Your backyard is this huge unused potential that you can use to drastically increase the value of the property. It is also a place you can turn into herbs and vegetable gardens in order to supply your kitchen with organic and fresh ingredients, or an area you can turn into a playground for your kids.
As we said, it is a huge potential, and what you make out of it is completely up to you. Now, there’s a difficult choice ahead of you, and the way in which you approach the planning stage may determine how you handle this situation as a whole.
Here are several important things to consider when planning your landscape design.
Start With Site Analysis
Before you start planning any changes, you need to accurately assess your starting point. This is possible only through site analysis. For starters, you need to start with the basics – the shape and size of the area. If there are any distinctive features (immovable obstacles, slopes, peaks, etc.), make sure to note them down.
The analysis of the soil is your next step. This will determine the ideal shrubbery and plants that you should go for. For this, you will have to take a sample to analyze and wait for the results, so start in time. Next, make sure that you analyze the drainage and test the soil for moisture. Different plants have different water needs, and this is something you’ll have to work with.
Other important items on this list are the sun and the shade on the landscape. While some of these can be moved or changed, this will mostly be determined by the position of your property, your home, and other structures. While you’re at it, you should also consider the wind (both on your property and your region, in general). Sometimes, a fence, a hedge, or even a tree can drastically change the situation.
Finally, you should take a closer look at your current resources. Some of these elements can be reshaped or reused, while the rest will have to go. This will help you unburden your landscaping budget a bit.
While landscaping isn’t necessarily about functionality, this is definitely a choice that you should make when presented with the option. The best part is that you don’t really have to choose between functional and beautiful. In fact, these two often go hand in hand.
For instance, a classic stone fire pit will add a great deal of elegance to your backyard area, but they also provide illumination for evening gatherings. They are also a place where kids can roast marshmallows.
The same goes for your lawn. A huge lawn is beautiful, but it takes a lot of maintenance. Splitting it with a garden pathway is a smart and elegant way to reduce the area you have to mow and make the foot traffic simpler (not to mention cleaner). Raised garden beds are another element that is functional and aesthetic at the same time.
Adding shade to your outdoor seating area will give you a chance to use the place even when it rains and during the summer heat. It also ensures that you have fewer leaves to rake from the seating area. Not to mention that it will give you a massive boost to the overall resale value of the area.
Set a Top Priority
What are you trying to achieve by creating this garden? Try to be as honest as possible when answering the following questions.
- Do you want it to boost the value of the property?
- Are your intentions to make a safe place for your kids to play?
- Do you plan to spend a lot of time there (even greet guests in your garden)?
- How pet-friendly do you want to make the place?
- Will you be constructing a pool there in the future?
- Is there room for a patio?
- Do you even want a patio?
The truth is that you can have it all but, it depends on your budget and the available space on your property. When answering these questions, you should also rearrange their order from the highest to the lowest priority. This will allow you to… well, prioritize if you find yourself in a situation where having it all is not realistic. Even if you plan to have it all in the future, which of these elements is of the greatest urgency?
Setting a top priority will help you get a completely new perspective on what your future course of action should be.
Make the Area Self-Sustaining
Your immediate objective should be to make the area self-sustaining to make your gardening work a lot easier. Now, the simplest way to achieve this is to focus on local plant life. These are the plants that are adjusted to the local conditions. This means that they’ll get enough water and sun and be exposed to the optimal temperature without any active effort on your part.
Another way to make this somewhat easier is to engage in the act of companion planting. Some plants are just better together. For instance, one plant may have an odor that repels the bugs, which endangers the other plant, etc. Even when it comes to insects and arachnoids, not all are enemies to the plants that you intend to enrich your garden with.
As you can see, making a self-sustaining garden requires a lot of knowledge and strategy. However, the more efficient you are in the planning stage and the more time you spend preparing, the less work you’ll have around maintenance.
At the end of the day, planning your landscape design is a huge issue that will determine the looks, functionality, and value of your entire property. Therefore, it is vital that you do your research, analyze your own property and resources, as well as set your priorities straight. Consulting a professional might not be a bad idea either, seeing as how there are quite a few nuances here that you shouldn’t neglect.