I just returned home from a flower and garden show visit where I was treated to 10 incredible display gardens featuring incredible plant styling, stunning art pieces and mind-boggling creativity. Display gardens at flower and garden shows are not meant to be “copied” literally—the creators often take liberties with pairing plants that don’t necessarily “go” together (succulents and azaleas, for example), and typically create landscape features that would be insanely difficult, if not impossible, to maintain in a more typical home garden. What I look for when viewing these gardens are plant and design trends as well as fresh ideas on construction—and this year, I was struck by the “checkerboard” design motif. Here are a few examples that can be translated into cottage-y and whimsical gardens as well as clean and contemporary landscapes.If you have a small lawn area, or some grass beside your patio, consider creating a checkerboard lawn. It’s easier than it looks—grab some square concrete pavers from your local home improvement store, arrange them in a checkerboard pattern and fill in with squares of sod. Make sure it’s all level so it’s easy to walk on! Maintenance is a snap with a string trimmer.Have a nice, blank wall by your patio, garden shed or fence? Try arranging hanging wall planters in this trending pattern for a graphic and interesting display. For an artsy or whimsical vibe, use a variety of pots in different colors and patterns—but for a more clean and contemporary look, opt for identical planters.While set into a more linear pattern, these tiny terra cotta tiles make an intriguing set up for a pathway or garden feature. In this display garden, they filled in with crushed, recycled glass—if it’s tumbled, it’s safe to use, but otherwise plan to fill in between your tiles with something softer like mulch, sand, river rock or pea gravel. Your choice of materials will directly impact the style—use colored or unexpected materials for a more artful look, or cool grey rock for a peaceful Zen feel.