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Pool-side landscape incorporating an old row boat, source:
Just two hours from my north Florida home are some of the nation's most gorgeous sugar sand beaches. Sadly, I don't get to dig my toes in that heavenly sand nearly as often as I'd like. So, I've started toying with the idea of bringing some of that beachy feel home to my own yard for year round enjoyment.

Looking around for easy, affordable ideas I discovered two fabulous, beach-themed garden projects from Sunset magazine. One is a super-easy container garden, the other is a more involved -- but still mighty doable – landscaping project. Both could bring a delightful dose of beach attitude to your home turf.

Strapped for time or cash? Take inspiration from the "Beach Garden in a Pot" container project. Pick a large and pretty ceramic pot and plant it with a grouping of plants. Next, mulch the surface with sand and decorate your heart out with little pieces of driftwood and sea shells.

Wouldn't this make a terrific gift? The key thing here is to choose plants that won't grow large enough to obscure the sand and other delightful beachy motifs.

For the more ambitious, there's the "Build a Beach" landscaping project. Piles of decomposed granite mimic the appearance of dunes and were planted with flowering perennials and ornamental grasses. The surface was then smothered with one ton of white sand. The finishing touches: a fire pit and a smattering of driftwood. The whole thing cost less than $200!

Interested? Check out the Sunset post first, but then read the primo instructions at All Experts on the subject of backyard beach construction. Yes, this how-to is more complicated than the Sunset version, however, it's probably the one to shoot for if you want a large-scale and longer-lasting personal beach.


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