Making Your Yard Part of Your HomeExpand your home into your yard with creative landscaping.
Your yard can be more than just empty space, it can become a
central part of your home and landscaping can make that
This doesn’t have to be a grueling or expensive
venture on your part, just so you apply some of these
First, determine what your yard is primarily used for.
Is it a place for the kids to play, somewhere to hang the
laundry out to dry, or do you see it as a place to ease away
the tensions of the day?
The answers to these questions will
help determine what kind of work needs to be done before you
Another useful tip - determine
how your landscaping can help with energy costs. You may not know
it but trees and shrubs can help you cut down on your heating and
For example – trees planted on the south and west can help with
shading your house, which helps cut down on air conditioning. If
these trees are the kind that shed their leaves (deciduous trees)
during the fall, it will allow more light into the house during
the winter when it’s most needed. Shrubs planted a few feet away
from the foundation also help keep the warm air in and the cold
out therefore helping with the heating bills.
Hardscape and softscape
Hardscape refers to the “non-plant” parts of your garden (deck,
patio, statues, fountains, steps, walls, etc.)
Softscape refers to the
plants and the lawn.
If you’re just starting out, lay out the hardscape first before
you work with the plants. This way, the plants aren’t in the way
when you’re installing the necessary hardscape materials.
Walls have the option of being treated as hardscape or softscape.
If you want total privacy, you may want to go with a hardscape
wall using materials like wood, vinyl or masonry. Otherwise,
shrubs and trees make for a more natural wall that give a more
open look while still closing the view to other people.
Find a central focus for your yard
This can be anything from a statue, to the play set or even a
single tree. Finding a focus for your landscaping gives you a
point of reference so that you give your design a better sense of
order rather than just having plants scattered everywhere.
These are just some tips to get you started. As you continue
working on your landscaping, you’ll be able to come up with more
ideas that are distinctively yours, making your home as unique as
Tips on How to Landscape Your Backyard
Backyard landscaping is not just positioning plants in your
backyard. Consider it as an art, a masterpiece that shows your
creativity and personality. There are three elements in
landscaping your backyard: structure, area and texture of your
Structure refers to the form of the plant and the arrangement of
the branches. Plants, such as trees, come in different shapes.
This ranges from the hanging form of the white bark willow, to the
stiff form of the Lombardy poplar trees.
The second element of backyard landscaping is the area. This
refers to the visual flow and the arrangement of plants and trees in the
backyard. The movement of the eyes is affected by different
grouping of these elements.
Texture is also an important component of backyard landscaping.
The texture of the plant refers to appearance of the plant as it
is perceived with the other plants surrounding it.
A good example
is the texture of marigolds can be distinguished as rough or
smooth when grouped with other plants.
Knowing that we have defined the elements of backyard landscaping,
you can now begin putting this knowledge to use. Below are more
tips on how you can landscape your backyard.
Make a list of the needed materials and tools to redesign your
backyard. Most importantly, you need to list the plants that you
wish to place in the area. Do not forget to include a list of plants
that you can substitute in case your preferred plants are not
Organize a schedule for the construction process and outline the
process according to priority. Creating a schedule helps you
estimate the time the landscaping process will consume. Most
landscaping projects can be done in a week or two.
Selecting the Plants
Apply what we have learned about the elements of backyard
landscaping. There are many kinds of
plants that work well in a group. The pattern of the plants should
create a 3D effect and should look good from all perspectives.
Remember to be creative. You can use themes on your backyard.
These may involve a country, romantic or tropical theme or others.
Make it work… the Construction Process
Prepare the soil where you're going to place your selected plants. One
method you can use is to create an elevated bed. You can pile
soil or use rocks to do this. Creating an elevated bed also helps
solve the problem of losing excess water when irrigating the
Generally, the best period to plant foliage or trees is during the
months of October and November.
Plants can develop sturdy roots
during the winter season prior to development of other parts
during the spring.
It can take about six months for a shrub
to get established and a year for a tree to become established
Plant balled and
burlapped trees while they are still dormant