April is Lawn and Garden Month! It’s one of our favorite times of year to discuss how decks, railings, lawns, gardens, gazebos, pergolas, arbors, etc. can all work together to create a great backyard for your family and friends to enjoy. Let’s dig in to a few design ideas and tips worth trying this spring season.
Plan it Out Even if You Aren’t Doing it All at Once
Don’t have a budget to do everything on your lawn and garden list? No problem! You can still create a cohesive design throughout your yard by planning ahead. All too often we do projects one at a time without a clear idea of how everything will fit together in the end. Before beginning this year’s projects make a master plan for your exterior. The most important element is the style/look/theme that you want to incorporate in your yard. This can guide your project decisions and ensure that it all comes together even if it takes years to get everything done.
Stone Age Inspiration
In Central Texas we’re already big fans of stone exteriors and design elements. This year natural stone is one of the hottest landscaping materials on the market. It can be used to create recess walls, paths, raised garden beds, pond surrounds and even added on decks and gazebos to add a visual element or makeshift seating.
Low Maintenance and Low Water Consumption
During this wet fall and winter water conservation was the last thing on people’s minds. But as we inch closer to the dry summer months, homeowners are becoming more concerned with choosing landscaping that limits water consumption. It’s a big factor for green design as it helps conserve a limited resource and cuts down on monthly utility costs. Lawn and garden features worth trying include grasses that don’t need much water like hybrid pennisetum, succulent gardens, rain barrels, mulch and more.
Use Your Environment as Inspiration
A growing trend is to use the natural environment as a design factor instead of trying to crowbar in landscaping and features no matter what you’ve already got going on in your backyard. Things to consider when using your environment to design an outdoor space include:
- The microclimates – even a small backyard has variation in sunlight, shade, slope, drainage, etc.
- Native plants – these are the ones that grow naturally and require less maintenance to grow.
- Soil – not just the type, but also the slope or grade which can come into play when building structures.
Rather than working against what nature has given you consider how you can incorporate exterior additions into what’s already there. One of the latest trends in natural exteriors is for the kids. More and more people are ditching the plastic playscapes and are instead creating natural exploratory places for kids to play in.
Maybe it’s the go local movement, but professional landscapers have seen a serious increase in garden interest over the last few years. Not only are gardens a great way to provide nutritious food for your family, but they can also be a beautiful design element that is worked into the entire yard.
Hanging planters can be draped from railings, potted plants like tomatoes can be added to decks and patios, raised garden beds can create a decorative perimeter around the yard and traditional gardens can add intrigue around any exterior structure. You can even use gardening as design inspiration by using watering cans, spades and more to decorate around the deck, pergola, outside seating areas, etc.
Image Source: flickr.com/photos/nationalgardenclubs/8051777916