The great thing about taking the time to plan your backyard landscaping ideas is that you can identify the ideas that will give you the most impact for the time and cash invested. If you lack time or just want a decent looking backyard without days of effort, these landscaping ideas will help you out. These ideas are also low maintenance, too. After all, if they took lots of up keep, they wouldn’t be easy, now would they?
Plant Remarkable Trees and Shrubs
The right stand-out tree or shrub can add a unique touch to your backyard in just a little more time than it takes to dig a hole. Try laceleaf Japanese maple (Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Crimson Queen’), devil’s walking stick (Aralia spinosa), Asian white birch (Betula platyphylla japonica), ironwood (Ostrya virginiana), Korean evodia (Evodia daniellii), or Nootka falsecypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis).
Before you buy, though, make sure you check the tree or shrubs growth habits and characteristics (does it drop a lot of leaves, attract bugs or become invasive?) as well as how tall it well get.
Design an Inviting Seating Area
Adding even a simple seating area to your backyard can make it look like you spend hours carefully designing the area, when in reality it took you just an hour or two to add some seating. Start with a few garden chairs or a swing and add a table.
For an added feeling of privacy, place them against some kind of back drop. You might set your furniture near some bushes, in the corner of a fence or place an archway behind it. Another, slightly more labor intensive, method is to build a low rock wall behind it using stacked flagstones. Finally plant some highly scented flowers or herbs close enough to your seating that you can enjoy their perfume as you sit and relax.
Create an Eye-catching Focal Point
Does your backyard have a focal point? When you walk out there, what’s the first thing that catches your eye? If there’s nothing in particular that stands out, consider installing a large item of garden décor, such as a statue, in a prominent area and landscaping around it.
One simple way to make the décor stand out is to design a Victorian carpet around it. A Victorian carpet is a bed of flowers planted in a pattern that encircles a statue or other tall focal point with patterned. A simple version might include lobelia for the outer-most circle, alternating pansies and petunias for the middle circle and liatris for the circle closest to the statue.
Jazz up Your Walkways
Plain dirt or concrete paths get you from point A to point B, but they don’t do much for the look of your back yard. if you have a concrete path you don’t want to replace, try edging it with low growing perennials like Blue Star Creeper (Laurentia fluvilatilis), elfin thyme (Thymus serpyllum) or periwinkle (Vinca major). For an eye-catching corridor effect, line your path with a taller, compact grower like lavender or mondo grass.
If you’ve made the decision to rework your paths, consider using interlocking pavers, tiles, gravel or stepping stones. Each has its pros and cons, so do your research before you decide. For instance, a flagstone walkway looks great in an informal garden, but it takes a fair amount of weeding to stay looking good. Pavers cut down on your weeding work, but they tend to collect moss and they’re hard to design curves with.
Install a Decorative Fence
In addition to increasing privacy, the right fence brings a decorative touch to your backyard and provides a surface for climbing vines and wall-mounted potted plants. This doesn’t have to be anything complicated like a full-height shadow box or stockade fence. A simple lattice-work or picket fence is easy to install and adds a finished look to your backyard.
Fences too confining for you? Then consider a trellis or pergola. Both give you an easy way to liven up a drab-looking wall or other dull spot in the yard. To ensure your plantings don’t overwhelm their support, pick a lightweight annual like sweetpea (lathyrus odoratus), nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) or balloon vine (Cardiospermum grandiflorum). Because your trellis will bring plants closer to nose level, it’s a great spot for fragrant plants.
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