Backyard design guide

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

6 modern garden art designs

What happens when hard (pavement) meets soft (plantings) in your yard? Modern art you can walk on

Pick your look
Photo by E. Spencer Toy; written by Kathleen N. Brenzel

Pick your look

The ideal groundcovers to grow between pavers form low, tight mounds. Choose your paver type first, then select the plant that looks best beside it––and likes your garden’s conditions. Moving clockwise, from top left corner of photo:

  • Blue Star Creeper (Pratia pedunculata). Tiny flowers dot it in spring. Filtered shade; Sunset climate zones 4–9, 14–24.
  • Flagstone (Rose). As warm-toned as Colorado’s red rocks.
  • Sedum rupestre ‘Blue Spruce.’ Needlelike foliage resembles blue spruce, except it’s soft and succulent. Sun or part shade; Sunset climate zones 2–24.
  • Baby’s tears (Soleirolia soleirolii). Cool-looking groundcover with tender leaves you won’t want to step on. Part shade, or sun in cool climates; zones 4–24; H1–H2.
  • Carpet bugle (Ajuga reptans ‘Dixie Chip’). Leaves of green, cream, and rose-purple are topped with violet-blue flower spikes in spring. sun or part shade; zones A2–A3, 1–24.
  • Sedum rupestre   ‘Angelina.’ A chameleon; yellow-green foliage often turns orange at the tips in fall. Sun to part shade; zones 2–24.
  • Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood.’ Reddish brown leaves make a smoldering backdrop for pink and gray echeverias. Sun or part shade; zones 1–10, 14–24.
  • Slate. Dramatic, especially in a black, charcoal, or deep jade green shade.
  • Dymondia margaretae. Spidery leaves have white undersides. Striking with sandstone; takes light foot traffic. Sun or part shade; zones 15–24.


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