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Landscaping For Dummies, 2nd Edition T Chace

Landscaping For Dummies, 2nd Edition By T Chace

Landscaping For Dummies, 2nd Edition by T Chace

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Landscaping For Dummies, 2nd Edition Summary

Landscaping For Dummies, 2nd Edition by T Chace

Create an eye-catching outdoor oasis with this no-nonsense guide to landscaping

As families spend more time at home, they're expanding their living space to their yards, decks, and patios. When you're ready to upgrade the look of your landscape, Landscaping For Dummies offers advice on installing fences and walkways, choosing hardy plants and trees, and enhancing natural habitats for the critters and creatures lurking in your neighborhood. You'll find out how to make your backyard a relaxing retreat space and discover the enjoyment and satisfaction that comes from working in your yard.

Landscaping For Dummies includes:

  • Lists of recommended plants and varieties, including the best ones for privacy plantings, low-maintenance groundcovers, and small gardens
  • Advice on how to deal with special landscaping concerns, including fire-prone areas, bee and butterfly gardens, and drought-tolerant and native landscapes
  • Instructions on installing permanent features like decks, patios, fences, and more
  • Pointers on how to water more efficiently, including the latest tools and technologies that can save you time

With a little bit of planning and some digging, trimming, or planting, you'll be set to enjoy your yard whenever the mood strikes. Let Landscaping For Dummies be your guide to making the most of your outdoor space.

About T Chace

The National Gardening Association is the leading garden-based educational organization in the USA. Visit

Teri Dunn Chace has more than 35 books in publication, including the 2016 AHS award-winner Seeing Seeds. She's also written and edited extensively for major consumer gardening/outdoor-living publications (Horticulture, North American Gardener, Backyard Living, Birds and Blooms) and is presently the garden-and-nature columnist for the award-winning Bottom Line Personal newsletter.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 3

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond This Book 4

Where to Go from Here 4

Part 1: Getting Started with Landscaping 5

Chapter 1: Designing Your Landscape: The Birth of Your Design 7

Starting with Dreams - Create Your Wish List 8

Gathering good ideas 9

Drawing within the Lines: Living with Practical Issues 12

Making sure you know where your property lines are 12

Verifying whether you need permits 13

Considering children and pets' safety 13

Addressing water issues 14

Designating storage areas 15

Site Analysis - Understanding What You Have 16

Drawing your site analysis 17

Knowing how much of your yard you can use 19

Walking through the space 21

Focusing on privacy 22

Knowing when you'll use your landscape 23

Designing a Low-Maintenance Landscape 24

Chapter 2: Thinking like a Designer 25

Achieving Unity, Blessed Unity, in Your Landscaping Design 26

Focusing on Repetition in Your Design 27

Playing with Color 28

Getting Some Rhythm 29

Adding Decor to Your Design: How Many Pink Flamingos Are Enough? 30

Paying Attention to Hardscape 31

Keeping an Eye on the Details 32

The Goldilocks Theory: Choosing Plants That Fit 32

Layering Plants to Add Interest 33

Chapter 3: Forming a Working Plan: Getting Serious about Your Design 35

Knowing What's Already There - Making a Base Map 36

Ensuring you have the supplies to draw 36

Drawing your own base map 36

Overlaying Your Ideas 38

Putting Your Ideas on the Ground 41

Big deals: Designating space for large elements 42

Filling in the rest 42

Creating a Final Plan 43

Making a Shopping List 44

Step 1: List plants and determine their cost 46

Step 2: List and calculate the supplies 46

Step 3: Get hardscape estimates 47

Step 4: Make an itemized checklist 48

Step 5: Consider tools you may need to buy 48

Step 6: Take a breath 48

Getting Ready 50

Cutting your project into bite-sized pieces 50

Taking action before you break ground 51

Preparing your property 52

Doing It Yourself or Calling in the Big Guns 52

Part 2: Building Hardscape into Your Yard 55

Chapter 4: Taming Your Site 57

Focusing on Construction Basics 58

Looking at site challenges 58

Ramping up - a checklist 58

Understanding wood and its alternatives 60

Identifying tools and supplies 62

Keeping safety front and center 63

Grading Your Property 64

Laying Out Straight Lines and Shapes 65

Stringing lines - The hub and tack method 66

Stringing out the rest of a shape 66

Working with Slopes 68

Understanding challenges unique to installing retaining walls 68

Positioning a retaining wall 70

Installing a retaining wall 70

Chapter 5: Dealing with Water 75

Routing Water and Improving Drainage 75

Focusing on surface drainage 76

Installing subsurface drainage 77

Returning water to the land - rain gardens 78

Recognizing the Different Options of Watering Systems 80

Watering cans 81

Rain barrels 81

Hoses of all kinds 82

Irrigation systems 83

Chapter 6: All Things Fences, Walls, and Gates 87

Fabricating Fences 88

Knowing what to consider before beginning 88

Choosing fence materials 89

Building a basic fence 91

Working with Walls 101

Building a stacked stone wall 102

Building a mortared stone wall 103

Building a brick wall 104

Building a concrete block wall 107

Going for Gates 108

Chapter 7: Creating Paths and Walkways 111

Getting Started 111

Considering design and use 112

Deciding on materials and dimensions 112

Building Paths 113

Creating a gravel or crushed stone path 113

Making a walkway with bricks or pavers 114

Installing a concrete walk 116

Building a flagstone path 118

Stepping in Style 120

Calculating step dimensions 121

Planning your steps 122

Building steps 123

Installing a ramp 124

Chapter 8: Constructing Decks 127

Understanding a Deck's Components 128

Starting with Building a Deck 129

Developing a good deck plan 129

Choosing decking material 131

Getting the Site Ready 131

Preparing to attach the ledger board 132

Installing the ledger board 133

Prepping footings and piers 134

Completing footings and piers 135

Installing posts and beams 136

Installing the joists 137

Laying decking boards 138

Adding deck stairs 139

Adding deck railings 141

Finishing Your Deck 143

Sides and undersides 143

Protective finishes 144

Chapter 9: Building Patios 145

Selecting Materials 146

Recognizing factors to evaluate 146

Considering your choices 147

Calculating how much material you'll need 149

Building the Base 150

Installing the Surface 151

Installing brick, pavers, or flagstones 151

Installing a concrete slab patio 154

Chapter 10: Enhancing Your Landscape 159

Adding a Raised Bed to Your Landscape 160

Recognizing the details 160

Building the raised bed 161

Making a Built-in Bench 162

An elegant, low bench 163

Masonry benches 165

Building (or Buying) a Planter 165

Going with a wooden planter 165

Going with a masonry planter 166

Considering Hot Ideas 166

Installing a chimenea or fire pit 167

Installing an outdoor brick or stone oven 169

Planning a cooking center 169

Installing Lighting 170

Illuminating your landscape 171

Incorporating decorative lighting 172

Adding Wooden Support Structures 173

Growing up: Trellises 173

Putting arbors in their place 174

Installing a pergola or overhead 174

Utilizing a Shed 175

Storage sheds 176

She sheds 177

Potting sheds 177

Pondering Water Features 177

Part 3: The Planting o' the Green 179

Chapter 11: Barking Up the Right Tree 181

Choosing the Perfect Tree 182

Considering important details before making the purchase 183

Finding a healthy tree at the nursery 184

Making the case for native trees 185

Discovering Some Favorite Trees 186

Naming our shade tree faves 186

Listing our favorite flowering trees 188

Tagging top trees for small spaces 190

Planting some fruit trees 192

Looking at evergreen trees 193

Steering clear of these trees 194

Demystifying Tree Planting 196

Shopping for trees - pro tips 196

Planting a tree in five easy steps 197

Chapter 12: Bulking Up with Shrubs and Vines 199

Finding Out about Shrubs 199

Looking at design considerations 200

Making the case for native shrubs 201

Discovering Some Favorite Shrubs 203

Considering Characteristics 212

Colorful shrubs 212

Drought-tolerant shrubs 212

Evergreen shrubs 213

Fruiting shrubs 214

Shopping: Finding High-Quality Shrubs 214

Planting Shrubs and Hedges 215

Getting new shrubs into the ground 215

Betting on hedges 216

Using Vines in Your Landscape 218

Selecting a vine with a spot in mind 218

Choosing a vine with a purpose in mind 219

Selecting some fine vines 220

Considering some annual vines 221

Shopping for Vines 222

Planting Vines 222

Providing sturdy support 222

Pruning and training your vines 223

Chapter 13: Adding Color and Texture This Season with Annuals 225

Knowing What An Annual Is 226

Cool dudes 227

When it's hot, they're hot 229

Understanding Your Options When Buying and Planting Annuals 232

Transplanting your annual seedlings 233

Creating splashy flowerbeds 236

Foodscaping: Vegetables are the new annuals 237

Chapter 14: Striving For Long-Lasting Beauty with Perennials and Bulbs 239

Creating a Perennial Border 240

Listing Perennials by Season 241

Spring bloomers 242

Summer stars 243

Autumn stalwarts 245

The best long-bloomers 246

Growing native perennials 247

Discovering ornamental grasses 247

Shopping For Perennials 248

Buying locally 248

Purchasing through a mail-order supplier 249

Planting and Pampering Your Perennials 250

Packing Beauty into Bulbs 250

Discovering Some Great Bulbs 252

Buying and Taking Care of Your Bulbs 255

Planting bulbs 255

Giving your bulbs some TLC 257

Fertilizing bulbs 258

Chapter 15: Including Succulents and Containers for More Color and Texture 259

Including Super Succulents 259

Eyeing the many plusses that make succulents so easy to love 260

Discovering favorite low-growing succulents 260

Creating fun and fabulous vignettes 262

Displaying in containers 263

Shopping and planting tips 264

Caring for succulents 266

Examining the Containerized Landscape 267

Tapping into the joys of container gardening 267

Picking pots 268

Potting plants in containers 269

Working with thrillers, fillers, and spillers 271

Caring for potted plants 272

Chapter 16: Covering Lots of Ground 273

Getting a Fresh Start: Clearing the Way 274

Calling Groundcovers to the Rescue 276

Top groundcover choices for sun 277

Top groundcover choices for shade 278

Top groundcover choices for slopes 280

Top groundcover choices for wet areas 280

Top choices between paving stones 281

Shrubby plants to cover the ground 282

Planting groundcovers 283

Considering How Much Lawn You Need 285

Recognizing what having a lawn means 285

Choosing a lower-maintenance, lower-impact lawn 286

Putting In a New Lawn 287

Choosing grass types 287

Seeding your lawn 289

Installing sod 291

Watering efficiently 292

Buffering the borders 293

Part 4: Outside Factors You Can and Can't Control 295

Chapter 17: Maintaining Your Landscape 297

Bettering Your Soil 297

Cultivating living soil 299

Putting your soil to the test 302

Adjusting soil pH 302

Incorporating amendments 303

Gardening with no-till methods 305

Composting 101: Making Black Gold 306

Step 1: Locate a suitable spot 307

Step 2: Get a bin 307

Step 3: Set up your compost pile 307

Step 4: Start making deposits 308

Step 5: Layer 308

Step 6: Stir it up 308

Step 7: Harvest from below 308

Feeding Your Plants - Which Type of Fertilizer to Use? 309

Finding out what they need 309

Figuring out the finer points of fertilizer 310

Deciding which choice is best: Going natural 313

Giving Your Plants a Trim - Pruning 101 314

Editing Your Landscape 315

Improving rather than replacing a plant 315

Knowing when take out a plant 316

Taking out a plant 317

Calling in a professional 317

Chapter 18: Dealing with Critters, Weeds, and Other Common Problems 319

Discovering Natural Pest Control 320

Avoid using pesticides 320

Know thy enemy 321

Be aware of the enemies of your enemy 321

Combat with care 322

Coping with Small Rodents 323

Dealing with Doe, a Deer 326

Choosing plants to deter deer 326

Trying home remedies 326

Considering anti-deer products 327

Fencing them out 327

Grappling with Weeds 328

Avoiding the biggest mistake 328

Patrolling, inspecting, and suspecting 329

Considering alternatives to spraying - Try natural weed control 330

Considering other ways to fight weeds 331

Handling Disease Problems 331

Preventing common diseases 331

Taking care of sick plants 332

Chapter 19: Coping with Mother Nature and Weather 333

Peeking at Zone Maps 333

Surviving Hot Summers 335

Surviving Cold Winters 336

Maximizing winter hardiness for plants 337

Identifying and mitigating winter plant injuries 337

Being proactive with other winter-protection tactics 340

Gardening in a Warmer World 341

Firescaping 342

Anticipating and recovering from flooding 343

Preparing for new plant choices and challenges 344

Part 5: Time to Add Flair to Your Landscape 345

Chapter 20: Contemplating Plans for Special Situations 347

Planting for Privacy 347

Deciduous plants for screening 349

Evergreen plants for screening 349

Adding a Low-Water Garden 349

Trees that require less water 350

Shrubby plants that require less water 350

Drought-tolerant flowers 351

Getting Ready for a Dip - around a Pool 352

Designing a Hillside Rock Garden 353

Small trees for a rock garden 354

Dwarf shrubs for a rock garden 354

Small perennials for a rock garden 355

Considering Shade When Gardening 355

Shade-loving plants 356

Chapter 21: Considering Theme Landscapes 363

Attracting and Nurturing Wild Creatures 364

Providing a Garden Space for Kids 366

Putting in a Kitchen Garden 367

Incorporating an Herb Garden 369

Establishing a Meadow Garden 370

Composing a Cottage Garden 372

Finding Your Meditation Area with a Retreat Garden 373

Making an Enchanting Evening Garden 374

Part 6: The Part of Tens 377

Chapter 22: Ten Ways to Make Your Surroundings Unique 379

Work on Your Front Yard 380

Reflect the Architecture of Your Home 380

Go Native 381

Coordinate with Neighbors 381

Design a Secret Garden 382

Bring the Inside Out 382

Have Fun with Accessories 383

Pick a Color Theme and Go For It! 383

Mix Ornamentals and Edibles 383

Add the Element of Sound 384

Chapter 23: Tens Ways to a Greener Landscape 385

Plant Trees for Shade 385

Compost 386

Wean from Garden Pesticides and Herbicides 386

Use Solar Lighting 387

Conserve Water 387

Match Plant Choices to Climate and Soil 387

Welcome/Tolerate Wildlife 388

Reduce or Eliminate Your Lawn 388

Use Tools That Don't Require Fossil Fuel 388

Stay Away from Sphagnum Moss 389

Appendix A: Landscaping Resources 391

Reading for Ideas and Knowledge 391

Finding Specific Help 392

Exploring Learning Opportunities 393

Classes, lectures, presentations 393

Going to school for landscaping 394

Blogs, podcasts, websites 394

Viewing Other Gardens and Landscapes 395

Garden tours, near and far 396

Flower and garden shows 396

Appendix B: English-Metric Conversion Tables 397

Index 399

Additional information

Landscaping For Dummies, 2nd Edition by T Chace
John Wiley & Sons Inc
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a new book - be the first to read this copy. With untouched pages and a perfect binding, your brand new copy is ready to be opened for the first time

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