The advantages to having a back yard are many. There’s room for pets and children. There’s privacy and a place to entertain guests. There’s a place to just escape and “get away from the world.” As expenses increase these factors can take on a greater importance. A bad yard can be more than just a fenced area of grass. Make your back yard a paradise! A good garden design can mean an enjoyable place to be and a place that you WANT to be.
There are many types of garden designs and which one suits you depends on your individual tastes. Some would find an herb garden too “busy” while others find it an asset to their home as well as an area to relax. Your personality and preferences are design considerations. Ideally a good design combines well with not only the home but the person.
Look at your yard and how it naturally lays. Is it flat? Is there a slope to one area? What do you find relaxing? How much “do it yourself” skills do you have? Before digging make sure there are no wires or utilities to cut this is often a legal requirement. Are there meters that utility people need to have access to? There are several garden design software programs that can help greatly in planning your project and some allow a 3D image as well as allowing for mature heights of plants used.
Costs for your paradise may vary depending on location, how much work you are willing to do and how much you are willing to recycle. To some degree creativity enters into the picture too.
Flower garden design can be as individual as you like. Some nurseries and mail order places offer plants with a “map” for planting tailored to a certain sized area, for example around a mailbox. Most are for sunny areas but some also offer pre-planned gardens for shady areas. There might be color themes, for example a red, white and blue. Several options have come up lately for pink flower garden plans that benefit breast cancer research. Still others take a random approach, preparing an area for a bed and scattering wildflowers or a cut flower mix that allows for a burst of random color.
A perennial garden design might include flowers or might be perennial herbs. Invasive plants such as many mints should be contained but many perennial garden designs can be low maintenance. Some might also be flowers, such as a perennial flower garden that sows itself every year.
Using edible landscaping can be yet another type of paradise that of producing your own food. An effective vegetable garden design considers the size of each plant as well as what plants benefit each other. Sometimes called companion planting there are some plants that grow better together and others that should be kept away from each other.
Don’t overlook raised bed areas if you find it difficult to bend over to tend a garden. Gardening shouldn’t be difficult bring it UP! Use an old ladder or other old gardening items as something to grow vines on or secured over a raised bed, allowing hanging plants on the ladder as well as the plants in the raised bed.
Oxford garden design brings an elegant yet simple area to the back yard. Think an English garden with wood furniture in a sitting area near abundant flowers. Some care and attention to the wood furniture periodically is needed as well as the weeding and upkeep of the plants.
Japanese garden design is very popular in some areas, less so in others. Think bamboo, bonsai and water. Remember the movie “The Karate Kid” where the back yard was a beautiful oasis behind privacy fence, with sitting areas and lights to enhance the mood.
Still others find shrubs and plants too difficult to maintain. A water garden design can offer fewer plants, typically with a rock area, water that recycles down a waterfall or “brook” or a small fountain. A garden pond design can be raised or embedded in the ground, with some choosing a liner that is flexible and others preferring a preformed pond. Either are an option for keeping some koi or other fish. With some creativity and enough area in a garden pond fish can be raised for food as well.
A good garden design should incorporate your tastes, your time, finances and preferences. Some are at home with a western theme of coyotes and horses while others prefer the lushness of green with a waterfall giving the illusion of nature even if just in the back yard. Consider plants, seating, lighting and traffic. Make your garden design a paradise without leaving home.