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looking for landscaping ideas for my backyard?

Just bought a brand new house. Want a low maintenance back yard, don't want any grass, but do want the yard look artistic. The back yard is wide, but not deep. The size is about 23 X 60 feet. Any idea?

Details:

  1. How about a series of garden "rooms" joined by a single pathway the length of the yard, all of which could have different themes.(English cottage, Japanese, water, ) You could also make a courtyard garden with a patio centered around a fountian or pond with gardens surrounding it on 3 sides.
  2. I say whatever you choose to do use conifers! There are plenty of beautiful small conifers that won't outgrow the space so there will be no need for a lot of maintenance. Also, I love Japanese Maples because there are so many varieties that are small, 3', 6', and 8' tall even at maturity. You could use groundcovers so there's no need to mow. Or if you prefer you could use mulch or rock even. I've been designing a landscape for my own new house so I know how overwhelming it can be and how many decisions must be made. There are many landscaping pictures and ideas at the HGTV website. Whatever you do, I"m sure it will be beautiful just because you're doing it, so many ppl don't do anything at all. Here are some pictures of different landscaping and public gardens... gardenwebs.net Here's a virtual site so you can play around with your ideas, it's limited but free: http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/design/virtualgarden_index.shtml Also here are some a my fav. online nurseries: http://www.fantasticplants.com/ http://www.pendulousplants.com/ http://www.mountainmeadowsdwarfconifers.com/ http://www.pendernursery.com/Catalog/Types/WO_5.html As far as ideas go, I like the idea of creating rooms the other guy suggested and ofcourse the water feature, both wonderful ideas. I have similar ideas of my own such as one "room" in the yard that is covered by a pergola with wisteria hanging down with some conifers sortof framing it with maybe a seating areas underneath. A few added plants for color and there you go. But there are so many ideas out there that it's overwhelming I know; so many different styles so choose your style first then go from there. I perfer more of a Japanese style myself and not a big fan of country or english but each to their own. Anyway, I would suggest making a plan first so you won't regret it later by having the wrong plants in the wrong places or plants that will outgrow your space. Anyway, hope at least some of this helps.
  3. Usually low maintenance yards take a lot of work up front. Like build some paths and ponds with bridges and benches. Very relaxing, but a lot of work up front. can really help the resale value.