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Landscape Design Tips from the Costa Farms Trial Garden

Want to make your yard more beautiful but don't know where to start? Dig into these landscape design tips shared by the gardening experts who put together the Costa Farms Trial Garden! By Justin Hancock

Create a View

When doing landscape design, we often think about how our garden looks, but we don't always think about from where. But you can create magical moments in your garden by offering glimpses or views around a corner or to a different section of the garden. Here, for example, we left enough space between two shrubby palms for you to see another section of garden bed. The palms frame it, just like a picture. 

Employ Curves

Soft, curving lines are more fun for the eye, and so we always like to incorporate soft sweeps when designing the landscape beds in our Trial Garden. Here, a gravel path snakes along a bed of colorful annual flowers, including soft pink snapdragons, blue and purple pansies, and white osteospermum. 

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

One of the easiest tools to use in landscape design is repetition. Pick a plant, a color, or even a shape and use it throughout your yard. Repetition creates a consistent look and feel -- especially when you employ it in different areas (your front and back yard, for example).
Here, we used red petunias (Easy Wave Red Velour, if you're curious!) in blocks along the pathway; the clumps of red help draw the eye along the path. 

Take Advantage of Texture

Color is one of the most obvious landscape design tools, and it makes it easy to overlook texture. But texture helps give a garden depth and adds a whole new layer of interest. So when selecting colors, also consider texture. Here, for example, we accented the purple angelonia's upright spikes with soft, fluffy-looking mounds of annual euphorbia and silvery licorice vine. Plus, the angelonia's spikes offer a fun complement to the growth habit of the junipers behind them. 

Grow Upward

While fences can be necessary, they're usually pretty boring. We dressed up the back fence of our Trial Garden with a vertical garden (also called a living wall). There are a variety of systems available that make planting a cinch. Maintenance is a breeze, too, thanks to use of drip irrigation (we have a timer on the system so it turns on and off automatically!).

Add Fashion with Fun Edgers

Give your garden beds and borders a fresh, clean edge with edging plants. Using plants to edge your planting beds can also add an interesting splash of color or texture to your landscape. We did that here by planting liriope and mondo grass along this flower border. We love the way it complements the feel of the lawn. 

Have Fun with Pathways

There's a practically limitless variety of pathway materials to choose from for your landscape. Add interest by selecting something that suits your personality. While gravel and flagstone are classic choices, you can also go with mulch -- or even a grassy strip of lawn -- for a more natural look. 

Create Sizzle with Hot Colors

Hot colors -- orange, red, and yellow -- are perfect for grabbing attention. These bold hues create excitement in the garden, especially against a background of green foliage. Use bright colors to help draw the eye in their direction. Here, we used orange gazania and red geraniums to punctuate a section of lawn. 

Add Container Gardens

Container gardens are a perfect way to add a pop of color to garden beds and borders in your landscape. They're not just for decks and patios! One of our favorite things about container gardens is that they're portable -- so you can move them around to add a splash of color to any corner of your landscape.
Tip: Container gardens look best when grouped. Here, a collection of five container gardens adds interest and drama to a pea-gravel pathway.

Get ideas for creating beautiful container garden combos!
See container garden ideas from the Costa Farms team!