Whether you’re looking to improve your own backyard or are considering selling your home, landscape updates can add value and curb appeal. Learn about cost-effective ideas for a fresh look!
Mulch is a must for any landscaping project. It helps to keep soil moisture, prevents evaporation, and lowers root temperatures. It also enhances color and texture.
Essentially, hardscapes are non-living elements that help add structure and visual appeal to your landscape. They include walkways, patios, fire pits and retaining walls, as well as garden ornaments like fountains, pergolas, statues and arches.
The key to properly caring for your hardscape is balance, says Samuel. Too much of any one element can be overpowering, so it’s important to incorporate a mix of different materials and textures to create visual interest and harmony. For instance, a rustic farm-style garden could feature weathered wood, gravel paths and rough stone fire pits, while a formal English garden would incorporate paved pathways, brick or flagstone retaining walls and wooden trellises.
Another consideration when choosing your hardscape materials is how they’ll stand up to your climate, he notes. “If you live in a rainy area, your hardscapes should be designed to handle excess water,” he says. That means choosing materials that drain quickly and easily, like pavers or concrete, as opposed to a natural stone that can be difficult to clean when it becomes saturated.
If you’re hiring a professional to install your hardscape, it’s important to find someone who understands your style and can work with your space to create the design you want. Ask for recommendations, check out their portfolios and references, and be sure to discuss the scope of your project in detail so that expectations are aligned.
It’s also crucial to consider how your chosen hardscape will affect your drainage and soil conditions. “I’ve seen more hardscapes messed up by neglecting drainage requirements than by any other error combined,” Samuel explains. Don’t forget to include curves and rounded edges in your hardscape designs to add creativity and help the space feel less industrial and more natural, he suggests.
Lastly, when it comes to maintaining your hardscapes, regular cleaning is essential to keep them looking their best. Sweep or blow away any dirt or debris regularly, and clean the surfaces of your pavers or concrete periodically with a mild soap and water to prevent staining and to protect them from the elements.
Proper lighting is one of the most important aspects of landscape design, especially if you want your property to look great after the sun goes down. Using different techniques for lighting can provide a number of different effects, such as highlighting or shadowing. Highlighting is done by placing spotlights or floodlights at the base of an interesting feature such as a garden trellis, statue, or unique architecture on your home or retaining wall. The distance and angle can be varied to create the desired effect on the specific item being highlighted.
Lighting can also be used for shadowing, which highlights the unusual shapes created by certain plants and planting arrangements. By illuminating these unique shadows on walls and fences, your landscaping can take on a whole new look after dark.
Water features are not only gorgeous to look at, but they can add tranquil benefits to any landscape. They soothe the senses, add texture to your outdoor space, and can even drown out noise pollution. When correctly installed, they can also attract wildlife and help your property to retain value.
If you’re considering adding a water feature to your property, you can trust the experienced team at Sunflower Landscapes to create an outdoor space that will elevate your home. We can transform a backyard into a peaceful oasis, or create a flowing stream or water garden that will accentuate your front yard.
We offer a wide range of water feature options, from small ponds and water gardens to fountains and swimming pools. Depending on your needs and preferences, we can also provide a feature that is designed with functionality in mind, such as providing habitat for aquatic life or an irrigation system for the surrounding vegetation.
Bubbling boulders and fountains are ideal for small spaces and require little maintenance. For a more formal outdoor space, you may prefer a water wall or waterfall that is built from stacked stones. If you want a more organic feel, try a natural pond with fish and plants. Or, for a modern twist, choose a freestanding water blade that’s perfect for a pool or to add a bit of flair to your patio.
It’s important to note that water loss from evaporation is normal, so it’s recommended that you check and top up your feature regularly. A weekly re-fill is necessary during hot weather. In addition, be sure to look for leaks on a regular basis and pack any loose soil under the liner of your pond or pondless water feature.
One of the simplest landscaping updates is to plant berry shrubs, such as serviceberries, raspberries, gooseberries and blackberries. These shrubs are not only a beautiful addition to your landscaping, but they will also provide delicious fruit. A berry bush is an excellent alternative to a traditional apple tree and will provide the same aesthetic appeal without requiring much pruning or upkeep.