Thank goodness the days are gone when only sedate floral gardens and perfect walkways are considered landscaping. A lot of things in between are considered beautiful and in reality, as the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Consider what you and your family like, what you enjoy and what makes you the most happy about the outside world.
Chances are that your answer is going to be the smells, the birds, the wildflowers, the animals, all of which take a little effort and some landscaping tactics to bring into your own backyard. With that in mind, make an effort to plan some cover where the things like birds and chipmunks and other small animals have a place to hide and watch you while you’re watching them.
A few tips to help with beginning landscaping for your own comfort, things we’ve found that have worked well for us in our own landscaping efforts are these:
-Plant native when you can. Native plants will take a lot less effort and will offer a far better return than those which are not native to your area. When you’re considering what to plant where, bear in mind that If you try to plan a maple tree in the desert of New Mexico, it’s probably going to end up requiring some immense effort to live and even then, it may not. Consider instead those plants and flowers that are more closely attuned to the kind of weather, rainfall and climate in which they will be living.
-Plan ahead. Think about what you like most and then plant things that will help you to draw those things into your own yard. If butterflies are your thing, then find out what the butterflies in your area are eating and plant them. If you’d like to have a butterfly garden in your yard, bear in mind that some of those plants will be considered weeds by others and plan a secluded area toward the back where the plants can be permitted to grow well and the butterflies will feel comfortable having eggs as well.
-Find a focal point in your yard. Pick out the one thing that you like best about the yard or garden and then accent it. If that one thing is a rose bush or a single pine tree, take advantage of it. Plant a small patch of flowers beneath the pine tree or aim some subtle lighting toward it.
-These days, garden and yard lighting is subtle, beautiful and easily achieved. In under half an hour you can have outstanding lighting installed simply by taking advantage of solar technology. Good for you, since the lighting bills stay lower, and good for the environment, since you’re making your own energy with the small solar panels in the lights. Give yourself some added beauty by adding solar lights to the yard.
-Don’t expect that it’s all going to be accomplished in a single day or a weekend. Think of your landscaping as an ongoing project that you’re doing to create a beautiful escape for yourself and your family. Pick one thing at a time, and put it into play. Even if that one thing is only a beautiful bird bath under the maple tree, or a trellis to hold up your climbing roses, accomplishing everything at one time isn’t always possible and it makes the gardening more frustrating than fun.
-Pick out a special place in the yard and place some strategically arranged seating there. Even if you have a gorgeous outdoor kitchen, pick a special spot for yourself and someone else to sit back, away from the center of it all, and just look around. A single area just for you, where you are surrounded by the plants and the ornaments that you like best is a great way to start your landscaping project.
To make your garden beautiful is only part of what you’re trying to accomplish with your landscaping efforts. To make it comfortable and a place where you want to spend your time, is the end result that you’re trying to achieve. Make sure that the gardening accomplishes that. Give yourself time to do it and don’t rush the end result.