Create a Checkerboard Garden This simple design of paving stones and plants can be used to create a dramatic courtyard or a fun space for children. Plant it up with turfgrass, chamomile or low-growing herbs, such as thyme.
Gardeners added sand and gravel to the native clay and created a journey down and through a sun-loving medley of perennials, grasses, and herbs. In June, varieties of lavender, thyme, and the Mexican feather grass Nassella tenuissima provide plant structure.
Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) spills over the edges of stairs in this shade garden - The sloped border includes ferns, hostas, Japanese primroses, and moss-covered rocks ( bhg.com) SO PRETTY!!! If only my back yard could be like this. (I'd need an acreage of course ...)