Sprucing up your space.
Everyone wants an outdoor space that their friends, family, and neighbors will aspire to have. A gorgeous backyard becomes the host of all the parties, gatherings, and late-night stargazing activities. But creating the ultimate garden can be a bit tricky, it involves a lot of thought, as well as the right materials, the right plants, and a keen eye for design.
There is much you can do, no matter what your budget is. You could simply do some rearranging of what you already have. However, if you are feeling like your backyard needs a hardcore makeover, you can throw out the old and bring in the new, starting back out from scratch. To do this you will need some tools to get you started, for materials you will likely need a spade, shovels, towels, and certainly a wheelbarrow or two. Find more here about what you need to get you started.
Consider what you want.
Before you get started, consider what you want. You need to visualize what you are going to do with your space, so you can collect the right materials, plants, and tools needed to do the job. If you are going to completely reinvigorate your backyard, then winter is the time to do the hard work, but the summer months are a good time to analyze the space you have available.
It is key to plan ahead so that you can get the most out of your backyard.
Start with a clean slate.
In the case that you want to reinvigorate your backyard, start anew. Give your outdoor surfaces a good wash, power wash your decks or patios. Sweep and scrub to spot treat especially dirty areas. Decide if these areas need refinishing.
Now you want to tackle the rest of the space, if anything needs uprooting, get to it. If you have any artificial grass to get rid of, take that up, so you can see what you are dealing with underneath. Take away the things you know you do not want, so you have a clean slate to work with. This is a good time to kill any weeds or pests. Get some waste bags out and throw out all you do not need for your new backyard vision.
Do you want outdoor seating?
If you do not have outdoor seating, now is the time to decide if you want to have that. You could incorporate a fire pit, a patio, decking, etc. If you want to incorporate this, mark out the area, so you know what you need. Gather measurements and think up your design. Unless you feel confident, you may need professional help to install decking and patio. But you can decide on the style and color scheme for your outdoor seating area now. It is often best if it suits your indoor theme as well, so there is a flow through the property.
If you have outdoor seating you may want a covering too, a trellis, a gazebo, or such that will keep the area shaded and away from the elements.
Hard landscaping vs soft landscaping.
Hard landscaping are the structural features, paths, decks, walls, patios, edging, raised beds, and so on. You may need the assistance of professionals to install these.
If you want to input hard landscaping then consider the style, it should usually be consistent throughout the garden to flow. You could choose wood, stone, or brick for this. It depends on if you are looking for something contemporary or traditional. Aside from the style, consider the durability and maintenance of the materials you choose. A non-durable one may look better than a durable one, but not for long.
Soft landscaping is the life around the hard, the plants, trees, and so on. You will likely have an idea of the natural features you want, the flowers, bushes, plants, and trees, perhaps a water feature. However, ensure that the hard landscaping and soft landscaping are balanced to your home. If there are large trees around the boundary of your home or a big open view, then the scale will make narrow paths and small plants look insignificant, so consider this as you set up your backyard.
Planting, beds, turf, etc.
As you add in the natural features of your backyard, do not be afraid to play around with your ideas. Potted plants on patios or decking can create a wonderful aesthetic, as well as birdbaths, and water features.
Line your pathways with luscious full bushes, or bright and majestic flowers. It is up to you if you choose perennial plants, however, a plant that lasts all year round will give your garden the permanent glamour factor.
You should choose variety, a mixture of flowers, plants, trees, and shrubs will provide your yard with a regal element, and feel more peaceful. Variety also offers the safety that if some of your plants are seasonal, others will live year-round, and your garden will continue to look wonderful whatever the season. However, remember to choose your plant life depending on the local climate, the soil in your yard, and the size. If you have a small yard, a willow tree will look beautiful, but everything around it will live in its shadow.
Also, be aware of aspects when you plant. This means if you have a tree or shrub that casts shade on a part of the border. It may be a large herbaceous plant that may cast much shade in the summer but none when dormant in winter. Try to plant according to not only the aforementioned factors but also to the plant compatibility with one another.
Also, consider drainage. If you live in an area with much rain, you want to select soil that has good drainage, you should test the soil before you plant. If the soil does not have good drainage, consider what you can do to get around this.
Why not add a kitchen garden?
While beautiful flowers, trees, and shrubs look wonderful, you can always do more, why not corner off a second of your yard for a kitchen garden, plant fruits, and vegetables, or even herbs. Not only do having these plants around provide you with your own source of food, saving you money, but they also come with a sense of achievement. Nothing feels quite so great as when you see your first bean appearing on a plant you have nurtured for months.
Add some vertical elements.
While it may not seem so, verticals are very important in backyard designing, they bring interest. Without them, your yard can seem flat. Verticals can stimulate the eye, mind, and curiosity, and have the ability to make your backyard feel even larger.
Incorporate arches, trees, a living wall trellis with climbers, arbors, or a pergola even. A pergola can create a point of interest and a wonderful seating or dining area, and encouraging plants to grow on it will make it all that much more magical.
Style on a budget.
If you are on a budget, do not be afraid to be your own designer and contractor. However, only stay within your own abilities. Take on what you know you can do, and make mistakes you know won’t cost you a fortune to fix. Work meticulously to ensure your work goes to plan.
When seeking cheaper materials, consider things such as bricks and sand for patios, or gravel instead of paving. Using your imagination and creativity is the best way to set up your backyard on a budget, and often, it is these that look the best.