Because landscape design can produce varied results for individuals and their homes, it's a good idea to determine what type of landscaping supplies you'll actually need to achieve the results you'd like. Plotting the land you'd like to landscape and then deciding what you'd like to do with that space are the first steps.
While preparing for your landscaping project, you may need to use landscape fabric to suppress weeds. This is useful both while waiting for mulch, flowers or landscape rocks to arrive from suppliers as well as to protect those elements once they're in place. Landscape fabric is designed to be clean and durable, while letting air, water and nutrients nourish the soil.
How do you plan to get from place to place once you've landscaped? You don't want to have to trample your grass to access your flowerbed or your picnic table. Think of the natural ways people will move from place to place and pathways will make themselves obvious.
Landscaped pathways are, most often, wooden walkways or stepping stones. Stepping stones can be an especially versatile way to encourage travelers to stay off the grass. They can also be used in mulched and unmulched planting beds to prevent dirt from being tracked inside. Putting them in flower gardens can also attract butterflies to your garden, since these cold-blooded creatures enjoy the absorbed warmth the stones provide.
If you live in an area where maintaining a real grass lawn is unrealistic, there are other landscaping options for your yard. Landscape rocks are pieces of natural stone used for lawn centerpieces and rock gardens. Make them look more natural by burying the base a couple inches into the ground. Smaller decorative stones can be used for rock gardens.
Rubber mulch is another landscaping technique that is especially useful in high-traffic areas, such as walkways, play areas and curbs around trees or social areas. Rubber mulch is usually made out of recycled rubber and provides a spongy surface that can look as natural or unnatural as you'd like, with an assortment of colors.
Wood, metal, plastic, stone and even certain plants can all be used to create attractive and useful lawn edging. The edging provides a barrier between the lawn and your flowerbeds or patio. Lawn edging keeps mulch and soil where they belong and offers a clean mowing and trimming line around your yard. Wood, metal, plastic or stone edging can give a formal and highly-maintained look to your yard. But if you're looking for a more natural solution, mondo grass and dusty miller can be used as living substitutes.