Elegant Fireside Retreat: A custom masonry fireplace is adorned with lavish plantings full of color and texture. An irregular bluestone patio made of grass joints and bluestone dust with small groundcovers provides an intimate setting to relax and take in the warmth. Tip: Outdoor fireplaces are a great way to extend the season and enjoy many fall evenings by a blazing fire. It adds ambience to outdoor entertaining or creates an intimate outdoor living room for two.
The Essential Steps to Landscape Design: Add some design elements to your landscape by playing off the shape and texture of plants. Use fine-textured plants that have small leaves or needles next to bold-textured plants that have large leaves. Upright linear growing plants can be positioned next to round or low-growing plants to create interest. From DIYnetwork.com
Leafy "Ceiling" In sun-drenched gardens, shade is key. Typical Mediterranean courtyards offer seating areas under trees — such as olives, oaks, citrus, cypress or vines — planted individually or in groups.