Consider elements of basic design when planning your landscape. Many areas can benefit from having anchor plants. Planting the same type of shrub in different parts of your yard will pull together the total look. Balance out your yard by using the same plant patterns over and over in a given area. Variety can be gained by having plants with various leaf textures. Plant a variety of flowery plants and colorful trees to make your landscape pop. Shrubs do not necessarily have to be green year-round, as there are many types of shrubs that offer colorful flowers during certain seasons. Also, think about using trees that produce multitudes of seasonal, colorful flowers. Consider granite for your surfaces when installing a kitchen outdoors. Even though marble and other material is less expensive, granite allows you to put hot things on it without damaging it. It also does not have to be maintained as much. Do you plan to sell your house soon? In contrast to other types of home renovations, landscape design projects have the potential to bring returns anywhere between 100 and 200 percent. Focus on your front yard to create great curb appeal, or define an outdoor living space in your backyard. When shopping around for a professional to do your landscaping, get references from them and check out their previous work. Price is obviously a factor in choosing a landscaper. It is imperative, however, that you look at some of the work they have completed before you hire them to do your yard. While seeing your neighbors can be fun for a barbecue, having a little privacy in your backyard isn’t a bad thing. You may want to use a fence or a particular tree or shrub to create your personal space. There are a variety of ways to increase your privacy through landscaping, should that be your goal.