A home is only as gracious as its front yard. A beautifully-maintained lawn and well-thought-out landscaping design set the tone for daily homecomings, the arrival of guests and soul-satisfying views. Lawn care and landscape maintenance take know-how and planning, but aren’t as daunting as you think. If you’re wondering how your neighbor with the amazing yard does it, these five landscaping components will help you to do it, too.
Create a Landscaping Design
You may be dreaming of lounging under trees, or welcoming in fragrant roses each spring. Starting with a solid, well-thought-out landscaping plan morphs dreams and creativity with practicality and manageability. This is one area where a professional landscaper can help, but whether you do-it-yourself or bring in the pros, you’ll need to survey your property to acquire its dimensions. Create a wish list of elements, such as shrubbery, cobblestone paths or trees to include and take note of fixed features, like the driveway and hardscapes you plan on keeping. Note rocky, sloped or heavily shaded areas and generate concept sketches to use as visual aids. Whether detailed or simple, planting without a plan never works.
Pick the Right Plants for Effective Landscape Maintenance
Choosing the wrong plants is a common landscaping error many homeowners make. Taking your micro-climate into account, opt for plants and flowers with complementary growth patterns, so your front yard displays an interesting interplay of color, contrast and texture, year round. Also decide how much pruning, cutting and upkeep you’re comfortable with. Plants, like people, have personalities ranging from no-fuss to high-maintenance.
Create the Right Look with Plant Placement
Choosing beautiful plants, trees and shrubs is the fun part, but make sure the soil quality, drainage and sunlight in each area of your garden are optimum for the varieties you pick. Plant placement is integral to the look of your yard over time. Rambling vines, well suited as fence cover, aren’t a great choice for lining the driveway. Choose plants with growth patterns able to enhance walkways, lounging areas and the front of your home, without becoming overwhelming as they grow.
Maintain a Sense of Scale
Even a larger-than-life landscaping design needs to keep the spatial relationships between elements in check. The size of your house, hardscapes and plantings should harmonize together. Make choices for plants and trees based upon anticipated height and width at maturity.
Treat Your Lawn with TLC
Even if your flower beds are nothing short of magnificent, a brown, dried out lawn will dim their grandeur and ruin the overall look of your landscaping. Lush, green lawns need fertilizer, aeration, weed control and irrigation on a regular basis. When you’re first starting out, testing your soil’s PH is a must. Then decide if seeding or sodding makes the most sense for your budget and needs. Either way, never mow your lawn too short. Taller grass yields better root development over time.
Well-designed landscaping sets the stage for your home’s overall look and feel. Choose what and how you plant wisely and you will love the result for years to come.