DIY - Home ImprovementOutdoor

Landscaping for Beginners – Basic Tips to Make Your Outdoor Space Beautiful

Making your outdoor space beautiful is surely an exciting idea. However, the knowledge and work needed to achieve it is pretty complicated. Sure, learning on your own is an excellent experience, but when it comes to landscaping or gardening, it’s better to have a good start. This is to avoid crucial mistakes, such as wasting money and your time.

Here are some of the things that experts would like people to know when engaging in a landscaping project:

1. Create a Comprehensive Plan

If you have tried hiring a professional landscaper, you might have noticed that what they do first is survey your area and produce a plot for both your front and back yards. This is something you can do yourself. It won’t be as easy at first, but with time, you can do it without breaking a sweat.

What you need to do is to create a bird’s eye view of your area. You need to note the position of your hardscapes or man-made features, such as fences, stonewalls, driveways, buildings, etc. Trees, large shrubs, and boulders with your hardscapes make up the “bones” of your project. Alos, determine the shady and sunny areas in your yard as this will help you in planting later on.

It helps to use a graph paper, but you don’t need to invest a huge amount of your time in making the perfect measurements. You can simply create a sketch that is somewhat in proportion. Lastly, don’t forget to include the locations of your buried utility lines, such as a septic system.

2. List What You Want for Your Yard

Once you have determined what you have in your yard, the next thing you must do is make a wish list. What do you want for your garden? How do you want it to look? It’s good to begin with general goals, such as:

  • Do you want privacy in your patio?
  • Do you want to cover an eyesore / ugly view?
  • What is your main priority, a private area, more value for resale, or an appealing curb?

If you have flower beds, identify the successful plants and fill the blank spots with foliage, colors, and heights that you need to meet your desired look. This will serve as your guide when shopping for plants.

It’s better that you work around with what you already have. Don’t change a dry and rocky area into a vegetable garden. Instead, you can use it as a rock garden with sedums, which can survive in harsh conditions. Also, use containers to give appeal to challenging areas. This allows you to flaunt your artistic skills. 

Take a look at your neighbors’ gardens. What look do you find attractive? What plants and flowers caught your attention? What style represents you?

3. Determine What Style You’re Going For

Determine What Style You’re Going For

In this phase, you will have to decide which style you want for your outdoor space. One important thing you should note is your garden must complement the architectural style of your home. Gardening is somewhat similar to decorating the interiors of your home. The difference is that you’ll be using shapes, sizes, textures, colors, and positioning of flowers and plants to produce a mood.

  • Natural

This style copies the effects of nature and typically requires low maintenance. A natural style should harmonize with the surroundings. The mood must be an energetic abundance of natural elements.

  • Formal

A formal style is all about symmetry. It involves straight lines and stunning focal points. These could include fountains, pruned hedges, and manicured lawns. The mood should be serene and refined with colors as second priority to the structures.

  • Informal

This style is a balance of natural and formal styles. It includes various colors, curves, shapes, asymmetry, and lots of trees and shrubs. The mood must be relaxing and comfortable.

4. Check the Safety of Your Yard

Check the Safety of Your Yard

If you have kids and pets, it’s nice that you dedicate a space where they can play safely. Take note of accident-prone features, such as tree stumps. A tree stump is a trip hazard that might harm children at play. Also, tree stumps are an invitation for harmful insects and pathogens that will potentially harm your garden. For this, you need to use a small stump grinder. It effectively removes tree stumps which helps in the safety of your yard.

5. Start With Hardscaping First

It’s quite tempting to start your design with plants and flowers. However, it’s better that you start with hardscapes first. When they are all in place, it would be a lot easier to arrange and position your plants.

Before anything else, you need to clear your yard first. This allows you to have a clear view and determine better where to put your plants. This will surely involve a lot of work so it would make a lot of difference if you use garden power tools such as lawnmowers and electric chainsaws.

Once your yard is clear, it’s time to plant your trees and large shrubs. When planting, make sure to plant according to their mature size. This prevents you the need of moving them once they reach their full growth. When this is done, you can now proceed to your plants and flowers. Arrange them according to the style you’re aiming for and don’t forget to give them enough space. This prevents them from fighting over nutrients, soil, and water, which could affect their health and growth.

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