Every gardener has their own version of what constitutes a beautiful garden. If you invest effort into garden design and maintenance, your neighbors are certain to appreciate it. Creating an exceptional garden that neighbors admire is entirely within the realm of reason.
Read on for tips on how to make the best garden possible in your backyard.
How to Make the Best Garden
You want to have an impressive neighborhood garden, andthere’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone will take notice if you create awell-designed, eco-friendly garden that is maintained with integrated pestmanagement principles. A few cool toys never hurt either.
Building an enviable neighborhood garden starts withbuilding a garden you love. The first step is to invest time learning about thegarden. Find out what kindof soil you have including its pHand evaluate your yard’s sunexposure before you pull together a design.
It’s also important to figure out who is likely to spendtime in the garden. The design of a garden frequented mostly by immediatefamily will be different from a garden used regularly for social events. Also,think through the question of maintenance: how much time or money are youwilling to invest into garden care?
Making Your Garden Envy of Neighborhood
One way to unite your plantings into an admirable garden isto designaround a theme. Having a garden theme bonds your backyard and also helpsdetermine which plants to select. For example, you could create a serene Chinesegarden or a formal Englishgarden. Your theme could be quite simple as well, like repeating specificshapes or forms throughout your yard.
Keep the architecture of your home in mind as you decide ona theme. The landscape should complement your home’s style since it is, infact, an extension of your home. If you take the question of theme seriously,it will help you determine the décor, hardscape,and plants you include.
Do you like geometric shapes or prefer the softer line of amore natural garden? Considering your preferences helps you find a unifyinggarden theme.
Building the Best Neighborhood Garden
As you work on garden design, think of the landscape as aset of rooms in your house. When you built your home, you planned the use anddesign of each room, and you should do the same thing with landscape.
Use the plants you select as well as hardscape to createdifferent “rooms” in your landscape, then link the spaces withopenings and walkways. You can create screens or barriers with plants or selectlow-growing plants that keep the views open.
If impressing visitors is high on your priority list, youcan build in eye-catching flower arrangements with unusual planters. A clawfoot tub overflowing with flowers is sure to draw attention.
For bigger budgets, creating a garden of envy might meaninstalling a swinging bench seating area around a barbeque or campfire or evena swinging bed. A water element such as a swimming pool or fountaincan also add allure to a garden.
Perhaps the most impressive thing you can do in yourenviable garden is to act in the best interests of nature by adoptingintegrated pest management strategies. This means that chemicals and pesticidesare saved for a last resort situation and that you select native plants thatrequire little or no irrigation or fertilizer.
Pergolas are very fashionable at the moment and make great extra entertaining areas when you have guests over. In addition to giving you a pleasant place to sit outdoors in the summer, a pergola will act as a centerpiece of your overall garden decor. Be sure to choose a tasteful pergola that will go well with your lawn furniture, and you’ll have an eye-catching outdoor structure that both you and your guests will love. This could be used for special family events like anniversary vow renewals, weddings, birthday parties, and just for fun.
Bravo’s “Backyard Envy”The Manscaper design/install team starring in “Backyard Envy”
Gardeners, especially garden bloggers, have long complained about the dearth of gardening shows on TV, and I had little hope for “Backyard Envy,” the new garden make-over show on Bravo.
But to my own amazement, after watching its debut episode last week I’m a fan! “Backyard Envy” shows us real clients and the real gardens they’re paying to have created over however many weeks or months it takes, not phony two-day outdoor decorating jobs.
And the gardens being created on the show are fabulous! Which is no surprise when you learn about the very talented and successful team doing the creating. Like James DeSantis, profiled recently the the New York Times.
Then there’s Melissa Brasier, my favorite because she’s a girl, dammit, who happens to be the head of construction for the firm. Before that, she toured as a dancer with Alvin Ailey, then studied interior design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she met her current business partners.
Now for the gardens! The show will make you wait for the big reveal at the end, but I won’t – thanks to screen shots of Episode 1.
A couple in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of NYC wanted their rooftop to look like a meadow. I might nit-pick about the use of that term, but not the result.
There are more before/after shots of the rooftop “meadow” here.
The clients also wanted their terrace to be turned into a fabulous outdoor space.
Above, another view of their terrace. The bill for both spaces was $38,000.
Above, the suburban clients in Episode 1 had an unusable hillside along a pond turned into an outdoor living room. Here’s the trailer for this make-over.
My only complaint about the show? It’s a reality show! Fortunately not of the “Real Housewives” variety but still, we don’t get to hear these smart and interesting people talk about the job at hand, which might actually be instructive. Instead, we hear boring chit-chat as they interact simply as personalities.
So don’t expect to learn much about design or anything about gardening, but for inspiration and eye candy, “Backyard Envy” is a delight.
Now for go watch yourself. Here’s the schedule, or just watch on the Bravo website, and tell us what YOU think.
Here are some more small backyard DIY ideas:
If you have a small backyard, but still want to make a big impression, here’s a couple of DIY backyard ideas for your small space!
Lacking Space, But Wanting a Deck : Use pallets to create a small yet effective deck! Pallets are trending in the world of DIY backyard landscaping because they are very user-friendly and are super versatile. Depending on the space you have available, you can put one or two together to create a raised deck. Sand them down, add some stain and seal for a chic look that’s inexpensive.
Use Potted Plants : Instead of digging up what precious little space you have, or if you don’t actually have grass to dig up, try using potted plants to add flair to your small backyard. Mix up between tall and short plant varieties and create your very own oasis in your backyard. The best thing about them being potted is that switching up the look of your yard is as easy as moving the pots around!
You can put those two ideas together and create a beautiful focal point in your small space. Just because you lack space doesn’t mean you have to lack style!
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