Landscaping Tips for New Homeowners
New house owners although feel excited about planning their outdoor landscapes but are often apprehensive about going ahead with the process on their own. However, the idea is to not consider this as a goal to be achieved but a process which should be thoroughly enjoyed at every step of it. The initial few days or weeks should ideally be spent by merely conceiving a design which fits your spaces as well as dreams. The recommendation for new house owners is to take it as a fun activity, to enjoy every step of the journey and getting oneself ready for the fantastic results. It is in itself an adventure to transform a regular looking yard into an outdoor space which catches every visitor’s attention.
Once you have conceptualized a plan, follow these given steps to turn your plans into visual results:
- Scribble it all down: Draw up a rough sketch of your landscape design on a notepad or a drawing sheet. This will give you an estimate of the spaces available and your plans to use it accordingly. Understand the spaces within your garden, those that will receive maximum sunlight, those that are more shaded, those that can be used for a sitting place, those that will be visible from your living room, etc. Once you have that marked out, going to the next steps of carefully choosing your foliage will become more comfortable. You can use your sunny spaces for a small vegetable garden, the space outside your living room for planting some climbers that can add glamour to a window and perhaps brighten up the base some trees with native flowering shrubs.
- Studying the soil: A good knowledge of your soil will save owners from a lot of future expenses. It will enable an owner to choose the right kind of greens suitable to the soil type, invest in the right type of fertilizers and manures needed to enrich the soil and also plan the hardscaping works in a better way.
- Complete the tough work first: It is recommended to complete tasks like removing hard rocks, relocating boulders to their planned places, creating gravel paths, porches, etc. before going in for plantation. Most backyards or raw garden spaces of new housing units are loaded with rocks as a part of the subsoil. If not removed, these are going to be big hindrances when going in for plantations. Additionally, these stones and pavers an be reused while constructing a porch or creating gravel paths or even as a base for various planters being used.
- Chose your plants wisely: It is a good idea to identify the plants that are going to flourish given the ambient environmental and soil conditions. Go for the plants which will thrive within the available sunlight, water, and soil conditions. Choosing from the natives is a good idea. It is also wise to keep the trees naturally growing in the yard and plan your landscape around them. They will not only add freshness to your sitting area but will attract birds adding to the natural charm of the garden. Owners may also play or experiment with various textures by choosing some textural plants like grasses and lambs ear to add a third dimension to the garden.
- Choose from the native species: There is always a lot to pick from within the available native species. There are always plants that can be selected within the natives based on their flowering season. The spaces receiving maximum sunlight can be used up for summer flowers like wild geranium, butterfly weed in the spring and other winter-blooming perennials like liatris, black-eyed Susan, etc. during the fall. Similarly, more shady areas can be filled with other spring, summer and fall blooming plants. This will give a forever colorful look to your garden throughout the year.
- Allow the plants to grow to their full size: Patience is the keyword when going for a garden that one wants to enjoy for years to come. Most landscaping plans often fail because they do not allow sufficient spacing between plants and hence hinder a plants growth to its maximum level. It is to be remembered that large plants like perennials and trees take multiple years to grow to their full size and also need sufficient soil space to grow. Of course, most house owners prefer the look of a full bed. The key here is to grow annually flowering species in the spaces between the larger plants for a fuller and a complete look. Large plants and perennials are a one-time investment. They need to be chosen carefully and given sufficient space, time and maintenance to reach their full bloom potential.
- Do the groundwork: Even when a new house comes with a green yard overgrowing with grass, it is always suggested to take up a shovel and remove it all before taking up any other landscaping work. Alternatively, pesticides or weedicides may be used if required to get the outdoor space free of any pests or weeds. Since a new owner is going to dedicatedly spend his time and money on landscaping the yard, any remnants of pests or weeds will definitely spoil the game. Start from the scratch by digging up the grounds before going any further.
- Use of focal points: There may be various points in a garden that needs to be brought into focus like a marble statute near some shrubs, a fish pond or a tree planted around a gravel path. By taking these as central points, circular or semicircular planting beds can be created around them to draw more attention to the focal point.
- Go slow: Of course, the best gardens and yards are built over a period of time. Take your time planning and designing a garden of your dreams and go slow to do the landscaping years. Small additions can be brought in over a period of months or even years.
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