GLBT AMERICA gardening Unique Landscaping Ideas To Consider For Your Home – Forbes Advisor

Unique Landscaping Ideas To Consider For Your Home – Forbes Advisor

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If you are tired of looking at the same old bland 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 bit of planning and maybe a trip to your local garden center, your yard can become your new favorite place and the envy of the neighborhood. Set your yard apart with these easy, unique landscaping ideas.

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1. Define The Space

Landscape plants define outdoor spaces by serving functional roles like shading, screening, filler and groundcover. They provide structure to the space in the same way that furniture does indoors. Remove existing plants as needed to eliminate visual chaos. For the best results, choose plants for your yard according to their mature dimensions, normally shown on the plant label.

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

2. Curve The Lines

Builder landscaping at a new home is typically minimal, and usually follows the angular lines of the house. Unfortunately, this approach to landscaping often leaves a “factory installed” impression. Nature does not follow straight lines and neither should your landscape. Add curved bed lines and pathways 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 bedline, a kidney-shaped island, a strategically placed flower bed at the corner of the driveway or an arcing stepping stone pathway from the driveway to the front door could be good places to start. When laying out curved lines, use a garden hose as a guide. When you’ve gotten the line just right with the hose, paint it with marking paint before cutting in the edge.

3. Plant Less


Another problem with planting lots of different things is that the individual impact is lost in the whole. The yard tends toward chaos. Gain more impact by planting in repeated groupings, limiting the color palette to two or three colors and using only five to seven dominant plant types in any view of the yard.

To use this strategy effectively, choose plants with complimentary forms and textures. Needle leaves, broad leaves and grassy leaves mix well together. Use evergreens to provide a backdrop for flowering plants and plants with strong fall colors. A beautiful landscape doesn’t require dozens of different kinds of plants.

4. Choose Multi-Purpose Plants

Garden books tout the benefits of this flower and that tree, and they’re all beautiful, so it’s easy to fall in love with them all. But time, money and landscape space are limited. It’s important to get the most from every dollar you spend in the yard. One way to do so is by selecting multi-purpose plants.

If the entrance of your townhome only has room for one small tree, find a tree that offers spring flowers, summer shade, intense autumn color and an attractive branch structure that will look great in winter. Privacy screening plants can offer scented flowers and wildlife benefits. Many fruit-bearing trees and shrubs offer other landscape benefits, like flowers, fall color and winter interest.

5. Frame The Lawn

We often think of grass as the place where kids and pets play. But a small, unused lawn space can take on an ornamental aspect when you convert it into a garden green. Framing is an effective way to define the space and keep these tiny patches of grass looking good. Simply plant a low hedge on all sides and keep it tightly groomed. A small, framed garden green is the perfect location for a garden sculpture or fountain.

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6. Consolidate Annual Flowers


Who doesn’t want a yard full of beautiful flowers? The best way to get it is with a good mix of perennials, flowering trees and shrubs and a few strategic pockets of annuals. Consolidate annuals for maximum impact for the least cost and effort.

Unlike trees, shrubs and perennials, annual flowers grow from seed each year and bloom abundantly throughout the growing season. At the end of the season they die. Since they are a yearly purchase and installation chore, use annuals in high-visibility locations, like the mailbox area, front entry and patio containers.

7. Create Focal Points

Landscape focal points attract the eye and help draw attention away from other areas of the yard. Multiple focal points add visual interest and serve to draw the eye through 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 element such as a brightly painted front door, a garden sculpture or a well pruned Japanese maple will do the trick. Another focal tool to move the eye through the landscape is repetition of subtle features such as landscape boulders or clumps of a brightly colored plant.

8. Right-Scale Garden Decor

When adding a new decorative element, it is important to scale it properly. If the temptation to save money on a smaller piece wins out, the garden sculpture, birdbath or sundial may look puny. On the other hand, going too big could overwhelm the space and make it appear smaller than it is.

Go big for focal features in expansive gardens. For small landscapes, a little goes a long way. A small sculpture surrounded by low-growing plants in an intimate garden space can be equally 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. Scale up for focal features, scale down for garden accents.

9. Include Seating


The best landscape design can appear sterile without an invitation to be a part of it. Add a bench, chair, or even a well-placed boulder as an invitation to sit and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the garden, or to simply meditate in the outdoors.

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

Whether you are just moving into a new place, or if you are tired of your boring old yard, a few thoughtful outdoor changes may be in order. Incorporating one or more of these unique landscaping ideas can elevate your yard to new heights of usefulness and enjoyment.

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