Landscaping Secrets: The Design Basics
Easy Changes to Boost Curb Appeal
The yard is your greeting to the world yet it is often the last project in home redesigns. Landscaping goes beyond gardening. It takes into account the shape, use, maintenance and style of your front, back and side yards.
So, if you’ve never landscaped before where should you start? These basic pointers will get you on the right path.
Choose a Focal Point
What is great about your outdoor space? What is your favorite part? What do you want to draw attention to in the front, back or side yard? Once you have chosen a focal point everything else in the yard builds around it.
For example, perhaps you want to showcase your round driveway or your newly installed pool, beautiful garden or custom garage door. Whatever you want to emphasize, define it as the focal point of the space so you can build the rest of the design around it.
Don’t Be Afraid of Color
When decorating the inside of your home, color scheme is important. Homeowners typically choose a palate and stick to it. When working with the outdoors, you can let go of this rule. Have fun with color by trying some of these bright ideas:
- Use a tree trunk to organize flowers of different colors
- Paint pots in vibrant colors and put them on display
- Add a mural to a wall, or the floor of your porch
- Repurpose a tire swing as a colorful flower bed
- Add marbles to your fence
- Let wildflowers of different types and colors and grow freely
- Paint tree stumps in bright neon colors
- Lace your walkway with a sea of flowers in one strong color
- Paint your front door a vibrant color
Understand the Maintenance and Cost
Lawn care costs and time can add up quickly. Between gardening, weeding, watering, skimming, sweeping, fertilizing and mowing you could spend more time in your outdoor space working than relaxing.
Consider the following when making plans for your outdoor space:
- Weather-friendly plants – Choose weather temperate plants that won’t require excessive amounts of water.
- Placement – Ensure the placement of plants allows some sunlight.
- Mowing – When creating pathways don’t forget that breaking the lawn up could make mowing more difficult if you have to constantly go around.
- Animals and bugs – Consider whether your landscape will attract unwanted animals or bugs.
- Sprinklers – A sprinkler system may be needed to support the watering needs of the flowers so don’t plant flowers in an area where the sprinkler can’t reach.
- Mulch – Mulch or rocks in the flower beds will need to be replaced every about six months, adding to the maintenance cost.
- Gutters – Consider whether the location of your gutter run off will flood your flowerbeds or create a situation where standing water can accumulate.
- Pool – If are planning to add a pool or swing set in the near future be sure to leave room for these additions.
- Consider the seasons – Don’t forget to keep in mind how your landscape and plantings will look like when the seasons change.
Your outdoor areas can be an extension of your home and personality if you highlight the better parts of your yard and add color without creating a slew of chores for yourself in the future.
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