My COVID Project – Problems in my Backyard

At the start of 2020, I had no plans for significant work in my back yard – in fact, I was looking forward to a break from projects as we were in the process of completing a very involved basement renovation. Once we knew we would be spending a lot more time at home this year I started thinking about how to make our property as comfortable and enjoyable as possible during this challenging time. Our desire to spend time outside with friends and family led to an almost complete renovation of our back yard.

Backyard Our backyard when we toured the house in August 2009. Continue reading My COVID Project – Problems in my Backyard

Highlighting Boulders in Your Garden

Bright Leaf Landscaping provides landscape design and installation services to Durham, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough. Boulder placement has been tied into many of our landscape design projects. Read on to learn about highlighting boulders in your garden.

Clients want boulders incorporated into their gardens for many reasons. I’ll create a bed of low growing plants around the boulders. I like to use a variety of groundcovers and spiky textured plants. The idea is to showcase the boulder, not cover it up. You can even install a spotlight for a nighttime view.

Phlox subulata and Iberis sempervirens

Phlox subulata and Iberis sempervirens

Continue reading Highlighting Boulders in Your Garden

My Easy Container Garden Strategy

I love the beautiful containers I see in magazines throughout the year – a combination of petunias, cannas, and other warm-season annuals in the summer, or conifers, pansies, and kale in the winter. Unfortunately, these plant combinations almost never work for me – inevitably one plant doesn’t grow, one grows too much and flops, and it never achieves the lush look I’m going for. Read on to learn what I do instead.

Use cold hardy shrubs, perennials, and grasses in containers.

Fatsia japonica
A Fatsia japonica in a container. Cold hardy in a protected location.

Continue reading My Easy Container Garden Strategy

Suggestions for Step Stone Paths

Step stone paths are a great option for a walkway. Size, spacing, and material are important considerations. Read on to learn more about my suggestions for step stone paths. Step stone size is a key factor to a functional path. I commonly see 1×1 step stone pavers that drive me crazy. They are too small and are less visually impactful. I suggest choosing step stones that are approximately 2’ deep by 3’ wide for a comfortable walk.

Manmade Paver Step Stone Path with Unnatural Color and Size

Step stone spacing is another important element to a functional path. Placing the step stones too close makes it awkward to walk. I suggest spacing the 2’x3’ step stones about 2.5’ from each center. You’ll naturally land in the middle of the step stone with each pace.

Natural Step Stone Path with Proper Size and Spacing

Step Stone Path
Step stone material is a big choice to make. I suggest choosing a natural stone for your path. You can easily find the size and color you want. The stone comes in irregular shapes that provide a more natural appearance. You can also choose cut stone with rectangular shapes for a formal or modern look.

Are you considering a step stone path with your next planting? Contact us at 919.619.4460 or fill out our online contact form. Landscape design and installation are our expertise, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!