Having a large outdoor space is a major draw for many prospective homeowners. But a lush yard is only as good as its caretaker. So if you’re not willing to put in the time or money required to maintain a large space, what’s the point of having it? A large, dead lawn is even worse than no lawn at all. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get the beautiful, lush landscape you want. But it will take some effort. Here are just a few tips that could help you to make your yard into the outdoor oasis you’re looking for.
- Variety. It’s commonly called the spice of life, and when it comes to landscaping, you’ll need it if you want your yard to provide and maintain visual appeal. The variety of plant life you choose to include in your yard should take several factors into account, including both horizontal and vertical space, changing seasons, and the combination of colors, textures, density of foliage, and so on. You may also want to account for shade, some level of privacy screening, and potentially even blocking noise. Believe it or not, all of these objectives can be accomplished through the variety of plants you select.
- Native plants. You have no shortage of options when it comes to choosing plants for your landscape. But before you go hog wild and fill your yard with exotic species, you might want to think about two things: the impact they’ll have on the ecosystem you’re introducing them into and the impact they’ll have on your pocketbook. For one thing, non-native species have the potential to spread unhindered if they have no natural predators. They can choke out other plant life in your yard and even spread to neighboring yards. In addition, they can not only be expensive to purchase up front, but they could require more water, food, and care to sustain, costing you more for maintenance down the line than native species. It’s just something to consider.
- Hydration. If you live in a wet climate, you might not have to worry about the expense of watering your lawn. But if natural water sources are a bit sparer in your area, this can definitely become a concern. For this reason you might want to consider a couple of options to lower your water bill while still maintaining your greenery. Drought-resistant plants are a good place to start, and you can even find some lovely grasses that require little watering to remain lush. But you might also want to consider installing some kind of cistern to collect rainwater. That way any rainfall you do get can be stored to water your lawn during dryer months, helping to cut your costs.
- Non-plant additions. You can certainly fill every available space with foliage if you so choose, but you could wind up with an overgrown mess that looks more like the Amazon than well-manicured entertaining space. If you want a yard that is not only lush and beautiful, but also practical and usable, you’ll probably want to break up the space with some functional amenities like patios or decking, pathways, and the like. You could also add planter boxes, covered seating areas, a fountain, fencing, and more to make your backyard into a gorgeous outdoor room.
- Hire a professional. Whether your hire a firm like Michael Hatcher & Associates to handle the layout and design of your yard and install the lush greenery you crave or you contract with a gardening crew to keep your yard looking fresh and vibrant year-round (or both), having a professional on your side can free you from the burden of planning and upkeep associated with having an award-winning yard. Of course, it’s going to cost you. But you’ll simply have to decide whether you want to put in the time or the money to achieve your goal of a picture-perfect backyard.