Monthly Archives: July 2012
If you can’t afford a professional landscaper or if you just want to do everything yourself, you should learn how to landscape. It might seem like everything will develop naturally while working on your yard, but that’s not true. You need to know the basics, and the important tips for keeping your place functional and beautiful. It is also important for keeping the costs low.
Start by learning about soil. If your soil is no good, you can’t expect to get great results from your plants. Then read about plants- which ones do well in your region, which ones need shade or sunshine, etc. Your local nursery can also help you make the right decisions about plants. Other things you might want to consider are raised beds, fountains, play areas for kids, ponds, vegetable gardens, pergolas, walkways, fences, gazebos, entertaining areas, etc. If you are going to use some of these, it’s a good idea to use a special software program to help you out for designing and planning.
Keep in mind that plants have different speeds and patterns in growth, and many of them also change during different seasons. So try to visualize your yard in its future state- how it will look next season and next year. Keep in mind, too that some plant can negatively affect the growth of others with their roots. Some plants need to be placed far apart from each other. But most important of all, if you are going to work on your yard, you should be ready to spend lots of time outdoors, doing physically challenging work.
Urban life is not so easy, but having a satisfying landscape design can help you forget the worries of the day. However, there are a few mistakes that are seen quite frequently, and it is a good idea to check them out in order not to do it again. It is important to spend some time to learn about landscape design, because the more you get familiar with the subject, the more you will do things correctly. This will eliminate unpleasant surprises after the designing and construction phases.
One of the most common mistakes is keeping certain spaces too small. For instance, even in large outdoor spaces, some people keep the walkways, gates, patios too small. When you are calculating the area needed for your table and chairs, keep in mind that people will need extra space when they slide their chairs back. A walkway should be large enough not only for a person, but for a wheelchair or garbage can too.
Another mistake is not connecting the indoors with the outdoors. Those who design their outdoors successfully, as a visual extension of the rooms, make the whole seem larger. In order to “connect”, carry the colors, styles and textures of your indoors to the threshold to the outdoors. Make the transition point almost disappear when you open the wide doors.
Designing in separate pieces can also turn out to be a big mistake. If there is one person working on your pool area, another on the walkways, and another on the plants, you might end up having a place where nothing matches the other elements. So try to prepare the project as a whole, and make sure people are aware of what you want and how one aspect will affect the others.
Outdoor landscaping for small areas means making the most out of a limited space, and also trying to make it seem larger than it is. One of the best ideas is to use color effectively. Here’s a simple trick: place bright colors on a spot where you will view them. They will catch your attention immediately, and the rest of the area behind will seem to recede, so it will feel larger than it is.
Give your small yard a grand feel by adding a high pergola, or a high tree. Also use straight long lines for an illusion of a large space. This can be done with the trees, the fences and other decorative elements. Another good idea is to add an object of interest. An interesting water feature, a colorful paving can draw all the attention to itself, so people won’t realize how small the area actually is. If you don’t have privacy concerns, don’t use too many shrubs and trees on the borders of your yard. This way, you will be able to see the neighbors’ yards too, and this will elongate the open space, avoiding the crowded feeling.
Another good idea is to use a focal point, like a statue or a colorful container. You will be able to draw the attention to this spot, and the small space will feel tidy. Don’t fill your space with large outdoor furniture, and leave some empty space for people to walk by and for children to play.