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Your Guide to the Ultimate Summer Garden -

Your Guide to the Ultimate Summer Garden


This collection of garden stories has been curated for a special day of unlimited access to WSJ on May 20. Click here to see our full archive of design stories.

YOU WOULDN’T illuminate your den with a single spot light. And you would certainly think twice before painting your bedroom a distinctly untranquil bright red. But as soon as homeowners step outside their back doors, sometimes even the most discriminating lose their well-honed sense of aesthetics. “It’s important to think of an outdoor space with the same logic as an indoor one,” said New York designer Christina Nielsen, who recently redid her own patio.

Lighting should be layered, your plantings should soothe you and the décor should be as thoughtfully considered as your living room’s. In these five stories, landscape pros and interior designers right a full wheelbarrow’s worth of patio, deck and garden wrongs with strategies that will have your neighbors asking if you’ll tackle their yard next.



Sean Hazen

The New Trend in Home Gardens—Landscaping to Calm Anxiety

For centuries, Japanese priests have reaped the benefits of contemplative plots. Now clients are asking landscape architects for gardens that, rather than relying on showy flowers, create a sanctuary that soothes sensually—via sound, scent and movement, among other factors. Here’s how they do it.


William Short Photography

Outdoor Lighting Tips to Make Your Yard Look Like a Luxury Resort

Many of us upgraded our outdoor spaces last spring and summer: sectionals, fire pits, the works. But few of us invested in well-designed and -executed lighting. Designers advise that we should follow the same concept for illumination outdoors as we do for lighting indoors: careful layering. We rounded up the best ways to elevate your yard with pro-quality lights, from sconces and LED chandeliers to articulating floor lamps and bulbs recessed into steps.


Lisa Romerein/OTTO

The 5 Worst Patio Decorating Mistakes—and How to Avoid Them

Soulless seating sets, fake plants and single-season furniture have no place on your patio, say the pros. Designers and architects share the five outdoor-décor gaffes they see most often, as well as their antidotes.




Growing Roses for Beginners: The Secrets to Success in the Garden

Have you been put off by roses because of their reputation for fussiness? Matthew Norman, rosarian for the Missouri Botanical Garden, and Peter Schneider, editor of rose authority “The Combined Rose List,” share advice for novice rosarians. Plus: A list of the best roses in five categories, such as scent and color.


Boz Gagovski

How to Grow a Country Garden Without a Yard

Do you dream of a cutting garden but lack a plot in which to plant it? No problem. You can group together pots of flowering plants to create a profusion that convincingly makes a garden of even the most barren slab of cement. In fact, a container garden offers many advantages over planting in a real patch of earth.

More in Design & Decorating

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