5 Quick Tips On How To Landscape Your Yard
3-Minute ReadPUBLISHED: July 19, 2020 | UPDATED: April 12, 2022
Learning how to landscape your backyard is easier than it seems. In fact, mastering the art of landscaping for beginners just takes minutes. Let’s take a closer look at basic landscape design and how to plan your next home landscaping project.
1. Start With Landscape Design
If you’re wondering how to landscape your backyard, it helps to start by thinking of it as extension of your home. Design and decorate your yard in the same fashion as you might a room of your house.
First, consider what you and your family will use your outdoor areas for. For example, do you wish to grill on a beautiful deck, gather with friends and family on a patio or start a garden to grow your own vegetables and herbs? Or would you prefer to build a play area for your kids, a sunny spot to recline on a summer’s day or several beds for your favorite flowers?
Once you’ve got a guiding set of needs and organizing principles, you can begin roughing out sketches of what your dream backyard looks like. This can take the form of a basic landscape design sketch that focuses more on general ideas and concepts than specific plants and decorations. At this stage, your goal is to create a guiding vision for how to plan your landscaping with minimum of time and effort, leaving yourself room to get creative with specifics later.
2. Adapt To Your Space
Next, take some time to get familiar with the finer details of your backyard and how they’ll impact your design choices. That means considering factors like sunlight, weather patterns, wind and the characteristics of the land that you wish to give a makeover. Decks, patios, gazebos and other gathering areas can often benefit from added sunlight, for instance, but not on a scorching hot summer’s day. Likewise, areas where water tends to collect or wind whistles by wouldn’t be a good spot to place delicate decorations and plants, a fire pit or your prized collection of petunias.
This means spending more time outdoors and keeping an observant eye out for the particulars of your backyard. As you go about the process – which may take a few weeks or months to complete – stop and think about how the design choices you’re considering align with what you’re experiencing. A little upfront planning can help you avoid hiccups on the back end and optimize the positioning and layout of your landscape design so you can enjoy it to the fullest in any season.
3. Think Big, Start Small
Naturally, it’s important to have a big-picture vision for how you should landscape your yard. If you’re working with a limited amount of time and money, it’s also important to consider breaking your master plan up into smaller milestones that can help you complete the project in phases.
Rather than attempt to do everything at once, split up tasks over time so you don’t find yourself tempted to take shortcuts or rush to tick details off your list at the expense of thoughtfulness. Giving yourself a little breathing room and time to weigh the impact of each phase of your landscaping project can mean the difference between a good or great design in the end.
If you'd like to accomplish your landscaping in all one go, take into account financing options. Big-picture tools like a personal loan can help you get a lump sum of money today, repaying back in manageable, monthly installments. That way, you can simply take care of your backyard sooner and enjoy everything that it has to offer.
4. Experiment With Size, Shape And Color
Balance and repetition are well and good when planning a basic landscape design, but you also want to give creations a sense of scale, texture and pacing. As you go about plotting your plantings, make a point to vary the size, shape and color of flower beds and to contemplate how they should both blend together and offset one another.
You’ll also want to think about incorporating singular elements (bird baths, art installations, etc.) throughout areas of your backyard and where they should be placed to boot. Finally, don’t forget to consider the flow of your backyard and how you’ll traverse it. That way, you’ll know where to place pathways for optimum ease of use and visual effect.
5. Don’t Forget To Get Creative
Of course, the most important part of how to landscape your backyard is finding creative ways to make everything come together! As you go about weighing which approach to take, here are a few simple tips and tricks that can help you liven up even a basic landscape design:
- Design your backyard around one or more visual focal points that draw the eye to notable landscape elements.
- Install highlights that stand out in each of the four seasons, such as planting trees that flower in spring and summer, and foliage that remains verdant in fall or winter.
- Layer flower beds in rows stacked by height – short in front, middle in center, tall in back – to provide texture and pattern.
- Install fountains, basins and other water features or sculptured decorations to provide a counterpoint to natural elements.
- Match the types of flowers that you plan on growing to the light and soil of the landscape and area in which they’ll be growing.
- Mix annual plants and flowers alongside seasonal plants and flowers to help ensure that there’s always color present within your yard.
How To Plan Your Landscaping
You have countless choices when considering how you should landscape your backyard. But a few simple guiding principles can help you create a stunning backdrop to any home. Don’t be afraid to try something new and clever here either. After all, the more original your backyard landscape design, the more it’s guaranteed to stand out.
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