Creating your home’s interior ambiance takes some planning to get the right lighting and furnishings to give purpose to each room. And yet there’s so much flexibility. Today, formal dining rooms are being transformed into game rooms or playrooms for the kids, guest rooms into home offices, and second bedroom suites and basements into supporting modern, multi-generational family homes.
Indoors, walls define the spaces while outdoors is defined by landscaping comprised of softscaping, (your garden, trees, flowers, and grass) and of course, hardscaping, the “fairly unintimidating practice that’s essentially just soft landscaping, but with blocks, paving stones, rocks, or anything else that’s considered ‘hard’ to the touch. Hardscaping allows you to create long-lasting, hard elements within your yard, to add both style and functionality to your outdoor space.”
Hardscaping is a multi-purpose solution. It can guide the way in the form of gravel pathways cut into the lawn to provide entrée to the pool, gazebo, or garden. Other hardscaping examples include:
- Stone retaining walls to create planting areas
- Flagstone steps built into a slope to facilitate alternative access to your deck
- Brick or concrete patios to accommodate your BBQ grill
- Metal and wooden fences
- Wooden arbors or gazebos to enhance a landscape while providing shade
- Pergolas showcasing brilliant blooms and a wrought iron bench
- Trellises, dense with ivy
- Stone or ceramic fountains
- Fire bowls
The blend of hard and softscaped techniques will bring your yard to life. That’s because these elements provide transition between spaces and furnish architectural interest.
Additionally, there’s a good blend of pro and DIY work to be had here too!
Picture workers installing an exquisite multi-tier deck of pressure treated cedar right off your sliding doors.
Then you follow with the installation of shade sails and/or delicate light strings to shine down on luxuriant hanging and potted plants. Complete the relaxation vibe with an adjacent fire pit you built from pavers with step-by-step instructions from Lowe’s.
The Basics of DIY Landscaping
Rome was not built in a day and neither will your outdoor retreat. Besides, it’s nice to be able to plan what you want to “add next year” like your first vegetable garden, or outdoor kitchen, or the classic and much loved brick pizza oven. (In which you can cook WAY more than just pizza!)
Besides, your tastes may change, or you may discover some cool new trees that you must have. So actually, when you break it down into phases, the large-scale project won’t feel quite as overwhelming.
First things first. Your landscaping fulfills your backyard’s needs of aesthetics and privacy. You’ll also want to pay close attention to the placement of plants.
For example, your pool. What are its needs? You’ll want plants that:
- DON’T cause a mess and add to your pool maintenance tasks
- DON’T have invasive root systems that will cause eventual damage
- DON’T bear fruit or flowers that will attract bees
- DO grow tall enough to provide some privacy
- DO work to detract from the less than attractive pool equipment
- DO help integrate the pool into the surrounding environment
The experts at The Spruce serve up their Short List of Mess-Free Plants and say,
“Growing a mix of foliage plants and flowering plants is smart: That way, when the flowers peter out on one plant, there will still be a plant nearby with great foliage that offers visual interest. If not attracting bees is a priority for you in your pool landscape, then you may wish to stick with foliage plants exclusively. These plants may be good options but check to see whether or not they are cold-hardy enough to grow in your region.” They suggest:
- Angelina stonecrop
- Sky Pencil Holly
- Blue fescue grass
- Mexican bird of paradise shrub
- Yucca filamentosa
- Aloe vera
- Autumn Joy Sedum
- Hardy hibiscus shrub
- Purple ice plant
- Elephant ears (Colocasia)
- Mountain laurel shrub
- Zebra grass
- Inkberry shrub
Dressing the Fencing
The fashion world has many mottos. Supermodel Heidi Klum would warn, “In fashion, one day you’re in and the next day, you’re out.”
While there are certainly pool and backyard design trends that flex overtime, fortunately, your outdoor lifestyle will always be in vogue.
But there is one lesson we can learn from Anna Wintour’s world, and that’s the concept of form, fit, and function.
Consider the landscaping element of fencing. Whether it’s the privacy barrier around the perimeter of your yard, and/or the fence you install around the perimeter of your pool (to comply with local regulations and to keep small children safe), you can spend a lot of money on a decorator fence or you can adorn a more modestly priced one.
When you outfit simple fencing with a flourish of trailing vines, for example, that serviceable chain link or slatted fence can be transformed into a fashionista fence! It will check every box as it will showcase:
Form = the look that integrates all components of your space
Fit = be tailored to flawlessly suit, while being aesthetically pleasing
Function = suitable to comply with local ordinances and offer some privacy
Adding some spectacular lighting will complete the picture and fulfill fashion’s “Three F’s” by giving your yard some style and some safety – all the while being uniquely designed for you.
Landscaping Your Backyard Paradise
So many contrasting and harmonizing facets of your yard set its tone. From sleek and contemporary to rustic and traditional, every choice makes a contribution. The plants you choose, the multi-purpose gazebo you install, the slate pavers that wend their way to a shady arbor, the lounge chairs and umbrellas that dot the pool deck, the outdoor kitchen boasting its flat top grill, the fencing and lighting features that encircle and illuminate the entire scene.
Take your time and make your priority list. You don’t have to have a green thumb to landscape this paradise. Just give it some love, and it will reward you generously.
Providing pool and home improvement loan solutions since 1979, Lyon Financial loves backyard pools. We also love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about creating your ideal backyard oasis.