If home is your castle, the yard is your moat. It’s the first thing you see as you drive up to the house. It’s a statement on how you live. It can also be a place to create beauty, joy and wonderful memories. Let’s take a look at how you can make your next landscaping project a success.
1. Plan for the whole year
You might be thinking of what your yard will look like in spring and summer, but don’t forget about those winter months. Adorn your outdoor space with assorted annuals and perennials to keep your home looking beautiful and colorful all year long – even during dreary November. For example, although deciduous trees and shrubs are very popular these days, you don’t want to forget evergreens and other plants. The deciduous specimens provide color and variety, while the evergreens provide continuity.
2. Create a focal point
In garden design, a focal point is used to direct the eye. Think of a garden that’s just a bunch of plants arranged haphazardly. Your eye sweeps along, never knowing where to land. Now think of a garden with a water feature or weeping tree or ornament (for smaller gardens, it could simply be one unique and flamboyant plant). The first thing you notice is that focal feature. Once your interest is fixed, you branch out and notice other plants – discovering the garden, instead of sweeping through it.
3. Focus on form and texture
Flowers are amazing but while they provide color, a plant’s branching pattern and foliage adds form and texture – varying form and texture is a little-known way to make your yard look more diverse. Evergreen conifers, for instance, may lack flowers but their foliage offers a myriad of form and texture you’ll definitely want to experiment with.
4. Keep your water feature natural
Don’t let the term “water feature” alarm you either – it really doesn’t need to be some huge, fussy, frilly, complicated waterfall that plays music all day long. A water feature can even be a small, self-contained unit but, no matter where it is, or what its size, it should look like it belongs in its surroundings. Using natural stone to build it up – or even the same stone or material that you’ve used on the house – is always an option. Avoid using too many materials.
5. Plan a walkway
Your walkway matters. Not having one will play havoc with your lawn, resulting in a makeshift path of dead grass. Create a walkway using natural flagstone, decorative brick or crushed stone – the purpose of the walkway is also to connect the different elements in your landscaping. Construct it from material that’s similar to what you’ve used on the exterior of the house. Use a brick-based walkway for brick houses or stoned paths for stone houses – it will tie the path aesthetically to the house.
You want your landscape to be seen and admired after hours as well – or at least, you should. This is where landscape lights come in. Lights play as important a role outside the home as they do inside. Illuminate steps and sidewalks for safety and use lights to show off focal points in the landscape. If you’re lighting paths and walkways, you can play around with the arrangements – place the lights on alternative sides of the path to break up a line.