If you’ve just bought your first home or have been in a property for a while but haven’t known what to do with the outdoor zones, don’t fret. While you might feel like everyone else is a green thumb in your life except you, this is far from the truth. There are lots of people of all ages who don’t have the experience or an interest in gardening.
You can take your limited skills and do something about your home’s landscaping, though. There are numerous tasks to complete over the coming months that don’t require extensive knowledge or ability, or deep pockets, for that matter.
Take Your Time
Firstly, don’t feel rushed about the whole process. It’s wise to create a list of your needs and wants before you even think about digging any holes in your yard or buying plants. For example, do you want a space to entertain outside, or a spot to grow fresh produce? If you have children or pets, do they need specific play spaces to keep them entertained?
Create a list of elements you want to include then take the time to sketch out, roughly, where everything might go. This isn’t about having excellent drawing skills, but about planning, so the whole process is easier, and you get the best results.
Tackle outdoor projects for your property bit by bit. You’ll learn as you go along, so break things down into manageable tasks and complete them on weekends or over a month, building your skills as you go.
Decide on a Focal Point
A tip to consider is that backyards are more “wow” when there’s a focal point to draw the eye. These elements set the tone for the area, control views (taking attention away from nearby eyesores, for example), and add appeal. Create one special factor or a series of small but distinctive focal points.
What you decide on will come down to your particular tastes, the type of property you have, and its layout and location. For instance, you might choose to buy or build a look-at-me sculpture to take center stage or focus on an impressive tree, interesting plant, or a series of shrubs. Other ideas include water features (like a fountain or pool), Zen gardens, stylish outdoor entertaining zones, a rose-covered arbor, or a cascading garden.
Maintain Your Lawn
If you don’t feel like you have a green thumb yet, keep things simple in your outdoor areas. One way to make your yard look better without having to understand all the complexities and trends of landscape design is to pay close attention to your lawn.
Maintain the grass by mowing it regularly, and watering it whenever it needs it. If the leaves are turning up at the edges or looking brown or grayish, this is a sign that more water is required. You’ll need to fertilize the area at least a couple of times per year, too, plus aerate the grass at least annually so more sunlight, water, and feed make it down to the soil.
Plus, if many leaves fall on the grass from trees above or nearby, rake these up ASAP, before they get wet and form a mat that suffocates the lawn. If all of these tasks and the regularity of them sounds like too much for you to handle, consider outsourcing the work. Search online for “lawn care service near me” and hire a specialist who can take care of the lawn maintenance for you over time.
Pay Attention to the Streetscape and Entranceways
Beginners to the landscaping side of homeownership should also pay attention to the streetscape and entranceways to their property. Go to the street or very edge of your backyard and try to look at your yard with fresh eyes. From this distance, what is it that most stands out?
Does there seem to be something missing, when it comes to visual interest, or is there too much greenery near the walkways, with overhanging trees and plants that need cutting back so access to and from the house is easier? Perhaps a fence would finish things off nicely, or you might need more color to add impact near your front door, via some pot plants or an inviting bench.
It might be confronting having to acknowledge what you don’t know when it comes to landscaping and the skills you still need to pick up, but the sooner you start down this road, the better. As you can see from the steps suggested above, there are many tasks even the most inexperienced person can tackle with a little time, effort, and determination.