For many who have back and front yard space to work and decorate with; don’t hesitate to add more life. University studies on gardening and landscaping solutions recommend 9 key steps in adding life, color, and purpose to your outdoor space.
- Know Your Yard
Microclimates are usually broken into one of four categories: full sun, partial shade, shade, or deep shade; take note of your landscape’s microclimate when selecting plants for your landscape. Also knowing the type of soil your backyard has is crucial in determining what you want to plant.
2. Who Will Be Using Your Yard?
Knowing who will be using your yard space and how helps consider how to plan the layout. Whether you have a dog or young children who like to play outside, different spaces in the yard can serve for different purposes. Strategic plantings and landscapes can separate the sandbox from the garden, ensuring the little ones and the pups don’t cross over and crush your beds of flowers, bushes, or even fruit and veggie seeds.
In this aspect, we should also be mindful of our maintenance costs; whether we do it ourselves or hire someone to do it for us. Determining realistic maintenance costs, the frequency of care and reliable work from a specialized landscaper (if hired) will also contribute to the longevity of your landscape.
3. Think About Themes
Adding a theme is a good way to blend and tie in your landscape. For many who struggle to find ideas and ways to renovate, a theme helps identify the processes that should take place and the functionality of the yard.
A design theme also offers inspiration, guidance on certain features to include (per theme), the appropriate materials needed, and spatial organization. All of these steps go hand in hand in making your planning a lot easier. Keeping these in mind will serve as a guide on how to place and select plants, decorations, hardscapes, and structures.
Breaking it down even more, consider the following;
- The region in which you live
- The architectural style of your house
- Tour neighborhoods you like
- Visit demo model homes with demonstration gardens
- Look in magazine and garden books
- Forms that you find appealing
- Plants you find appealing
- Consider the shape of the open spaces in your yard
4. Create & Link Spaces
Are you looking to get the most out of your yard? Consider seeing your landscape as an “outdoor house.” This outdoor house will allow you to create different “rooms,” in your landscape. How they will be connected and linked together is the key to planning wisely. These rooms will help define theme and structure, where materials should also be used wisely.
How people will move area to area within the yard is important to remember. By creating pathways and openings, this encourages exploration through your landscape.
5. Make Your Plants Work for You
Typically, when you want to incorporate plants, there is a purpose for why you want to choose these specifics seeds. Curate the idea of how these plants will serve your landscape:
- Will they serve as homegrown vegetables, fruits, and produce?
- Are they giving your yard a gorgeous scenery?
- Do these plants give off pleasant aromas?
- Are they serving as barrier designs?
Important factors to consider when placing these seeds are ensuring the temperature corresponds to the nature of the plant. Light levels and geographical weather conditions are also crucial in the growth and preservation of the plants. If your area is known for winds, keep in mind conditions like these have a great impact on your landscape.
6. Structure Your Plantings
What will help you plan your structure, is your design or theme. Both of these aspects correspond with structuring your landscape. Depending on how you are grouping your plants, how closely spaced or far apart they are is important. Keep in mind some plants, shrubs, and trees bloom more than others and essentially will end up taking more space than when they were planted. Generally, larger plants are placed behind smaller plants, giving the overheads plane a nice view.
The ground plane is known to be made up of assorted plants of heights, shapes, and colors. This also focuses on the idea of how smaller plants will be grouped and arranged as well as groundcovers and hardscapes.
Hardscapes are usually materials integrated into your yard design such as; concrete, brick, stone, wood, metal, or water features. Using consistent patterns, similar shapes, structures, and designs instantly gives your landscape a unified and harmonious look.
7. Highlight Important Points/Areas?
The use of unique plants, distinct structures, or garden ornaments allows particular areas of your landscape to stand out. A combination of various shapes, textures, sizes, and colors will help capture attention and direct it to a specific area. Ensure your pathway stones, tiles, and walkways at the front or back yard correspond with the aesthetic of your home and landscape theme. If you are adding decorative water features like water fountains, stone-on-stone fountains, ponds with small waterfalls or walls of spillways make sure to structure or place them where they stand out!
8. Think About the Future
Think about how your landscape and plants will be affected as time progresses. As previously mentioned the growth of the plants, maintenance needs, and overall mature size should be considered before planting and structuring. Providing them with sufficient growth room is crucial to the blooming. Also keeping in mind that their full blooming size is based on optimal growing conditions and depending on your landscaping conditions, your plant may grow larger or smaller.
9. Protect Your Resources
When choosing your plants, try to look into resource-efficient plants. This will help reduce the number of outsourced maintenance materials and costs. Being mindful and conscious of your water usage also prevents overwatering plants that ultimately cause loss of oxygen and ends up killing the roots.
The use of environmental friendly hardscapes helps protect and preserve the environment. Some of these materials include organic mulch such as bark, inorganic mulch such as gravel, wood, flagstone pavers, brick, and urbanite. Using non-toxic preservatives, stains, paints, and cleaners is an additional way to protect natural resources.
Sometimes we get excited about revamping our landscape and just start removing and tossing existing plants. Here is one more tip before you go digging and tossing plants already in your landscape; simply analyze if you can relocate them to another part of your yard!
When selecting new plants, look for resource-efficient plants, ones that require less water, fertilizers, and pesticides. Other ways to be resourceful are by adding rainwater catchment systems; which ultimately provide you with an additional supply of irrigation water. This can be even be built in to mesh and blend with your landscape design. Don’t forget that several decor and landscape materials can be reused to continue to enhance and preserve your landscape.