Private yards make up about 85 million of the households in the U.S. Homes with nice landscaping are considered more valuable than those houses with lackluster lawns. A browse through any home and garden website will showcase lavish and unusual gardens. Nearly all of them are enviable and all of them are likely outside of your estimated budget. That’s okay though, as it is not necessarily piles of money that make a back yard garden lovely and comfortable, but thoughtful details that take into account a few key points. If you should find yourself in the market to renovate your current landscaping design, remember to pay attention to the following: functionality; hardscapes; and maintenance.
Hardscapes: the Other Half of Your Yard.
Usually when someone thinks of updating a garden, they imagine all the flower beds or plots of green grass that could be added. Unless the homeowner has a penchant for rock gardens, it is rare for them to immediately consider how to update the hardscapes. If the term is unfamiliar to you, hardscapes are those outdoor areas that are inorganic, namely the rock and cement pathways and sidewalks. While this area may lack the lush beauty of the plant world, it is an area that can add quite a bit of interest to the outdoor area if it’s properly thought out.
Flowers, trees, shrubbery, and of course soft grass are all beautiful. These are features that certainly add a breath of fresh air to a space. These features also require time, money, and work to flourish. If gardening is your favorite hobby, by all means continue your rewarding hard work. If, however, you enjoy fauna yet are lacking the required green thumb, you’re in luck.
Planning Your Hardscaping: First, Consider Function.
Perhaps the reason the sidewalks and pathways are usually ignored is because they are largely functional. Sidewalks are meant to prevent muddy shoes, while pathways might have a bit more character but are still too often added as an afterthought. This yard feature must by design be durable, which does require some consideration during the planning stage but should not mean all style is immediately thrown out.
When considering functionality, always remember how the space will be used. If you plan to entertain, for example, you’ll want the hardscaping to be large enough to host your guests, or even a table if necessary. Another consideration is the climate in which you live. If your region gets a lot of rain, make sure the hardscaped areas are not excessively slippery when wet.
How Hardscaping Can Help You Achieve a Low-Maintenance Back Yard.
A sprawling bright green lawn is gorgeous. It is also an intense amount of work in terms of upkeep, as many homeowners with a grassy yard spend about four hours each week on maintaining it. You probably assume that you could either undertake this job yourself, or outsource it to a professional. However there is another way. To break out of the trap of having a nice lawn or a sad decrepit one, it all begins with the layout. To put it another way, less grass means less work.
Having lots of greenery isn’t the only way to have an impressive yard. By minimizing the square footage of actual grass, you can then add in other interesting features. Don’t be trapped into believing that all of the hardscapes must be of the same material. You can add in decorative borders, cobblestones, even a small waterfall and rock pond.
We don’t spend enough time in our back yards relaxing. Perhaps, if they looked nicer, we would take the time to do so. If your yard is looking lackluster, consider your options. You might find there is a happy medium between your dream yard and reality.