Almost anyone can appreciate the visual appeal of a well-maintained yard, and the act of caring for your own garden can provide psychological and physiological health benefits as well.
If you’ve decided to finally spruce up the area around your home to create an outdoor sanctuary where you can enjoy your natural surroundings and the benefits they provide, then take advantage of some of these tips to help your process go more smoothly!
1. Plan in advance
Any great landscaping adventure must begin with a clear, organized plan. Take “before” photos of your yard or garden space, and map out which features you want to remove or change.
It may seem like unnecessary, tedious legwork, but you’ll be glad for the preparation later down the road. For added preparedness, jot down a couple of backup plans in case some of your original ideas turn out to be less realistic than you’d hoped.
2. Get some good tarps
When you picture the arsenal of gardening tools that you’ll use to transform your yard, shovels and gardening shears probably come to mind long before tarps do.
However, tarps can make your job worlds easier by containing any soil you dig up and making it a breeze to redistribute that earth around the bases of your new plants. Tarps also provide a surface that will keep your tools visible, prevent unearthed soil from choking out your lawn, and serve as a way to make debris cleanup quicker.
3. Don’t forget edging
Edging is one of the quickest and easiest ways to give your yard or garden a dramatic touch of style and finesse. Some people like the look of bricks or stones sectioning off their garden sections, and appreciate the wonders that these materials do to prevent erosion.
Others prefer the soft, organic look of natural edging that utilizes small shrubs or grasses to clearly outline different sections. The artistic use of ground cover can give your yard an ethereal look as well–especially if it borders some delicate flowers or climbing vines.
4. Plant for all seasons
When developing your plans to make your yard truly shine, don’t forget to take seasonal changes into account. Research your favorite annuals and perennials, and plan to arrange your assortment of plants and ornaments strategically– you don’t want your yard to look barren during autumn and winter.
If you live in an area with especially intense winters, you may want to consider using outdoor lights and statuary as your primary decoration during the frigid months.
5. Clearly establish paths and walkways
Along with taking the visual appeal of your landscape to the next level, a clearly established walkway will also serve to keep unwanted traffic away from your more delicate plants. A walkway paved with gravel, stones, or decorative concrete slabs will help visitors avoid trampling nearby decorative flora, and will also help cut down on erosion.
6. When it comes to maintenance, think long-term
During the entire process, from planning to edging, carefully consider what kind of long-term maintenance level you’re signing yourself up for. No matter how beautiful that flowering shrub looks in front of your dining room window now, it will soon obscure your view if you don’t keep it trimmed as time goes on.
It pays to think realistically during the landscaping process–if you realize that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, it’s better to swap out overly-ambitious features early on in your process before things get out of hand.
7. Plan your water features carefully
Aside from practical application in the form of efficient irrigation and drainage systems, water can serve to turn your yard or patio into a lush, beautiful paradise. However, water features should always be placed and integrated strategically.
Consider the practical side of your water feature, such as how you’ll manage algae levels and how far you’ll need to run the hose in order to keep it filled during the drier seasons. To finish things off, make sure that your pond or fountain looks like it truly belongs by trimming it with matching edging or decorative stones.
If you’re ready to turn your yard or patio into a relaxing oasis, then a good planning session will pave the way for an infinitely easier journey. Additionally, you’ll want to consider each critical element of a well-rounded landscape in order to create a sanctuary that will remain beautiful and manageable over time.
Keep these 7 useful tips in mind as you go about the process of transforming your yard into the landscape of your dreams, and you’re sure to love the process as much as the results!