21 Easy Ideas to Beautify Your Yard | Better Homes & GardensBrian Minter uses herbs to edge his beds and borders, and he's especially partial to variegated mint because it arrives early and stays late. The mint's aroma wafts on the breeze when visitors brush against it, and the chefs in the garden's restaurants snip sprigs to flavor the day's fare. The invitation stands: Come, sit awhile, and smell the flowers, listen to the bird song, and watch the grass grow. Plant herbs in window boxes and containers so you can place them by your kitchen door or next to the grill so you can snip and tuck them into salads, soups, and sauces. Big, bold Gunnera is at home by a wooded stream and waterfall, adding drama and dimension to this garden vignette. Brian carved out an alpine pond in a hillside where frogs and toads join the chorus of birds splashing in the shallow water. Brian does so with lady's mantle and cotoneaster in the foreground and alpine firs and weeping Nootka false cypress in the background. In early spring, long before the garden bursts into color , Brian pots up containers that bridge the seasons with bright foliage and subtle textures. The scene is striking in summer when the surrounding garden shimmers in white with astilbe, actaea, phlox, and silvery maidengrass. Stroll to the other end of this vine-festooned arbor and you'll come upon a 110-foot-long, 15-foot-high wall of water that pours over Roman pillars to create a misty veil for viewing the garden beyond. Here, a 30-foot-long firethorn hedge hugs a pathway that skirts a steep slope, providing a safety buffer for two-legged visitors and a berry buffet for winged guests. Here, he gives the shrubby evergreen creeper Euonymus 'Emerald Gaiety' the support it needs: The creamy-edge emerald foliage that blushes pink in winter caresses a decades-old wisteria root that hugs a cement pillar.