Unique landscaping ideas to consider for your home – Forbes Advisor

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If you’re tired of looking at the same bland old yard, the fix may be easier than you think. All you need are a few unique ideas to create a more attractive landscape. With a little planning and maybe a trip to your local garden center, your backyard can become your new favorite place and the envy of the neighborhood. Make your yard stand out with these simple and unique landscaping ideas.

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1. Define the space

Landscape plants define outdoor spaces by fulfilling functional roles such as shading, screen, infill, and ground cover. They structure the space the same way furniture does indoors. Remove existing plants as needed to eliminate visual chaos. For best results, choose plants for your garden based on their mature dimensions, normally listed on the plant’s label.

Space the plants so they can grow to their full potential without pruning, then prune them as needed to maintain good plant health and a well-groomed appearance. Avoid overcrowding or installing foundation shrubs where they will grow to block windows. Maintain a crisp appearance with crisp natural edges along body lines and wherever grass meets paved surfaces.

2. Curl the lines

The builder’s landscaping in a new home is usually minimal and usually follows the angular lines of the house. Unfortunately, this approach to landscaping often leaves a ‘factory-installed’ impression. Nature doesn’t follow straight lines and neither does your landscape. Add bed lines and curved paths to create a strong sense of natural permanence.

There are several ways to infuse subtle curved lines throughout the yard. A long S-shaped foundation bed line, a kidney-shaped island, a strategically placed flower bed at the corner of the driveway or an arched path from the driveway to the front door could be good starting points. When drawing curved lines, use a garden hose as a guide. When you’ve got the line just right with the pipe, paint it with marking paint before cutting the edge.

3. Plant less

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Another problem with planting a lot of different things is that the individual impact is lost overall. The court tends towards chaos. Get more impact by planting in repeated groups, limiting the color palette to two or three colors, and only using five to seven dominant plant types in any view of the yard.

To use this strategy effectively, choose plants with complementary shapes and textures. Needle leaves, broad leaves and herbaceous leaves mix well. Use evergreens to provide a backdrop for flowering plants and plants with strong fall colors. A beautiful landscape does not require dozens of different kinds of plants.

4. Choose versatile plants

Garden books tout the goodness of this flower and tree, and they are all beautiful, so it’s easy to fall in love with them all. But time, money and landscaped space are limited. It’s important to get the most out of every dollar you spend in the yard. One way to do this is to select versatile plants.

If the entrance to your townhouse only has room for a small tree, find a tree that offers spring blossoms, summer shade, intense fall color, and an attractive branching structure that will look great. in winter. Privacy plants can provide fragrant flowers and benefits to wildlife. Many fruit trees and shrubs provide other benefits to the landscape, such as flowers, fall color, and winter interest.

5. Frame the lawn

We often think of the grass as the place where children and pets play. But a little unused lawn space can take on an ornamental look when you convert it to a green garden. Framing is an effective way to define space and keep those tiny patches of grass in good shape. Simply plant a low hedge on all sides and keep it well maintained. A small framed green garden is the perfect place for a garden sculpture or fountain.

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6. Consolidate annual flowers

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Who doesn’t want a garden full of beautiful flowers? The best way to achieve this is by using a good mix of perennials, flowering trees and shrubs, and a few strategic pockets of annuals. Consolidate annuals for maximum impact at the least cost and effort.

Unlike trees, shrubs, and perennials, annual flowers grow from seed every year and bloom profusely throughout the growing season. At the end of the season, they die. Since this is an annual buying and installing chore, use annuals in high-visibility locations like the mailbox area, main entrance, and patio containers.

7. Create focal points

Landscape focal points are eye-catching and help distract from other areas of the yard. Several focal points add visual interest and serve to draw the eye across the landscape. These handy features can include a variety of things such as plants, garden decor, and even parts of the house. There are several ways to make them work.

Any striking feature will cause the viewer’s eye to pause and focus. An architectural feature such as a brightly painted front door, a garden sculpture or a well-trimmed Japanese maple will do. Another focal tool for moving the eye through the landscape is the repetition of subtle features such as the rocks in the landscape or the tufts of a brightly colored plant.

8. Straight-scale garden decor

When adding a new decorative element, it is important to scale it correctly. If the temptation to save money on a smaller room wins out, the garden sculpture, bird bath, or sundial can seem puny. On the other hand, going too big could overwhelm the space and make it appear smaller than it actually is.

Go big for focal features in expansive gardens. For smaller landscapes, a little goes a long way. A small sculpture surrounded by low plants in an intimate garden space can be just as striking as a large fountain in an open setting. The two issues to consider are the size of the garden and the impression you intend to make. Increase focal characteristics, reduce garden accents.

9. Include seats

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The best landscaping can seem sterile without an invitation to be a part of it. Add a well-placed bench, chair or even a rock to invite you to sit and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the garden, or just meditate outdoors.

There are many ways to effectively use seating as a landscaping feature, whether it’s protected under a gazebo or porch roof, or out of the elements. Place a few chairs for conversation under a large shade tree. Add a bench to observe a bird feeding station. Incorporate a coffee table or an outdoor dining set for entertaining. Place a flat rock at the edge of a garden pond. It may not always be in use, but it will inspire exploration.

Whether you’ve just moved into a new location or are fed up with your boring old yard, a few thoughtful changes to the exterior may be needed. Incorporating one or more of these unique landscaping ideas can elevate your yard to new heights of utility and enjoyment.

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Terri S. Tomasini