A beautifully landscaped outdoor garden is one of the great joys of owning a home. Not only do you get to enjoy it, having an outdoor garden can add a hefty premium to the value of your property.
Of course, starting and maintaining a beautiful garden is quite a challenge for most homeowners. It helps to know a fair amount about outdoor garden construction, care, and maintenance.
Even if you’re not a green-thumbed expert, though, there are a few core principles of building a successful garden that can transform your backyard into a functional and attractive living space for plants of all kinds.
First, Plan Your Garden
Outdoor gardens are all about personal tastes. Regardless of how wild your dream is, you can run with it and create a stunning garden. But you need to work with what you have. This is why planning is such an important step. Before you even start writing down your wishes and expectations, get a site plan done.
With a professionally-made site plan, you’ll have a clear, bird’s-eye view of the outdoor property space. This will allow you to see how your garden will interact with existing features and choose the best places for your additions. This way you don’t end up with a garden that feels cramped or invades the space of other important parts of your yard.
Just as importantly, depending on the scope and specific features of your garden, you might be required to present a site plan with your proposed additions to your local planning office before you can legally start the work. Once they look over the plan and agree, you’ll be issued a home improvement permit for the garden.
The final step in planning? Create a working budget. There’s always the temptation to overspend in an attempt to achieve the perfect landscape, but it will be easier to rein yourself in if you set a budget and keep track of expenses.
Next, Evaluate Your Garden
Examine the contours and slope of your garden. Study how sunlight reaches different parts of the garden. Check which way your garden faces as well as the shaded parts of the garden. Note that your plant selection will be guided by the patterns of shade and sunlight on your garden.
(A site plan can help with a lot of these things as well!)
It’s unlikely that your garden will start out looking as colorful as those in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. But you shouldn’t let that deter you or dampen your creativity.
Start small. Divide your garden into sections. Work on one section at a time, picking the best plants, shrubs, or flowers for each section. As your plants grow, you can then gradually fill in your garden.
If you’re thoughtful and patient and keep working at it, you’ll have an amazing garden in no time.
Finally, Create Focal Points
Creating your own garden means that you have the unique opportunity to add as much vibrancy and depth as you desire. However, you don’t necessarily have to plant big plants or vivid blooms on every inch of your space. All you need is a few focal points that highlight the beauty of your outdoor garden.
An ideal plant or feature for your garden’s focal point is something that stands out in color, form, or texture, but still blends in with the rest of your garden. Distinctive rock structures, water features, trees, or plants make excellent focal points.
Ready to get started?