Landscaping is an art that makes use of the medium of nature. The landscaper’s palette includes trees, shrubs, flowers, stones and groundcover.
You do not have to be a professional landscaper, and you do not have to have an artistic knack to beautify your outdoor space. Keep these five essential beginner landscaping ideas in mind, and get started making your outdoor area a place in which you want to linger.
1) Consider Your Needs Before Your Wants
First, consider what you need from your outdoor space. If you have children, will you need play sets such as swings, slides or jungle gyms? Are you planning to install a pool, or do you already have one? Do not forget about the family pets, some of whom may spend a good deal of warm-weather days enjoying the outdoors.
Keep in mind who uses the outdoor space and how they use it. Then figure out how to incorporate those things you want from your landscape into your plans.
Other essential needs to consider are the actual amount of space you have. If you live in a planned unit development or condominium, you do not have to give up your dream of improving any outdoor space that belongs to you. Just adapt your plans to the space you have.
Also, consider the kind of weather your home and yard have to put up with throughout the year. For hot climates, drought-tolerant plants and grasses, as well as gravel can make saving water and money an added boost to your new landscape. Or, if you live in a climate where snow and rain are common, you may want to consider adding groundcover in the form of mulch or gravel to various spots in your yard to keep mud from being tracked indoors.
These are just a few pointers to get you started thinking about what you need from a landscape before you delve into what you want from it.
2) Determine Your Budget
You do not have to go all-out and splurge on your landscape. In fact, since you are a beginner you may want to avoid doing this at all. Plants look different when grouped together in your yard or outdoor area and may change more than you thought after a few months as they fill out.
Have a general budget in mind, but try starting out slow for the first time. You can always add new plants and landscaping features to your yard as you get more adept at landscaping. Remember, trying to take an element, like a full-grown tree or pond feature out is not as easy, or as cheap, as you would expect.
3) Variety Is the Spice of Landscaping
Work to have your trees, plants and flower add dimension and visual appeal by arranging them in strategic ways. Add a circle of impatiens around a favorite tree, or have taller grasses planted in front of a row of trees in your yard. Adding smaller plants in front of taller plants creates more dimension.
Color is important as well. Which flowers will you have blooming during the spring Will you need to replant them each year, and do you want to have this flexibility?
The variety of shrubs and trees you have will also be key in attracting various birds or butterflies, which can add even more spice to your outdoor space’s appeal.
Creating borders with the help of small retaining or garden walls is another way to add visual impact to your landscape. You can hide a vegetable garden by segmenting it off with a low stone garden wall, or if you prefer, you can accentuate it using that same type of garden border depending on its placement.
If you are living with a small outdoor space and have a limited area with which to work, you can still create visual dimension and appeal by getting creative, recycled planters to hang in a pleasing arrangement on your garden or patio wall. Anything from old mason jars to watering cans can make for a perfect planter for a landscape arrangement you create and hang right outside your door.
4) Be Patient
Be patient with your beginner landscaping ideas. You want to give your plants a chance to grow or fill out for a season or two, before you commit to them or give up on them.
You may decide you have changed your mind halfway into beginning the installation of a deck around your garden. Whatever the case, start your project off with an intent to give everything time to come together.
5) Be Flexible with Beginner Landscaping Ideas
Trees will look different as they mature and as seasons change, so be flexible as well as patient with your landscape. Continue to learn and experiment. Soon, you will become a proud, advanced beginner landscaper.