It’s easy to think about redesigning your home to make it both comfortable and beautiful, but your yard can often be something that is forgotten entirely. This is probably because unless you are in it at the time or you’re a keen landscaper, it’s not something that really feels that urgent. However, a great looking yard can finish your wonderfully designed home off in exactly the right way, just as a poorly kept yard can ruin the entire look of your home even if you have worked incredibly hard inside the property.
It’s important, therefore, to keep your yard tidy and well looked after. You might even want to extend your design ideas outside in which case landscaping will work for you. If that’s the case, there are some things you will definitely need to consider before you get started.
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Think About Your Yard
The best way to start your landscape design thinking is to really get to know your yard. You could sit in front of a laptop or tablet to get fabulous design ideas; you could go to the library to look at gardening books full of hints and tips. Doing these things is fine, and it can be a lot of fun, but it might be a waste of time if you haven’t taken the time to get to know your yard first.
What does that mean? It means looking at the type of soil you have so that you know which plants will flourish and which you should stay away from. It means seeing in which direction the yard is facing in terms of how much sunlight it gets and when. Where are your neighbors? Will whatever you are planning block natural light to their yard or home? Once you know as much about your yard as possible – including, of course, how big it is – you can start really planning.
Who Will Be In The Yard?
How you design your landscaped yard will depend a lot on who will be using it. If you have children, you might need to consider a play area, for example. If you have pets you won’t want to have anywhere that they will dig up once it is all planted – will they, in that case, need to have a separate fenced off area of the yard? What about entertaining? If you love to have people over to your home for barbecues and get-togethers, plastic dock decking could be a great investment as you will always have somewhere dry and safe to sit.
If your yard is big enough, you can create separate spaces for all of these things so that your design ideas don’t have to be compromised. If your yard is smaller, you will need to think about how to best use that space to create the outside area that you want and need in your home.
Will There Be A Theme?
A theme is not strictly necessary when designing a landscaped yard, but it can help to keep things looking like they belong together plus it can stop the excitement of creating something new from running away with you if you are limited by the theme as to what you can buy and include.
Themes don’t have to be complicated or unusual to look great. It could be something as simple as using one shape in your garden for as much as possible or creating something with an Oriental Look to it. You might want to focus on a season or element. If you’re really stuck for a theme,but you know you want one, take a look at your home. Start with the architecture of the building and decide if there is anything there that might be a good basis for a theme (shape or color, for example). Then think about the inside. Is there a color that you use predominantly through the house? Could that be taken outside? Think along these lines and you should be able to come up with something beautiful.
When designing a landscaped yard, it’s a good idea to ensure you link all the different areas together. You can do this literally by installing little pathways that take you from one spot to another,or you can install hedges or cute fences that will keep different spaces separate from one another.
You can also link spaces through your theme so even if you don’t have the room or the inclination to include pathways you can still show the separate elements of your yard to great effect. What you want to achieve from your space is to encourage guests to explore your yard and feel comfortable, happy and welcome there. Make sure you don’t accidentally block areas in or dissuade people from exploring if they want to – the whole point of creating a gorgeous outside space is to have people enjoy it.
What Is The Function Of Your Plants?
Before you start planting, you will need to consider what the function of each plant is. Some plants can be added to bring a specific color or fragrance to the yard. Others will be to fit in with a theme. Others still will be more practical – they will give you fruit or vegetables to eat. Whatever the reason for choosing a particular plant, even if it’s just because it fits perfectly in the space you have created, make sure the plant has a purpose in your finished design before you purchase it.
Getting the right plants for your yard is all important. They make up the basis of your design,and without them, you will simply have a bare lawn which isn’t very interesting (even if it is lush and green and well cared for).
Think Of The Future
Something that many people forget about in the excitement and joy of designing their yards is the months and years ahead. The plants that you are choosing that look so perfect now may no longer look so wonderful when they are fully grown or come into, or out of, bloom. It is important to check how plants grow before you commit to having them in your beautiful yard.
Images from House 01 by ES Arquitetura