Landscaping can add thousands of dollars of value to your home according to Cam Merritt, Demand Media. The instant added value grows as the plants grow fuller and mature over time. Plus the true value of landscaping lies in the feelings you get when you pull up to your home. Don’t believe it? An article in Miller-McCune mentioned several research studies related to the positive impact of nature. Having plants, going for walks in the park, or even looking at landscapes could produce psychological benefits, reduce stress and improve concentration.
Year after year, home owners spend multi-billions of dollars creating beautiful escapes right in their own properties. Whether you or company, the front of your home is the first to greet you or guests. And your back yard is a get away from the outside world. All this comes at an affordable to a national debt price. So if you don’t have your own nation of tax payers to pay for your every whim and fancy, let’s start small.
One of the easiest ways to dress up your yard is adding mulch. Adding about a 4 inch layer of mulch around tree bases, or your flower beds to help control weeds. Plus mulch keeps moisture from evaporating. As mulch breaks down it makes a healthier soil that will translate into healthier plants. The preferred mulch depends on how and where you intend to use. Shredded bark or mini-chips are used for walking paths, compacting well and make for level footing. Around trees or shrubs where people won’t be walking, larger size bark nuggets can last for years. In warmer areas, inorganic mulches (stone or volcanic rock) keep the ground cooler. When adding another layer, never get to deep as to hamper air flow and moisture to the plants.
When home owners begin to look at landscaping, often they over look the Hardscape elements. (walkways, paths, decks, fences, patios and buildings) Hardscaping is any non-living part of the landscape. Beyond the normal repairing and painting of wood or metal pieces, note what has to be done to concrete or stone surfaces. A simple cleaning and edging can make a world of difference. If your yard is large, adding another path made with mulch, bark chips or stone will break up a large lawn. Paths that curve to a corner garden or park bench gives an estate feel.
Add a decorate fence or trellis to hide unsightly views. (garbage cans, mulch piles, neighbors) Planting climbing vines, flowers or even edible plants create even softer looks. Stone walls give more of a harder dimensional look adding levels to a normally flat area.
Don’t forget about gazebos. Most people believe that a gazebo is some huge structure. Today’s homeowners simply have to drive over to the local Do-It-Yourself store. Most difficult part of these kits may come down to which one to buy. Instructions have been written to be clear and designed to be easily assembled in less than a day. With screening, you have an extra room to enjoy those summer nights.
Have you ever driven past a house during the day only to think nothing of it? Later, after dark, see it lit up and say WOW! Landscaping lights can make a night and day difference. ( Sorry, just couldn’t resist) If you were thinking of lighting, first ask yourself “what do I want to accomplish?” A soft romantic mood. High light a fountain, part of your home or something specific in your garden. Maybe just to accent a path or walk. Not to mention the security aspects. Crooks love shadows. As you begin to focus on the things to be lit, types of light, color and spacing will take shape. There’s a great variety of 12 Volt lighting systems to give DIYers the chance to add lighting without the costs of an electrician.
As you create a planting plan, keep it simple. Look around your neighbor hood to get ideas of what mature gardens will look like. You may want to also consider seasonal flowers. If you like fresh flowers, plant flowering plants for each season. Layers of flowers or ground cover. Trees or shrubs. The good news is it doesn’t have to be done all at once. You can start with a tree and a couple of plants. The next year, some bushes. As your project gets going, it may even change from the original plan. A special note on trees and to some extent bushes: Think Ahead! Trees and bushes are excellent additions to any landscaping project but they are the hardest to change. A tree which is a great accent when it’s 4 foot tall can completely eliminate the view you were trying to promote as it grows. Bushes can over grow walks and paths. When choosing, pay careful attention to growing heights and spans. Trees planted to close to the house can grow to destroy gutters and roof shingles.
The personal touches. Yep! Nomes, globes, metal animal shapes, even wind chimes gives that personal touch. Whether plastic birds or rocks with funny saying, all these are your signature to your artwork.
Lastly, don’t forget the yard furniture, lounges, chairs and patio table set. Why would you want to put all the effort in if you and your friends can’t enjoy it? Sit back, take a long cool sip and enjoy!