On the long list of home improvements, landscaping can often fall to the bottom of the list. Many have never done any kind of landscaping before and don’t know where to begin.
Even if you are ready to begin, you might be overwhelmed by all the decisions to make and all the options available to you.
If this describes you, have no fear! Here are 7 things to consider when beginning your landscaping project. With a little planning and hard work, you can create the front or back yard of your dreams.
Work With What You Have
This might seem obvious, but a problem many people run into is expectations for their space that are unrealistic.
Before you do anything, you want to consider space, climate, and taste.
If you have a small space, it doesn’t mean you can’t landscape, it just means you need to think carefully about what to use. If you have a large space, you have more options available to you, but you still need to consider the best utilization of your spacious yard.
If you live in Florida, you’ll need to know what to plant that will work well in your climate, and this will look different than if you lived in Minnesota. Make sure you do a little research before planting anything, making sure it will grow and thrive in your climate.
Lastly, don’t just read a magazine article and then get to work. Think about what it is that you want. Think of your favorite vacation spot, or a park you love to visit. What do you like about those places? Make choices that reflect your preferences, not someone else’s.
Once you’ve considered these things, here are some ideas to consider.
Add Color With Flowers
Flowers add color to your outdoor space and they create a welcoming environment for guests, particularly if they are planted in your front yard. Consider planting flowers near the entrance of your home and adding a short fence near the street, making your home look cozy and inviting.
When choosing colors and types, don’t go to crazy with the variety. Too many different plants can give your yard a hodgepodge, disorganized feel. Try using the same plant varieties, colors and shapes to give your space a more unified look.
Choose Double Duty Plants
This can be an especially helpful approach if your space is on the smaller side. Choosing plants that will serve multiple purposes can be a great way to make the most of your yard or garden.
Larger fruit trees, such as apple or orange trees, are a great example. They’ll provide beauty, privacy, and, in certain seasons, delicious fruit!
Add An Island
A typical impulse is to surround the perimeter of your yard with flowers and foliage. Instead, try adding a group of plants to the center of your yard, creating an “island” in the midst of your yard.
By adding some colorful plants, you create a focal point. It also adds some height to the middle of your space, adding visual interest in an otherwise plain area.
Add A Blooming Tree
Another way to create interest in the center of your yard is by adding a tree as a focal point.
There are many trees that bloom annually, such as dogwoods, magnolias, hydrangeas and redbuds. These add a burst of color to your yard and require little to no upkeep (other than raking up those petals and leaves!)
Try looking on a site like The Tree Center, where you can order trees online and, if the cost is over $100, have it shipped to your home for free!
Create A Path
This might seem to be a huge undertakng, but even a small path can add some charm to your space and make it an inviting oasis.
You can purchase large stones from your local hardware store’s garden department (try Lowes, for example), and create a small curving or circular path through foliage, a flower, or even a vegetable garden in your yard.
You can also create a path by leaving a path of grass between islands of flowers or bushes in your yard. This is a less expensive way to accomplish this feel.
Make Space For People
As beautiful as all of the landscaping is, it’s a little pointless if there’s nowhere to sit and enjoy it!
Devote some time and money to creating an inviting patio or seating area. This can be elaborate or simple, but beautiful either way.
A site like Wayfair is a great place to look for great patio furniture at discounted rates. Add some potted plants and flowers to this area that coordinate with the rest of your yard so that visitors feel a part of the yard instead of simply spectators.