Backyard design guide

Glam up your backyard with inspiration from these amazing landscaping and design ideas

How to create a clutter-free garden

An Arizona landscaper shows how to banish clutter from your life (or at least your backyard)

Barrel cactus
Photography by Jennifer Cheung

Limit your plant selections

Give the stars of each bed―such as these barrel cactus―enough room to show off. Then restrict the supporting cast to a few plants that complement them.

Stone mulches cover the bare soil, emphasizing the clean, graphic look.

Why it works: Well-spaced plants, arranged by kind, are more calming than a chaotic jumble of different types. You can appreciate each one’s form more easily.

Adapt the idea: If cactus won’t be happy where you live, plant a grid of carex, deer grass, or Phormium tenax ‘Jack Spratt’.

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