Outdoor spaces can vary in size and outlook, but if well designed, they become an extension of the indoor living space. Successful landscaping is not a five-minute job, but there are plenty of ways to improve what outdoor space you do have. What you choose to do is very much dependent on how you intend on using the space, but if your backyard needs a makeover, here are some tips to help you create the perfect ambiance.
Design a Plan
Before you start digging and planting, you need to spend time thinking about the available space and what your plans are. There may be features that can’t be moved – for example, a mature tree or a pool – so any design you come up with will need to make good use of these features.
Grab a pad of paper and a pencil and sit outside contemplating the space you have. Think about where the light comes from, areas of shade, and whether you need walkways adding or a seating area. Spend plenty of time on the planning stage because it will be a lot more difficult to move things around halfway through the project.
Hard Landscaping Ideas
Patios, walkways and other permanent features need to be constructed at the start of the project. If you are planning on building or re-doing walkways, think about what type of paving slabs will create the right ambiance. Or, if you don’t have the skill or budget to start laying new patios or walkways, consider using gravel or pebbles instead and intersperse them with ornamental grasses or aromatic herbs.
Lighting is very important in any outdoor space, but if you are planning on doing a spot of outdoor entertaining, it is even more important. Luckily there are lots of outdoor lighting options to choose from. Solar lights are great for areas away from the main house: these charge up during the day and throw out light when it gets dark. Use solar lighting for walkways or as feature lights around pools. Decorative lighting is also useful for it can add lots of atmosphere to an outdoor space. And if you want to draw attention to certain features in the garden, invest in spotlighting.
Research Plants to Use
Some plants will only grow in full sunlight whereas others prefer shady areas. Since plants can be expensive, it is sensible to research different types of plant before splashing out lots of money in your local nursery. Draw a plan of the garden and mark the areas where there is sun, partial shade and full shade – and buy plants accordingly. Climate also plays a big part in the decision making process. Some plants don’t tolerate extreme drought whereas others do just fine without much water.
Designing an outdoor space with lots of ambiances needn’t be really expensive, especially if you are able to do most of the work yourself. An outdoor space doesn’t have to be boring either. Use the opportunity to design an outdoor space that reflects your personality!