable materials.
• Ramps vs Steps: Wooden ramps (or even steps) are a no-no for sloped gardens. They’ll be slippy when it’s raining - which in this neck of the woods is A LOT. Opt for textured stone, brick or concrete steps every time.
Garden Landscape Design Pictures: Celebrity Style
We would all love luxury resort-sized gardens and platinum credit cards to dress them with. But, adding some A-list flair to your home and garden doesn’t need to cost the earth.
Check out three of our favourite celebrity backyards for some landscaping inspiration and designer tips to use in your own garden.
Denise’s amazing backyard comes with not one, but TWO swimming pools, waterfalls and an outdoor kitchen for dining al fresco.
Steal her style: Adding plenty of shrubs and trees in your back garden will help mimic Denise’s secluded California home. Add statement accessories like her striped parasol and colourful seat cushions on your garden furniture to break up the greenery.
Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello’s home in Los Angeles is giving us some serious garden envy. It comes complete with a custom built pool and Jacuzzi surrounded by palm trees for a truly tropical vibe.
Steal his style: So who needs a private pool when it rains 360 days of the year anyway? You can still achieve Joe’s chilled L.A style with some rattan garden furniture, concrete paving and homemade rockery.
Amy shows us that you can still create a stunning yard when space is tight. Decking and potted plants add sky high curb appeal to her New York rooftop terrace.
Steal her style: Large parasols lined with solar fairy lights will add charm and soft lighting to a small garden in the evenings. Finish the look with painted trellis and a traditional wooden garden furniture set.
I hope I’ve given you plenty of garden landscaping ideas to help you create your dream front and back gardens.
After writing this post I’m definitely feeling motivated to make some changes outside my own home.
I’d love to see how you create your own dream homes this summer!
Tag #xsstock or @xsstockcom on Instagram for a chance to be featured on our page.