Landscaping: Plan Your Yard Right, Part Two

file0001650809967We’ve been discussing the need to plan your yard before you landscape. Last time, we discussed light, water, and animals. We continue the discussion this week by exploring space, color, and arrangement.

Space

One of the biggest issues homeowners end up having is more plants than space. It’s very easy to overestimate how much space you really have given the plant’s size at maturity. In fact, what often happens is that the landscaping plan is made based on what fits together when the items are planted, but if you’re not planning for the next 5-10 years of growth, you’ll often end up with more problems.

As you plant, consider how much space you have based on the projected size, height, and root requirements of the mature plants. You can always use annuals to fill in the space you have to leave to accommodate the mature plants.

Color

Both by choosing the color of your flowers to complement each other and by choosing a variety of plants that bloom at different times, you can create a landscape that is beautiful all year long. Consider different textures and shades of color to add depth and dynamic to your landscaping.

Arrangement

When planning how to plant multiple plants in a group, again consider their size at maturity. Combine a variety of plants that will grow to different heights to create a visually appealing landscape, but consider how the growth of each plant will affect the others; if you’re now-sunny garden will soon be shady three quarters of the day from a large, fast-growing bush, you may want to reconsider what you plant.

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Landscaping: Plan Your Yard Right, Part One

file000570050411Have you ever seen a yard where it was obvious the landscapers didn’t plan for what the yard would look like in the years after planting? It’s important when you’re planting to consider not just how things fit together when they are newly planted but also how they will thrive together as they grow. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the basics you should consider when planting. In our next post, we’ll wrap up with some of the other considerations that help bring your landscaping plan together.

When it comes to planning new landscaping, there are several things you should consider before you start planting:

Light

How much light will the area receive? Observe how many hours of sun each part of your yard receives before choosing which plants should go in each location. Some plants will require full sun – more than six hours per day – and some will require very little sun.

Identify shady parts of your yard and choose plants that thrive in less sunlight.

Water

Do you live in an area with a water shortage? Are you in a desert or drought area? Consider plants that require less water. The more you choose your plants based on the climate in which you live, the more likely they are to thrive.

Animals

Are you in an area where you’re likely to get a lot of deer, or raccoon, or squirrel? Take these visitors into consideration when planning your landscaping. If you need to deter deer, choose plants with spiky leaves or thorns.

Landscaping is best done with a plan. Next time, we’ll explore color, space, and arrangement as factors in planning your landscape.

Create an Escape with Landscaping

escape mrgWhether you have five acres to play with or just a small apartment balcony, there are things you can do with your landscaping that allow you to create a place of escape. Imagine having a small corner where you can read, enjoy the warm weather or simply relax.

For smaller spaces, consider adding a container garden. In containers, you can plant just about any fruit or veggie; potatoes, cucumbers and tomatoes all have miniature versions designed to be grown in containers and other small spaces. To add color, plant nasturtium, and if you’re not bothered by bees, add some lavender for a lovely aroma. Another item that is perfect for small spaces is a tabletop fountain. The sound of running water is extremely calming, and a small fountain can be the perfect addition to your balcony. If you have more room to work with, you can build a small pond or install a larger fountain. Simply add a comfortable chair to your landscaping, and you’re set!

Surround yourself with your favorite floral fragrances, as well as fruits and veggies, using raised garden beds. If you’re trying to determine the perfect spot, consider a secluded corner that gets a bit of shade so you can enjoy it during hot afternoons.

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3 Landscaping Ideas to Freshen Up Your Yard

Even if you still have a layer of snow on the ground, as we do here in Ohio, it’s that time of year when we all start yearning to be outside more. From planting gardens and crops to hosting backyard barbecues, signs of spring fever are now becoming clear. (Please, Punxsutawney Phil, don’t see your shadow!)

This is a great time of year to start thinking about the changes you can make to your landscape. Whether you want to add raised garden beds or create a home paradise escape, now is the time to start planning. Here are three landscaping ideas that you can use to create your vision of paradise.

  1. Ponds

pondFrom the soothing sound of bubbling water to the youthful joy of having your own goldfish and koi, a pond is a great option for your backyard space. If you’re ambition is to have a large pond, consider using a windmill for aeration. Aeration is critical to the health of your fish. And depending on where you live, you also may need to invest in an artificial owl to keep birds from preying on your fish or netting to keep raccoons away.

  1. Grill, Baby, Grill

grillNo backyard space is complete without a grill or smoker (or both!). You can host backyard parties and truly enjoy the spring, summer and fall with a grill. To create an inviting space, add plenty of lawn furniture and some shade-providing plants and trees.

  1. Grow Your Own Food

dripThere’s nothing that tastes better than a salad made from greens and veggies grown in your own garden. Whether you have a huge plot of land or can only carve out a small area, growing your food is a great way to lower your grocery bill and encourage your kids to eat well and become involved with the environment. And gardening can be easier with a drip irrigation kit, which makes keeping your veggies hydrated all summer a snap.

What plans do you have for landscaping your yard this year?

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