Build a Better Backyard

The concept of Outdoor Rooms isn’t new.  The idea of expanding living space to the exterior of our homes has been around a while but planning and building an outdoor space can be a challenge!

Nowadays there are some pretty lavish outdoor areas: multi-tiered decks, anything-but-square patios, gazebos, pergolas, paths, benches, bowers–you name it! Outdoor kitchens are trending in many backyards as families “add” onto their homes by incorporating the space around their houses into three-season living areas.

Getting outside is good for you. Disconnecting from your devices is healthy and there’s no more relaxing place than your own backyard.

If you need  inspiration, check out some of our newest titles on creating outdoor living spaces:

She sheds : a room of your own / Erika Kotite

Happy home outside : everyday magic for outdoor life / Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau

Backyard building : treehouses, sheds, arbors, gates and other garden projects / Jeanie & David Stiles

Gardens are for living : design inspiration for outdoor spaces / by Judy Kameon

Shed decor : how to decorate & furnish your favorite garden room / Sally Coulthard

Simple & stylish backyard projects / Anna & Anders Jeppsson

Porches & outdoor spaces / CountryLiving

Learn about Xeriscaping


Water is a precious resource. As the planet warms and the weather changes, more and more gardeners are turning to xeriscaping as a water-conserving alternative to traditional gardens.

So, the big question is, what is xeriscaping?

Basically, it is landscaping that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water. In an age when weather extremes are becoming the norm, gardens that are indifferent to the amounts of water they receive are a good idea.

Xeriscaping uses drought-tolerant plants and non-plant elements. Crushed stone, boulders, large urns, and decorative pieces of sculpture are often the backbone of xeriscapes. Plants such as cacti, low-water grasses, and succulents add a touch of green.

New to xeriscaping? We have the resources you need to get started.

Jacket1.aspxThe Water Saving Garden:  how to grow a gorgeous garden with a lot less water by Pam Penick



lawngoneLawn Gone! Low-maintenance, sustainable, attractive alternatives for your yard by Pam Penick



Jacket4.aspxRock Garden Design and Construction by by the North American Rock Garden Society; edited by Jane McGary




Jacket9.aspxDesigning with Succulents by Debra Lee Baldwin