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Planning Your Backyard Paradise

Father lying on the grass lifting his son up and both laughing.
Plan your garden for all members of your family. 

You want to have the kind of backyard that your guests ooh and aah about. More importantly, you want to feel that way when you walk into your garden as well. If you’re less-than-impressed by the expanse of puddles, mud, and lawn that you currently have, it’s time to plan your backyard paradise. Here’s how to turn your garden from dull into delightful.

1. Plan for All Users 

When you’re planning your backyard paradise, think about everyone who will use it. This includes visitors to your home and those who live in your home as well. What are their needs, and how would they use the space? HGTV suggests that you ask each user: “What do you want out of the yard — a playground for kids, a cozy retreat, and an entertaining patio?” Dream along with them, then do a reality check to make sure that it’s possible to maintain that kind of a space.

2. Choose a Low-Maintenance, High-Impact Garden

When you’re planning your garden, plan for the lowest maintenance with the highest impact. That way, you will enjoy your garden and not need to spend a lot of time maintaining it. 

  • Choose garden and home solutions that make your life easier, such as installing watering systems, retractable awnings, or gutter covers to reduce maintenance.
  • If you have a wilder, cottage garden look, consider planting perennials or plants that seed themselves every year so that you’re not constantly adding wildflower seeds to maintain that wild look.
  • Find plants with the colors and look that you love but with lower water requirements. For instance, according to Balcony Garden, you could consider Bougainvillea as an eye-catching shrub, blanket flower, wallflower, oleander and moss rose for a wilder garden, and verbena as an “…excellent ground cover that spreads rapidly and thrives in high heat and a little water.”  
  • Mulch your garden to save on water and reduce the amount of time that you need to weed.

Download our free gutter guide for information on gutter guards and more.

3. Add Wildlife 

Interactions with wildlife can add immense enjoyment to your use of your garden, whether this involves a chance encounter with a hummingbird at the feeder or a glimpse of a bumblebee visiting the lavender. Plan your garden for positive interactions with wildlife. You can: 

  • Install pollinator-friendly plants such as oregano and lavender, so that you’ll get a lot of visits from bees and butterflies.
  • Add winter bird feeders and summer hummingbird feeders, water baths, and dust baths. Add plants that create seeds, such as sunflowers, so that the birds will have natural places to eat as well.
  • Keep a corner of the garden more wild than the other parts, with thick shrubs and plants with stalks, stems, and seeds where animals can hide, nest, and feed.
Flower garden with purple flowers.
Add fragrant plants to your garden landscape. 

4. Enjoy Play 

What does enjoyment look like in your garden? Does it look like a handful of friends sitting around an outdoor fire pit enjoying a last glass of wine before wrapping up an evening party? Does it look like you sitting in a chair with cozy pillows, watching your grandchildren play on the lawn below?

Your backyard isn’t a static place: it’s a place that you’ll use, whether you use it as a gorgeous view or a place for active entertaining. When you’re planning your garden, incorporate your life into your garden.

  • Do you love to entertain? Consider adding an indoor-outdoor space to expand your areas for entertaining. Add comfortable couches and chairs with cushions, solar lights for the evening, and an outdoor cooking and eating area. Plant herbs for the BBQ and enjoy the scent of evening-blooming plants like phlox. 
  • Do you need to find a quiet place in your garden? Consider how to develop outdoor rooms so that you and your guests can find places to sit quietly with a book or watch the birds. Adding grasses, trellises, and arbors can help you develop defined nooks in the garden space.
  • Do you need a space for active play? Whether you have dogs, children, or grandchildren, make sure that you add a space where toys can come out, there’s a lawn to run around, and the toys can be easily tucked away when they’re not in use.

Do you want some help planning your backyard paradise? Talk with Harry Helmet. We’ll help you make your garden into the one you’ve been dreaming about. View our photo gallery to see how we’ve helped transform homes with arbors, gutters, and more, and schedule a free estimate today.

Written by Del Thebaud

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