Garden inspiration 5 great ideas to steal from this backyard makeover Faux stone Stone veneer (Drystack Ledgestone in caramel from Cultured Stone, 800/255-1727) cloaks the raised planters. An affordable alternative to actual rock, it has the rustic, multi-toned look of the real thing but is manufactured from Portland cement and bits of stone. Full story: First garden makeover Pinterest Easy path Decorative and functional, a dry-laid flagstone path is bordered by ferns and red-flowered Cuphea ignea. A thick layer of mulch keeps soil moist. In the back planter, a tall mallow hedge screens a vegetable garden. Layers For greatest impact, Sharon and Celestina planted in layers: short plants and trailers in front, tall plants in back. The colorful, low-care plants include artemisia, penstemon, rosemary, and salvia, with a Japanese maple as an accent. Cool colors Blue and green foliage around the pond enhance its serenity. Clockwise from bottom right: Lime asparagus fern, pale variegated grass, blue fescue, and yellow Japanese forest grass are texturally diverse yet not overwhelming. Water music Flowing water is an important element of any pond; not only does the sound of falling water mask street noise, but standing water can be a breeding ground for mosquitos. The waterfall is fringed with lime green Houttuynia cordata.