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Landscapes are ecosystems. Ecosystems need a diversity of plants of different layers or levels to provide an adequate habitat for wildlife. Consider including a body of water with shallow edges to provide drinking water and swimming for wildlife. The selection of native plants helps attract birds, pollinators and beneficial insects to the yard. See Chapter 20, Wildlife, for specific tips on wildlife attraction and management in the landscape. Edible products that meet most of the design criteria for plant selection are available.

Stone steps and offset pavers provide a structure and allow the garden to reveal itself in an interesting way. "It's not just the interior of your home that deserves elegant touches," says Bunny Williams. Celebrate your arrival by unfurling the red carpet for yourself - or at least a pair of oversized planters. Large leafy plants make an eye catching garden by the entrance door e from a New York home. The imposing cypresses of a house in Corona del Mar are reminiscent of Tuscan landscapes. In this house in Corona del Mar, landscaper Margaret Carole McElwee has created a lush garden with hedges of boxwood, lavender, ficus and cypresses.

Eco-friendly lighting systems use down-lighting and solar energy, and turn off automatically when they are not needed. Irrigation systems may include precipitation gauges, so they stop automatically when nature provides water. The heartwood of a rot-resistant species, such as soybean, cypress or western red cedar, is ideal for landscaping. . Various outdoor qualities of these woods are available, but all are quite expensive. Pressure treated wood is more economical and can be satisfactory for most wood projects. This wood must meet certain standards for various uses and is marked accordingly.

It's easy to use them to make an impact, especially if you choose varieties that have colorful foliage. Go further with this landscape idea: Execute a creative size. Here, for example, chiseled golden cypresses and columnar holly trees create a delightful contrast with the sheared purple barberry. It's easy to plan all your beds and curbs along the perimeter of your property, but adding an island bed that floats in your lawn is a simple idea.

Here’s the first step of my Fall Lawn Recovery program. This can be completed in later August or early September in most areas of the midwest. The key is being able to pull a good core with…

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