The autumn season inspires not only homeowners to venture outside their homes to tackle projects in the yard, but drivers are slowing their journeys to view eye-catching landscape ideas. Have you ever asked yourself, “What caught my attention?” Was it the trellis, the use of stones and rocks, or the flower garden? The ideal yard we dream of is found in various sources, and the image is often saved under the category “Landscape Ideas.” However, our own yard remains untouched for two reasons:
- Choosing the right foliage for a specific location can be daunting task, and
- Removing overgrown shrubs is back breaking work for one, if not, two people.
Step 1: What is Needed? Time!
The fall season, whether the task begins in October or November, is the perfect time to begin altering your yard. Large tasks do not take a weekend or even a month to complete. In doing the job correctly, give yourself the fall and spring season to prepare the soil and effectively plan.
The shrubs near the house, for instance, may be too tall and wide and prevent either natural light from entering the first-floor windows or appear wild in the backyard. If you are tired of trimming, consider removing them. Most mature shrubs can cause maintenance issues and severe damage; therefore, take the following steps:
- Contact your utility service to discover where the pipes and wires are located underground.
- Use either a chainsaw or lopper to begin removing one section of branches at a time. (Leave a few branches in case you need to pull or push the stump.)
- Thoroughly soak the ground around the stump to ease digging around the stump. A small ax can help remove sections, or use a chain and force, and extract both the stump and its roots system out of the ground.
- Consider renting or borrowing a chipper shredder to receive well-needed mulch chips for your efforts.
Step 2: Prepare the Soil
Once a row of shrubs has been removed, it is time to prepare the soil. Take your time. Visit landscape companies to view the options, such as using stone as your focal point or border. How would a few large rocks look among selective flowers, a line of medium sized rocks as a low border, or building a one-foot stone wall? Are you able to transport one part soil and one part soil conditioner to your home? Asking question is all part of the preparation process.
Step 3: Choosing Your Foliage Wisely
One aspect that is desired in picturesque landscapes is viewing foliage less than five feet tall and under two feet wide. Slow growing foliage that does not consume space and overwhelm other plants is ideal. Be advised, however, that the word “dwarf” does not necessarily mean the tree or shrub is compact. For instance, the dwarf Alberta spruce will mature to reach 12 feet in height while the dwarf hydrangea can aspire to four feet height and width. It’s important to read labels and measure the magnitude of the span consuming your preferred space. The goal is to select plants which can offer beautification and low maintenance.
Here are a few ideas:
- Frame lattice and plant clematis, bougainvillea, climbing hydrangea, or confederate jasmine away from a structure or tree. Vines especially need a defined and controllable location. Thoroughly research your plant first before buying it. The climbing hydrangea, for instance, will leap to broaden its territory. While you may know and love wisteria, it can destroy foundations, seep between cracks, and climb walls.
- Create a layering effect with a line of tall flowers such as asters, coneflowers, delphinium, lavender, sage, or Veronica, and shorter flowers near the front based on your color scheme.
- What are your thoughts about a wildflower garden, forever prospering with perpetual flowers, and eliminating the constant seasonal weeding?
- Seeking privacy? With two landscape timbers buried in the ground, safely avoiding wires and pipes, stretch canvas and secure with eyelets to create a temporary wall of privacy. Enhancing this location can be accomplished with a variety of potted plants.
- A second idea for privacy is to research the phrase, “living willow structures.”
Willow planted in 12-inch strips, and tied together can grow – with your help – to form various unique designs. While you can control its height, the natural world, especially birds, will enjoy it too. The “willow” is a viable option and will need to be planted in early spring.
Enjoy researching and beautifying your yard!