Ready to roll up your sleeves and get out in the yard? These best home landscaping tips will help you get the most bang for your buck, and help to cut down on the workload. Whether you are just getting your landscaping going at your new home construction or you have some established landscaping that needs some work, following these tips are going to make the process easier.
Landscaping with a purpose is one of the best home landscaping tips there are. You want to get a nice return on your investment dollars, while you get a great space to enjoy. The best home landscaping ideas incorporate both.
Why Every Homeowner Should be Interested In Landscaping
While working out in the yard may not be your idea of a good time, if you own a property, you should develop at least some basic skills in the yard. You can hire
Let’s Start With the Basics
Landscaping should never be willy nilly, you should have a plan in place. Start by determining what your vision is for your outdoor spaces. The best home landscaping ideas will help you to create the outdoor oasis that you envision and add value to your home.
You will want to make a list of the things that you think you can do on your own, and make a list of the things you will need to hire a professional for. Why should you be doing some of the work on your own? To save money. DIY the best home landscaping ideas is usually pretty simple, but it is hard physical labor. It is well worth figuring out how much effort you want to put into the project and how much physical labor you can do on your own because the savings can be substantial.
Doing things like planting flowers that you purchased from the local flower shop, or even trimming the hedges can help to cut down on costs and give you a sense of pride and accomplishment. Of course, equally important is knowing when to call in the professionals.
For example, if your vision includes a custom fencing option, but you do not have the tools, the time, or the skill set to manage it on your own, contact a trusted fencing company to manage that part of the project for you.
The best home landscaping ideas typically require a balance of DIY and professional support to get them done. Once you have your vision, it is time to come up with a realistic budget. Why do you need a budget in mind? So you can tweak your vision if your vision and your budget do not align.
How To Set Up Your Landscaping Budget
Landscaping can up the value of your home by about 14% which is a nice return on your investment. One of the nice things about the best home landscaping ideas is that you do not have to do them all at once which means that you can spread your investment out over time.
For example, this year you can get that fence built and maybe consider having the tree trimming done that needs to be done. Then the other work that you want to do, you can DIY or get it done in phases.
The reason you want to spread out the project is so that you can spread out the cost. Hiring arborists to manage your trees in not greatly expensive, but it is an expense, and if you are working on a shoestring budget you may have to make some decisions about where you will be spending chunks of your budget.
Of course, pruning trees is an important activity that you want to leave up to the professionals to manage, it is not something that you can really cut out of the budget. If you have to set money aside every month for your landscaping dream than you should get the necessities out of the way first.
Professional tree care services, are important not only to the aesthetic of your landscaping but it helps to keep your property safe from falling limbs. It can help to prevent other damage from happening that can be caused by falling branches and limbs.
You can set up your budget to spend X amount of dollars each month on your landscape. For example, one month you get the tree care done, the next month you pay for some pest control services, and the money that is left each month you use to buy shrubs, plants, and other landscape materials.
The best home landscaping ideas are focused on a slow and steady approach to landscaping. In other words, the seed you sow today will be a beautiful plant down the road. Some of the most expensive things on a landscaping list include:
- Plumbing. Having a plumber run outside water lines can get costly, but ultimately it is a cost well worth paying. You cannot beat professional attention when it comes to something as important as outdoor plumbing fixtures.
- Fencing can get costly or so it seems. You can expect your fence to last about a decade or more with little or no maintenance. When you do the math and divide the amount that you will pay for high-quality fences by the number of years that it is expected to last, you can see that per year, it is a pretty low cost.
- Masonry work. Concrete patios, sidewalks, driveways, and other structures can run up your budget, but they can also add a vast improvement to your property.
Things like plants, trees, shrubs, and even lawn maintenance are very affordable. This is why it is recommended that you choose which of the big dollar services you want to do first, pay for them, get them out of the way, and then move on to the less expensive projects.
Plan for Tomorrow
The landscape is something that constantly evolves much like the seasons. When you are coming up with your best home landscaping ideas, consider what your ideas are going to look like year-round. Different plants and other landscape materials change with the seasons.
You have to consider exactly how large that bush will get, or how tall that tree will get, and there are other considerations. Some trees and plants love wet areas while others prefer more arid conditions. Don’t make the mistake of planting a water-loving tree to close to your septic or water lines or you may wind up with tree roots growing into the pipes.
A good example is Weeping Willows. These glorious trees are simply beautiful, however, they do love wet areas, and they have been known to plow through piping to get more a drink than they can find in the soil.
Another good example is any kind of vine. Vines can be prolific when it comes to growth, and unfortunately, many of them can be highly invasive and take over your landscaping pretty quickly. Keep in mind that the sweet vine that you see in the pot today, will likely become rather monstrous after a year or two.
Landscaping usually takes some time to get established as well. You have to be patient. For example, any fruit trees that you plant today will likely not start to produce fruit for anywhere between three and five years.
Patience is truly a virtue when it comes to landscaping. It is a balancing act. You want everything to look great now, but you also want to be able to watch it grow and change. Additionally, buying fully mature plants, trees, and bushes, is actually more expensive than buying the younger ones. Of course, there is a risk that the younger plants will die, but there is always that risk.
Finding the Balance on Which Plants You Choose for Your Landscaping
The best way to think about your landscape is to compare it to making a milkshake. You have to use equal parts of ice cream and milk to get the right consistency. With your landscape, you have to use equal parts of plants, hardscaping, trees, grasses, and walkways to get the right consistency.
When you are choosing plants you want to choose those that “thrill” “spill” and “fill”. What does that mean? Here are some definitions of what to look for in plants that will “thrill”,” spill”, and” fill”::
- Plants that thrill-are plants that are tall, colorful, maybe even exotic. These are eye-catching plants, trees, vines, and bushes. They are the wows in the garden. However, flowers and plants that thrill need to be used sparingly because typically the more vibrant a plant is the harder it is to care for and the fussier it can be.
- Spill – are plants that will grow over containers or “spill” onto walls and walkways. The spill plants can also be ground cover that goes in between other plants. They are usually small stature vine-like plants that are not very aggressive in their growth.
- Fill-fill plants are the plants that grow up unlike the spill plants but they are usually easily contained and they are planted in between other plants hence the term fill.
This landscaping mantra can be used in container plants, raised beds, and throughout your landscaping. When you are choosing plants for your best home landscaping projects, follow the simple guidelines of the thrill, spill, fill rule and you will get professional, balanced, looking results.
Another thing you want to consider when you are deciding which plants are right for your vision is that annuals typically have much more vibrant blooms then perennials but annuals are so named because they usually are only able to make it through one season of growing. Perennials return year after year. Of course, from a financial point of view, the perennials are a much better investment. A good rule of thumb is to mix things up. If you want those vibrant blooms from the annuals, make sure you mix in some perennials which will return next year.
Before You Plant Anything Ask Yourself This Question
The best home landscaping tips require you to be honest with yourself and ask yourself a few very pointed questions. For example, how much time do you really want to spend weeding your gardens? How much time do you want to spend dragging the water hose out and making sure all the plants are getting the water they need?
Do you love the outdoors and take pride in keeping up with the yard? Or are you more of a let’s pour cement everywhere then throw a few evergreens around?
Making decisions about how much work you want to put in for aftercare are very important decisions. The fact is if you are not willing to take care of the landscaping then you will simply be wasting money. Even if you hire a lawn care company, you will still have to throw some water on your plants, especially when they are newly installed.
There is no shame if you are not a fan of caring for plants. The shame would be to try to force yourself to care for plants, then not doing it, and letting the money go to waste. On the upside of things, if you are in that category of “not really wanting to deal with the care”, then you can focus your landscaping choices on native plants which will require much less care.
Other options when you are on the lazy gardener side of the fence include:
- Drought-tolerant varieties
- More hardscape, fewer plants
If you do not love dealing with landscaping chores, that is okay, some of the best home landscaping ideas include things like rock gardens, Japanese Zen gardens, using hardscape materials to create paths, ponds, and more. You do not have to fill your landscape with plants, you can fill it with yard art, and other materials to cut back on the number of plants you have.
The best home landscaping tip is to create a space that reflects your style, and that you are comfortable living with. It does not mean that you have to have a traditional lawn, flower beds, bushes, trees, or anything else that you do not feel comfortable caring for. Know your limitations, budget, plan for the future, and enjoy the process of improving your property.