Curb appeal, does your home have it? Your front yard is your signature, your calling card, your badge of honor, or dishonor. What does your front yard say about you? With the right trees, shrubbery, plants, rocks, and pottery, you can turn your front yard into a picturesque and envious showpiece. So how can we transform our yard from uninspiring and weed bearing to breathtaking and eye-catching?
Determine your ability. First, you have to determine if the changes you want to make are within your skill or energy level. Removing grass, dead trees, and old stonework is laborious, so you may have to bring in the pros who have the equipment to get it done quickly and efficiently. Also, are you familiar with different soil types for various plants? Do your research before buying a bunch of plants and plopping them in the ground. You can always get advice from your local greenhouse.
Determine how much needs to be done. Reflective on the current condition of your yard and your desired results, your style may determine how much you are able to accomplish on your own. Adding new flower beds or a border, or trying new plants may be all the tweaking you need. These simple changes can still maximize your existing yard elements and lend themselves to do-it-yourself landscaping.
Figure out your style. The color and architectural style of your home is a good place to glean inspiration. For example, a Victorian home lends itself to a formal garden. But, this should not stop you from creating a zen oasis if that’s what resonates with you. Or perhaps you’re drawn to a Tuscan theme or want a Xeriscape landscape. Once you choose a landscape style, be detailed oriented, for what is neglected or ignored will invariably become an eyesore.
Have fun designing. Remember our yards are express how we feel, so we are the artist of our landscape canvas. Play up the casual elements of your home. Don’t be afraid to explore meandering paths, lush and colorful plants, and a bit of whimsy if they fit. Utilize climbing floral plants and colorful vines to soften the look of your home and integrate it into the landscape.
Create a mood. All landscape designs create a mood and influence our senses. Observe your home and decide what feeling you want to create. You can go bold, vibrant and flamboyant or feature plants that are cozy, whimsical, and intimate.
Incorporate materials. If you have brick or a stone facade on your home, you can incorporate the same material in your landscape. You can also use the same siding on garden sheds, hose covers, a dog house, or architectural accent on your gate or fence.
Don’t be impulsive. How many times have you gone to a garden center and be enthralled with a piece, only to have it end up as clutter because it doesn’t fit in with your theme? Before you buy, evaluate what’s a good fit for your theme and your budget. Plus, determine if it’s easy to install, upkeep and maintain on your own. An example would be bricks, pavers, flagstones, and rocks. If you’re familiar with placing these landscape materials, hire an expert so it’s done correctly.
Stick to your budget. Once you’ve got a design planned out, put numbers to it so you know what your budget will be this and the following years to come. If your design is expensive, break it down into doable pieces spread out over a few years. Be realistic and start with the basic design and build from there.