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Clean lines and open spaces combine with sculpted detailing to create contemporary outdoor spaces. The key is putting it all together in a way that is original and eye-catching.While this challenge is very doable, an abundance of frilly garden containers and accessories makes modern landscaping tricky at times, especially when homeowners adopt a DIY approach. Often the more simple, contemporary versions of basics such as pots and planters are on the expensive side, while mainstream affordable manufacturers lean toward the traditional, ornamented and detailed.
The possibilities are endless, and while this fact can be comforting to some, it is overwhelming to others. There are plenty of other details that you can handle yourself, such as planters, edging and sculptural elements. However, if you are the DIY type and want to tackle the entire thing with the help of friends and family (or if you’re looking for ideas to pass on to the experts), take inspiration from the images below!Grass TileOne of today’s most popular modern landscape features involves outdoor grids!
Concrete, grass and other plants combine to create an interesting layout of squares and rectangles. In this first yard, landscape designers selected elfin thyme to fill in the rectangular spaces.
Not only is elfin thyme hardy, it can handle foot traffic and looks gorgeous when the purple blossoms bloom.

The accompanying modern yard combines grass and concrete tile to create a lawn that may as well be a work of art.
Push the boundaries with a variety of sizes, and blur the line between concrete and natural elements. [from Home Design and Furniture]Even better, involve striking planters in your yard geometry.
In the modern English garden below, flagstone pathways and gravel define the space, and with the help of strategically placed tile, a bird bath serves as an enticing focal point. [from Stonegate Gardens]  In this next yard, gravel and stone form a pathway that doubles as a rock garden. For a unique take on the stepping stone pathway, divide your yard into gravel and grass sections, then connect them with a stone path to tie it all together. [from Furnishism] Plant PlacementWhile planning where to place grass, gravel and stone is challenging enough, adding large plants presents new opportunities for landscaping.
In this next yard, tall grassy plants and flowers follow the stairs down the slope, creating a multi-tiered extravaganza. [from Lutsko Associates] Metal edging can do wonders for a plant-filled yard. Ground cover, steps and plant beds are defined by metal strip borders, and tall grasses add just the right amount of height. [from Big Red Sun]Below we see another powerful combination of metal edging, vibrant ground cover and strategic plant placement.
In this next image, a modern courtyard is enhanced by a Japanese maple with its own stony bed.
Details such as seating and planters anchor, unify and define a space, transforming it from a yard to an extension of the home.Pots and PlantersWhen it comes to choosing planters, many nurseries offer affordable selections, but if the contemporary pots are extravagantly expensive or less than stylish, there are plenty of options for sleek pots.
Check out the metallic, cobalt blue and lime green items below! [from Crate & Barrel] Some planters take that extra step of adding sculptural mystique to a space.

In many modern spaces, especially the ones that lack grass, the seating is an important centerpiece that adds design interest. If your yard is in need of a  major overhaul, perhaps devising a plan with the help of a landscape designer is the answer. If you’re confident in your design skills, you can select the layout of your dreams and hire some strong and willing helpers to assist you. Or, if you and your family members are the DIY type, perhaps you can do the work yourselves. You may be surprised at how a few planters or a new table and chair set can transform your space.

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