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Landscaping Ideas Before You Pick Up That Shovel

We all love our homes, but the zeal and determination with which we often execute landscaping ideas reveals that we seem to love the outside of our homes even more. Often the first thing we do when purchasing homes is bubble forth with landscaping ideas: turning that perfectly sunny patch of dirt into an herb garden, eyeing that back corner for a koi pond, noting how wonderful the scent of blossoms from a citrus tree will smell when wafting through open bathroom windows. We can't help ourselves. Even if we lack green thumbs, we certainly never lack for landscaping ideas. Fortunately, getting maximum use and beauty out of your property doesn't necessarily mean you have to do anything as complicated as put in a pool or build a deck. Here is some simple advice and a few ideas to get your landscape started.

Before working up a sweat outside or spending a fortune turning your fantasy yard into a reality, check out some landscape design software. Nothing is sadder than chopping down a mature elm tree because someone planted it directly under power lines. Nothing is worse than missing the sunset because someone hung the porch swing facing south instead of west. Landscape design software will help you become aware of all these sorts of issues and avoid them, and it will help you design a yard that isn't too crowded to move around in or too spare to bear being in. Some landscape design software will even tell you what plants grow well in your area and how difficult it is to care for them.

Landscaping - It's All Worth It

Once you've tinkered around with some landscapes designs, hopefully you've settled on one that's right for you. Hopefully you haven't become discouraged at the thought of having to till bare dirt to lay down a lawn or dig a hole six-foot deep to plant an elm. Remember that priceless moments are spent in hammocks swinging between two shade trees, and the beauty of the first spring annuals chases away the bleakest winter blahs. You will remember summer birthday parties around the pool forever.

If you're going to go ahead and give landscaping a shot, be sure to get the proper landscaping tools. At minimum you will need a shovel, a rake, a limb saw, clippers, gloves, and a hose. You may need a pick axe, a lawn mower, a watering can, a hoe or a wheelbarrow. If you get into serious landscaping or gardening, you'll start to want things like a tiller or seed trays or whisky barrels or soaker hoses. Landscaping can be addicting, and collecting tools and implements is just part of the fun.

If you're still not sure serious landscaping is for you, you can still enjoy the beauty of your property with a few simple tricks to enhance your yard. Hang birdfeeders from trees, or put up a birdhouse or birdbath. You don't realize how beautiful and fascinating birds are until they are resting just a few feet in front of you. If you're sure you don't have the green thumb, try a zen garden - it can be as simple as an artful arrangement of gravel and rocks. If you love to eat outside but don't want to build a porch or a deck, place your patio furniture under a tree, every meal out there will be a picnic.

Landscaping can be hard work, but it is also some of the most rewarding work you can do around your house. Beautiful landscaping adds the most value to a home, after kitchen and bath remodels, and the time you spend enjoying your yard with your friends and family is invaluable.



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