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Creative Landscaping Ideas

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

Sure, there are lawns in every neighborhood that are the envy of the block (hopefully your lawn is the one, in fact). But now and again there are yards that impress for entirely different reasons - sculpture gardens, reflecting pools, wild flowers. Here are just a few landscaping ideas from truly standout yards.

You can't go wrong with a great lawn, but with a more daring landscaping choice, your yard can wow in a whole new way.
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Bowling Ball Gallery

My neighbor George finished a major remodeling a few months ago and then set about landscaping. I expected him to put back in his lawn, and for the most part he did -- except for in a little side yard. There, he instead went some large stone gravel and peppered throughout it, George's collection of colored bowling balls. Much to my surprise, those bowling balls look great. The landscaping take home lesson for you: think creatively about color and texture, especially in borders and out of the way corners.

Koi Pond

Last year, an acquaintance of mine threw a dinner party. Sure dinner was good, but the real treat was his yard and its little pond, full of koi (those large Japanese goldfish). The pond was a high maintenance endeavor for sure, but the beauty made up for it. Not every yard has the scale (or an owner with the interest) to support a pond, but the landscaping idea to take away is that water and movement work wonders. If you can't have a pond, consider a fountain. If you can't have Japanese goldfish, how about a wind chime.

Hedge Maze

On a garden tour last year I wanted to get a closer look at some tress across the way (that's just me) but guess what? A hedge stood in my way. Seems like an easy enough problem, except that the formal hedges weren't so maneuverable. I had to walk down and around and around again, all to get where I was going. So am I saying a hedge maze is a landscaping idea with mass appeal? No. But the geometrical lines and the way it created a flow for the yard are pure inspiration.

Even if you're sticking to fairly standard landscaping, try out some creative choices in the details of your yard. Whether it's an innovation in the borders, the accessories, or in the visuals paths you create with your trees and flowers, a little extra wow goes a long way.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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