Most people spend an incredible amount of time and money decorating the inside of their homes. Oftentimes, though, that painstaking care taken on the interior isn’t carried over to the exterior. Perhaps a stunning renovation is hidden behind a generic lawn-and-hedges combo, with maybe a few simple flowerbeds on the outside.
Want to know the way to really get your home to pop? It’s by continuing your decorating flair into the yard. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or total newbie, creating a unique and enticing garden is totally doable and certainly enjoyable. With a little sweat equity and a lot of dirt, your outdoor space can become as beautiful and reflective of your distinct style and personality as the inside. Here’s how, in five simple steps.
Step One: Assess
The first thing to do is to figure out what already exists in your yard. Take pictures to use as a visual reminder. Then, plot out a general sketch of your space with a pen and paper.
Note where plants that you enjoy the smell, texture, or look of are located. Draw these in on your sketch. These are the keepers!
Next, identify areas that are overgrown, are overrun with weeds, or feature other undesirable growth. Mark your sketch to indicate that you want cut these back, remove, and possibly replace these with more aesthetically pleasing to you. These go into your “get rid of” pile.
Finally, look into the types of plants and flowers that grow best in your particular climate and soil type. Determine how much sun each part of your yard gets. Notice if there are areas where water pools after a storm, or those that are particularly hot or dry. Use these observations when deciding which foliage will best thrive in your garden and where.
Step Two: Do Your Research
Are you an English Garden fanatic? Or is country charm more your vibe? Perhaps you’re more zen than formal. Whatever your style, you won’t have to look any further than the Internet for inspiration. Do some serious searching Pinterest, Houzz, or Google. Before long, you’ll become an expert on which design, special features, and planting ideas match your dream garden.
Try to ascertain what you like about each of the photos of the gardens you aspire to emulate. Is it the color of the blooms? The way flowerbeds are arranged throughout the yard? How the pretty plants will also make a great salad, or attract a certain type of bird or bees? The formality or informality of the yard?
Use the answers to start determining what you want your garden design to look like. Note the types of plantings, furniture, and focal points that will allow you to achieve your goals. And the go for it!
Step Three: Determine Your Goals
Next you want to ask yourself what your biggest hope for your newly designed garden is.
If it’s to spend time outside with your family, consider incorporating a comfortable seating arrangement and perhaps barbecue area or fire pit to sit around and roast marshmallows together. Creating a shared space to hang out in among your plants and flowers is the key here.
If it’s to create an oasis in which to relax, you’ll want to choose a visually soothing and sweet smelling palette for your plantings. Be sure and save room for calming features such as a water fountain, artificial stream, or small fish pond. Check the offers provided by companies like Living Water Aeration for all the possible options. Top it all off with a comfortable lounge chair, swing bed, or sectional to cozy up in and enjoy.
Perhaps your goal is to grow your own food. In that case, great. Vegetable gardens and fruit trees not only add vibrant color to a garden, but they become a healthy part of your diet and help you save on groceries as well.
Use your answer to move forward with your plan.
Step Four: Make Your Choices
Now that you’ve identified your objectives, challenges, and existing resources, it’s time to have some real fun. Start picking the plants you want to incorporate in your dream garden, indicating on your original sketch where you might want each to go in the yard. Make sure to stick with a limited color palette rather than going for all-out rainbow of a garden that ends up looking haphazard and unplanned.
Equally important is to vary height, textures, and bloom times of your plantings. By creating unity and harmony in your design, you’ll strike a visual theme that captivates the eye. For instance, you might use cylindrical ceramic planters as an ongoing theme, a specific color, or particular plants that attract certain butterflies or birds as a theme.
Most of all, just have fun with it! There’s nothing more satisfying that seeing your vision go from paper sketch into full bloom. Choosing carefully and wisely now will pay off for years to come in your garden.
Step Five: Dig It
And now for the moment you’ve been planning so carefully for: The creation of your amazing new garden space. Once you’ve purchased the plants and flowers you want to see growing in your yard, it’s time to get dirty. Dig up and clear out any unwanted foliage. Clear and rake the spaces where new plantings will go. And the dig, plant, water, and voila! Let the sun, earth, and seeds will do their thing.
Sprucing up your outside space will do wonders for your home value, curb appeal, and enjoyment of your yard. So start planning your dream garden today. Bloom where you’re planted!