Landscape Ideas That Are Easy, Fun, and Cheap
One of the easiest ways that you can dramatically improve your landscape is by adding outdoor lighting. Adding garden light fixtures to your landscape will accent it at night and bring out its best qualities.
For an incredibly easy installation that you can complete in a weekend, identify a few interesting aspects of your landscape that you think would look good illuminated at night. Trees, shrubs, flowerbeds, and even the walls of your home are good candidates for this. Then take a few solar spotlights and place them at the base to provide uplighting to the places that you’ve already chosen. The whole installation can be done in the weekend, and the best part is since the lights are solar powered, if you don’t like the way the lights look you can easily change their location without having to move any wires!
Improve Your Front Door
The first part of your home that most people will see is your front door, so why not incorporate it into your landscaping ideas. One easy thing that you can do is simply buying a nicer door and hanging it. Studies have shown this can actually improve the property value of your home by a few thousand dollars!
But, you can also take this a step further by incorporating your front door into your landscape design ideas. Try to use warmer colored plants around your door than you have in other areas of your home to create a focal point. Also concentrate some lighting on your front door, making it well lit and make sure to light up the paths leading up to your home to create more sight lines that will make your front door a focal point even in the dead of night.
Add Tiny Accents
A few tiny accents, like some well placed outdoor wall décor, can add a lot to your landscaping plans as well. Incorporate décor and small decorations like birdbaths, fountains, and tiny sculptures into your overall landscaping plans. By providing a few fixtures that blend in with nature, you’ll give your landscape a look and feel that many others won’t. Just be careful not to overdo it or you might end up with a landscape that looks more tacky than beautiful!
Pick a Theme and Stick With It
Choosing a theme for your landscaping, whether it’s tropical, desert, or woodland to go with your rustic outdoor lights, can be a powerful way to tie your entire landscape together. But just make sure that you stick with one theme. Having multiple different themes around your property can look worse than just a bunch of randomly planted plants. Pick a theme and stick with it. If you ever change your mind, you can always go back and change the look and feel of your flower beds.
Don’t Forget About Your Porch and Patio
Whether you’re improving your front or backyard, your porch and patio will no doubt be important areas, so don’t forget to landscape these areas as well. Add lighting and plants to your deck or patio in the same way that you would to any other area of your landscape. Couple this with some quality outdoor furniture, and you’ll have a great way that you can spend your time on warm, sunny days outside your home.
Other Backyard Landscape Ideas
The following recommended practices for maintaining established landscaping are essential for plant health and water preservation. Whether you recently purchased a pre-owned residence or have lived in the same residence for several years.
Many suggested landscaping ideas that support plant health also preserve water. The subsequent is an overview of these practices.
Trees in your landscape or Garden
- Do not regularly fertilize landscape trees. Overfertilization can result in unnecessary growth, requiring additional water. Fertilize if nutrient deficiencies emerge.
- Apply mulch around trees, but keep it more than a few inches away from tree trunks. Mulch reduces soil evaporation, buffers soil temperature, and reduces weeds. Keep in mind to apply water long enough to soak through the mulch layer into the roots.
- Maintain turfgrass and other plants at least 20 inches from tree trunks. This promotes faster tree development and reduces competition for water.
- Irrigate trees individually from surrounding plants when possible. Drip systems are outstanding for this purpose. Think about using a water budget.
- Avoid soil compaction around trees, which results in poor water penetration and runoff.
- Manage weeds around trees. They compete for water.
- Irrigate trees based on seasonal water demand. Preliminary study indicates that numerous species do well on about the same amount of water as warm-season turf grasses, or even less.
- Prune trees when needed. Remove dead and unhealthy wood, crossed limbs, suckers, and weak vertical growth. Pruning stimulates further shoot growth, increasing the water requirement.
- Apply mulch around shrubs.
- Most shrubs are water-efficient once established. Think about using water budget methods. Water based on seasonal water demand
- Steer clear of soil compaction around shrubs.
- Manage weeds around shrubs.
- Irrigate shrubs independently from surrounding plants when possible. Drip systems work well for this reason.
- Do not regularly fertilize shrubs. Overfertilization can result in unnecessary growth, requiring additional water. Fertilize if nutrient deficiencies emerge.
- Control weeds.
- Avoid soil compaction.
- Do not regularly fertilize groundcovers. Fertilize once yearly if nutrient deficiencies emerge.
- Irrigate groundcovers based on seasonal water demand. Think about using a water budget method. Preliminary study indicates that many varieties do well when receiving about the same amount of water as warm-season turf grasses
TURF and GRASSES
- Aerate as needed to avoid soil compaction
- Eliminate thatch if over a one-half inch thick.
- Fertilize reasonably, applying low ends of suggested rates. If conditions dictate, stop fertilizing altogether, except for potassium, which promotes drought resistance.
These great landscape tips should let you get started on making great improvements in your house this weekend. Start thinking about how you can apply them to your property.
Tips for Planning Your Landscape
When you decide to plan your landscape, it does, indeed, require a plan. This means that you should carefully think about what you are doing, and what you would like to do. It also means budgeting and determining how much you can spend for your landscaping. Creating a home landscape for your yard is something that can be very costly if you do not carefully plan your landscape. Additionally, without a plan, you may end up with something you do not want and that costs money.
What Do You Have to Work With
The first thing you should do when planning your landscape is to look at what you already have. Use a critical eye to determine what you like and what you dislike about the current landscape design. Also take into account how your home looks during different seasons.
Think about how many year cycles you are likely to remain, and think about what you like and dislike about each one. List the blessings of your current landscape situation, large and small, and list what you would like to change, or what you wish you had. It is actually a good idea to do this for an entire year, so that you can see what you have at each season. Plus, taking your time will help you develop a better plan.
Another thing to do when planning your landscape is to keep in mind the needs you have for the space. You do not want your landscape ideas to interfere with family activities and the family routine. Would planting a shrub in a particular spot inhibit the walk to the mailbox? Putting a flowerbed in the middle of the lawn may upset family games. Would adding a deck make it more convenient to have family barbeque functions?
Are there features, like a sandbox, that you would like to add to the landscape for your grandchildren? The fact of the matter is that when you are planning your landscape, you should take into account what the space will be used for. This is an essential part of the landscaping process, as the best designs combine attractiveness with utility.
Keeping a journal or folder of landscape ideas is another way to help you as you plan your landscape. You can keep your lists of current things you like and dislike, as well as your plan for the use of your landscape space in this folder or journal as well. You can gather ideas you like from looking at pictures in magazines, books, on the Internet, or by driving around the neighborhood and taking pictures.
Make sure you include next to any images you have the things that you think you will need to build a particular feature, or notes on things you would do to tweak a design to make it all your own. You can even combine design ideas into something that you like. The point is to, while you are thinking about what you already have and what you will use your landscape for, look for ideas that will help you accomplish your goals.
Other things you should do while planning your landscape design is to check on building codes and make sure of property lines. You should also find out from your utility companies where underground power, telephone, and cable wires are run. You do not want to hit one of these important things while digging around in your yard and building your landscape. Getting all of this stuff figured out before you finalize your landscape plans can help you adjust for possibly having to relocate a feature in your plan or for having to scale down the size of something.
Another tool that can be very helpful as you plan your landscape is the use of landscape design software. Much of this software can be used to figure out which plants may look nice in your yard, and which plants would go with your house. Some programs even allow you to scan in an image of your own house in order to better get an idea of the possibilities. Most programs cost less than $70, and can even be used as references to determine which plants are best suited to survive in your climate.
With careful planning, and the use of a few tips, it is possible for you to plan out your landscape in such a way that you use your available space and your money much more efficiently.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Landscape Ideas That Are Easy, Fun, and Cheap
- 2 Tips for Planning Your Landscape