It’s getting warm here at HGTV Headquarters, and all I want to do this weekend is sit on a patio with a cool beverage. I love the heat and the sun for about two weeks before I’m ready to nest inside with the air conditioning, but this stunning backyard oasis designed by landscape architect Eva Knoppel would keep me outside year-round no matter the temperature.
The property sits on a slope, so Knoppel designed the outdoor area around terraces with multiple levels. The above outdoor kitchen and dining space sits just outside the home’s living room, making it a natural extension of the indoor living areas and perfect for entertaining. Next to the outdoor kitchen is a large seating area with a cozy fireplace nestled among mature olive trees.
The outdoor living area overlooks a pool, hot tub and cabana on the lower level of the backyard. The homeowners love to entertain, so there’s extra seating around the pool to accommodate large gatherings. The space beyond is terraced to accommodate the slope of the property and planted mostly with succulents, which easily tolerate California’s drought conditions.
It’s hard to pick a favorite thing about this yard, but mine might be the inside of the cabana — it’s got the best of both worlds with curtains which tie back to let the breeze in, a ceiling fan to keep it comfortable, plus colorful, comfortable built-in benches where you can read, watch TV or nap. Yes, please.
This yard moves easily from daytime to night, thanks to the smart, ambient lighting choices and the fireplace seen above. That fireplace would be so cozy on spring evenings when the temperatures decide to dip back toward the winter end of the thermometer.
What are your plans for the weekend? Tell us in the comments below.
Did you know that all of these images are shoppable? Click on your favorite image above to head to the HGTV Photo Library and look for the “Shop This Look” button on photos for more details.
One of the many things that I lack proficiency in is keeping plants alive. Watercolor, making spaghetti and enduring to the end of Top Gun are not really my strongest skills either. But I must say, I am particularly terrible at trying to keep a plant healthy. This is true for all potted plants, except for succulents and cacti (which, I like to consider a cactus a succulent, but with a sassy attitude). Yep, succulents are one difficult ornamental plant to kill. You need only water them every-other-week. They like lots of sunlight in my windowsill. They don’t care if my house is a mess or if I forget to shave my legs. Succulents are just there to cheer you up and add some green to the scene.
The best part about a succulent is that they can grow in almost any container. At my local hardware store, I have had my eye on some sassy-looking glass light covers for some time now; so when succulents went on sale I scooped up a few plants and a few light covers to create an inventive (and inexpensive) succulent garden for my mantel. You really can’t believe how fun a round light cover looks filled to the brim with succulent-ness. Time to make one of your own, I think!
Who doesn’t love a good snooze in the shade? This bear in Daytona Beach, Florida certainly did (much to the homeowner’s surprise). But hey, it’s summer! Sounds like this bear has the right idea!
Here are some more outdoor sleep spots, daybeds and backyard hammocks where we think this bear (and you) would enjoy getting some shut-eye.
This gorgeous canopy bed will put Hammock Bear right in the thick of his natural home while still offering luxuries like soft flannel sheets. The whimsical curtains block out the sun and give him some privacy from those pesky humans!
Although this bear seems to enjoy human amenities, he’s still a bear, so we think he’d enjoy this cool hammock suspended high in the tree tops; it combines his natural tree-climbing instincts with a comfy net for napping.
When the rest of the world is starting to feel un-bear-able, this suspended hammock-daybed hybrid is the perfect place to escape. Equipped with a serene lily pond on one side and dining table on the other, what more could you need for a relaxing afternoon?
Who knew there is an entire month devoted to checking your trees to make sure they are healthy and strong? It’s true. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this month we should all take a few minutes to inspect our local trees for insect damage and other harmful effects, such as dead branches and leaves that have changed color too early. So, let’s get out there and save some trees!
Hillside landscaping is one of the hardest jobs around. Many of you have probably just given up on the idea of ever having a beautiful and useful landscape, but take heart! We’re going to work through this together, and hopefully, hillside landscaping woes will be a thing of the past.
Always consider your particular landscape. Is it safe to mow? Are there any existing elements, such as boulders or trees, you will need to work around? Do you experience flooding? Will you need to hire a professional? By taking your time in the planning process, you’re more likely to be happy with the result.
Be sure to add a pathway or stairs. If you have room to add a courtyard or patio at the bottom of your hill, a walkway will be most beneficial for guests. Plus, a usable path will be a valuable investment as it will allow you to better care for and maintain your plants.
And speaking of plants, it’s a good idea to choose perennials. Hillside landscaping is a tough business, and you don’t want to have to re-landscape too often. Also, be careful to pick plants that will work with your soil and the amount of sun your hill receives.
I can’t stress enough how important front yard landscaping is. Maybe you’re interested in gaining curb appeal. Or, perhaps you simply want to make your home a place you love seeing when you pull in the driveway. Either way, the front yard is the place to start. So get to work and give your house a chance to make a great first impression.
It’s getting hot, hot, hot! And for those of you with pools, it’s the perfect time to do a little landscaping makeover. No matter which lawn style you prefer, these beautiful pool areas from Designers’ Portfolio are sure to inspire an outdoor update. Which do you prefer – a tropical poolside paradise or a more traditional outdoor retreat?
Bonsai trees have always amazed me. The time and devotion to cultivate each tree is astounding, but for this specific tree, the devotion was on an entirely other level. This miniature Hobbit home, created by artist Chris Guise, is an awe-inspiring work of art, plus it’s simply adorable. It even has me wanting to try my hand at my very own Bonsai tree.
Craving the relaxation of a lush resort, complete with salt in your hair and sand in your toes? Summer has a way of making my thoughts vacation-consumed. Since an exotic resort isn’t exactly in my near future, I’m feeding the craving with photos of these gorgeous backyard getaways. Who needs a resort when you can have your own backyard escape (or pine after someone else’s)?
After recently spending a few (blissful!) days in Charleston’s historic peninsula touring private homes and gardens, I can attest that gardening is a full-contact sport in the Holy City. From manicured formal gardens to rambling flower-lined paths, Charlestonians definitely know how to rock their green thumbs.
In addition to full gardens, flower-filled windowboxes were everywhere:
Formal gardens boast mounds of color and charming weather-worn statuary:
Charleston’s sub-tropical climate provides ideal conditions for South Carolina’s state tree, the Palmetto Palm, and camellias whose ruffly flowers are synonymous with the South:
Now that spring is finally here, have you been working on your garden? With so many options, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. I used to walk around my neighborhood admiring other gardens, but my yearning days are over. If you haven’t checked out HGTVGardens.com, now’s the time. You can rest assured that you’re picking the right plants for your climate with the easy-to-use plant finder, and you can search the thousands of how-tos to help you grow your favorite flowers and vegetables.
While you’re browsing the site, create a profile and share your favorite gardening photos and tips. Once you sign up, you can enter the Editors’ Pic of the Week for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card! What are you waiting for? It’s time to show off all your hard work!
Have you seen the new HGTVGardens site? It’s a proud new addition to our family — and let me tell you — it’s pretty amazing. It has all you need to know about getting started with gardening and goes way beyond that.
I like to start out with the user-friendly plant finder, which has a list of thousands of varieties. The plants are conveniently organized alphabetically, but not sure which plant you want? No problem — you can search by zone and type, and each plant is listed with recommended light and moisture levels.
Are you experiencing stunning fall color in your neck of the woods? Beauty is all around us this time of year — get out there and enjoy it!
So tell me, where have you spotted amazing fall color?
If you’ve browsed around HGTV.com, then you have certainly come across Designers’ Portfolio. This area of the website houses thousands of images from designers all over the world who feature their high-end commercial and residential designs. It’s a place for you to seek inspiration and ideas for your home, both inside and out. Well, we decided to take this idea a bit further. Now, you can seek ideas and inspiration on flowers, landscaping, edible plants, water features and much more with HGTV.com’s brand-new Garden Galleries. Are you wanting to create an Asian-style garden, or maybe add climbers to the back of your home? Garden Galleries has just what you’re looking for.
First, you can browse by category: landscaping, outdoor retreat, flowers and foliage, water features and edible. Then, you can narrow those results even further by choosing one of 18 design styles. And if you’re looking for a particular color, you can search that way as well. Dive in and take a look.
Hello, (almost) summer! Warm weather means more days outdoors, which means you need a charming garden path that’s both functional and attractive for you and your guests when it’s time to entertain. When most people think of laying a pathway with bricks, pavers or stones, they instantly envision days of labor. Well, this project is perfect for beginners and can be completed in just one day — no contractor required. And wouldn’t it be the perfect addition to your outdoor space? (Yes, yes it would.)
For the best results, use small paving units such as bricks, blocks, cobblestones or carpet stones (like the ones used in this project). Once you have all your materials, you can complete this project in no time. Get the Full List of Tools and Materials >>
Start by marking out the path and digging out the soil between the string markers to create sufficient space for the graded base and sand. Then, nail guide rails to the spaced pegs to help enclose the pathway. If necessary, cut bricks to fit the particular pattern or any obstacles of the pathway, like the edge of a wall or a tree.
Spread a layer of graded base and then masonry sand along the entire path. Level the surface by pulling a piece of wood along the guide rails towards you. Fill in any gaps or holes with sand. Begin laying whole blocks and once complete, fill in any gaps with pieces cut to fit. Ensure the pieces are placed firmly into the sand with a hand tamper on a flat piece of wood.
Remove the guide rails, pegs and string and start digging on both sides to lay the edging stones. Position and secure the edging stones in place with a rubber mallet. You can either set them flush with the path stones or keep them a bit taller to prevent soil and other remnants from dirtying up the pathway.
For finishing touches, add masonry sand into the joints of the pathway. Remove an occasional block on the edge of the path to create a planting pocket and plant an aromatic herb, such as thyme (above). Then, just brush some gravel into the joints between the stones for a beautiful, high-end look. Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions Here >>
Do you plan on adding this garden pathway to your outdoor space? We’d love to hear your tips and see the before and afters. In the meantime, give your porch, patio or courtyard some design love with these summer-inspired inspirational ideas from our design guide, At Home, Outside.
Happy National Lawn Care Month, dear readers. Sure, it’s not the sexiest-sounding month ever, but lawn care and landscaping can be fun, too! Just taking a look at Pinterest, I loved this idea for a low-cost sprinkler, and hey, a bike that’s also a riding lawn mower? That is genius multitasking. But I think my favorite lawn-related find was this DIY sod sofa.
It looks a bit like a wacky Edward Scissorhands-style topiary, but it’s actually solid enough to sit on, as the picture demonstrates. Heck, I think you could even go further and make a sod coffee table and sod ottoman, too! Interested in making your own literal lawn furniture? Check out the DIY instructions here.
Fiber optic Christmas trees have a certain something, and y’all flipped for the twinkly bathroom I posted a while back — which achieved the dazzling effect with Swarovski crystals lit by fiber optic lights – so, I figured this starry garden path lit with (you guessed it) fiber optic lights would be perfect warm weather inspiration for you.
Outdoor entertaining would be magical in a space like this, I think. The lights give off a subtle glow here at dusk, but I imagine at night it looks like a glittering galaxy — or like dozens of fireflies came to join the party. Want a little sparkle in your own garden? Head to the Starscape site to learn more about getting the look.
What are you planning to do in your garden this spring and summer?
Just spying this lush watercolor painting come to life in my inbox was like taking a mini-vacation. How serene would it be to park on one of those benches and sketch or read a book? (And as Anna pointed out, it must be as easy on the nose as it is on the eyes, too!) If you’re as inspired as we were, follow these steps to train a wisteria walkway of your own.
My favorite quote of the day comes from our HGTV Gardening Editor, Marie. She put it perfectly when she said, “Honestly, what could be better than a plant that comes back year after year, blooming its head off with little input from you other than having planted it?” It’s so true. When you have a variety of perennials blossoming at different times year-round, all the work of maintaining color in your garden is pretty much done for you. And with sweltering heat blanketing much of the country, who wouldn’t want to sit back and enjoy their garden rather than sweating while digging in the dirt?
If you’ve been keeping your eye out for low-maintenance or drought-tolerant plants, check out these incredible pictures of our top 10 easiest perennials. Planting perennials can be a great way to keep your garden vibrant from early to late summer. If you’re curious about what perennials are flowering in different regions of the U.S. this summer, check out these drop-dead gorgeous pictures of summer perennials.
Do you have a favorite perennial or way you use perennials in your garden?
Tell us in the comments below.
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