Landscape improvement is a task that not only rewards you with a more pleasant view, but can greatly improve your home’s value, too. Done well, it can give you a relaxing place to enjoy your time off from work and chores. Whether you just want to transform that barren patch of brown grass into something a bit nicer, or are thinking of undertaking a full-scale makeover, there is a backyard landscaping idea to suit your objective and your budget.
Planning is crucial to landscaping success
Before you charge ahead with whatever backyard landscaping idea you decide to implement, you must spend a good deal of time in the planning stage. Planning starts with first thinking about what you would like to accomplish with the space. Do you want a place where the kids and pets can comfortably play without worrying about destroying the garden? Does a water feature appeal to you? Do you favor a structured formal look or a more natural “wild” look? What types of flowers do you like? How much time are you willing to devote to the garden for maintenance?
When you have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish, then you can start doodling on paper, sketching out the backyard landscape idea that’s in your head. You might find it helpful to look through gardening books and magazines to find styles and plants that match what you think you want.
The one thing you shouldn’t do at this stage is rush off to the garden center and just buy whatever plants look good to you. This will almost certainly result in a garden disaster, if not now, then soon. The reason is that you need to choose plants that are best suited for your space. The primary consideration is the amount of direct sun your yard gets. It’s possible that some areas of your backyard will be in full sun, some in partial sun and some in dense shade, but you need to determine this before implementing your plan. The best way to do that is to pick a day when you are going to be home, make a sketch of your backyard, and note each hour or two if it is sunny, shady, etc. For most plants, there is a bit of leeway in terms of how much sun or shade they need, but failing to consider this requirement will doom your backyard landscaping idea.
Depending upon your gardening skill, time, budget and complexity of your project, you can either implement your backyard landscaping idea yourself or hire a landscape architect or landscape contractor to do the work for you. If you decide to do it yourself, it’s probably still a good idea to consult with a landscape designer. Having a trained professional review your plans and plant list before you start buying and building can save you a lot of time, trouble and money.
The best way to find a landscape architect or consultant is through a referral from friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Your local phone book will likely have several pages of landscapers, but if you go this route, make sure you are prepared to ask them lots of questions before you hire them. Many garden centers and nurseries now provide landscaping advice free or for a modest fee. However, the quality of the advice might be great, or it might be lousy, so if you can afford to consult with a professional, it will be money well spent.
Here are just a few of the different landscaping ideas you might want to consider for your back yard.
Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden
Eeriscaping (using drought adapted plants)
Whichever backyard landscaping idea you ultimately settle on, remember to plan first, have fun, garden smart and enjoy your new view!