Landscape Design Supplies and Materials

How to choose the best landscape design supplies and materials for your next residential landscaping project

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Curved Stone Walkway Leading to Garden and Small Arbor

Stone Path Leading to an Arbor

A curving stone garden path leads to undulating beds of dense shrubs and trees. A small arbor is nestled in the garden among the trees, creating a charming scene.

Photo by: Mary Palmer Dargan ©Gibbs Smith, Lifelong Landscape Design, Mary Palmer Dargan

Mary Palmer Dargan, Gibbs Smith, Lifelong Landscape Design, Mary Palmer Dargan

If you're planning a residential landscaping project, start with landscape design supplies and materials that complement the style of your home. 

There's so much more to landscaping than just flowers and plants. Depending upon your local topography and the architecture of your house, you can transform your yard or garden into anything your budget allows.

First, think about the big stuff. Will you need to remove large trees, move huge amounts of dirt, change the slope of the land or build an access route (such as a bridge, stairs, walkway)? If so, those tasks may be better performed by a pro. That doesn't mean you can't come up with a landscape design on your own, however. Draw up a plan based on a photo of the area you'd like to make over, then make a list of everything you'd like to include in the newly designed space. 

The landscape design materials you choose will likely be based upon the style you're trying to create. Is it a traditional look, Asian-inspired, or ultra-contemporary? Natural or tropical? Do you have an existing courtyard, patio, deck, gazebo or other outdoor structure you're incorporating into the landscape design? If so, materials that match the look and feel of your existing hardscapes will work best.

For neat lawns with clear borders, edging products such as plastic or aluminum strips keep grasses from spreading into unwanted territory. Rocks (real or artificial) and brick pavers are great border makers, too.

Concrete can come in handy when adding a pad or small patio. The mixture also works well to anchor posts into the ground for permanent fencing or support structures in an arbor or pergola. Tile and stone can work well when installed atop existing concrete structures such as poured pathways or patios. On their own, tiles can withstand moisture from soil when laid along a path, but they must be installed on a flat surface to avoid breakage.

Flagstone makes a beautiful patio or stepping stones. And don't turn your nose up at gravel – it comes in many sizes and colors, and it can be used for groundcover, drainage, rock gardens and more. 

Timbers and railroad ties work well in both traditional and natural residential landscape designs, but make sure that the wood has been treated with a termite repellant (and not a chemical that's harmful to humans or surrounding plant life)!

Choose and place grasses, shrubs, trees and flowers in areas with appropriate amounts of sun or shade – and don't be afraid to let your personality shine with bold blooms, succulents or other attention-grabbing plant life.

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