25 Favorite Backyard Projects

Rustic centerpiece

Los Gatos, CA-based landscape designer Leslie McKenna doesn’t like to waste much. Case in point: these birch branches turned vases, which she created from a felled tree on a recent job site. To make your own, drill a hole in a birch log with a 1-inch auger, then tuck in an array of succulents. The shallow-rooted plants don’t mind snuggling closely, and they need watering only once a week. Remember, many succulents are happy in a little bit of shade and will stay happier for longer with dappled sunlight. We keep a stash of succulents on hand in the Test Garden to be party ready at a moment’s notice!

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