It is common belief that landscaping is an expensive affair that always runs to a 5-figure budget. Not at all! You can dream up year-round interest right in your yard, through smart planning, tailored to your taste and needs.
Raise easy care plants
Think of low-maintenance and easy care plants. Plants like California Lilac, groundcover Gum plant, Deer Grass, Bishop Pine, Blue-eyed Grass, Purple Needle Grass, Coyote Mint, Western Redbud and Saint Catherine’s Lace are wise choices.
Filling in with annuals is another smart alternative.
Go in for bold contrasts
Play the drama in your yard with an eye-catching mix of contrasts in color, form, and leaf shape. But, remember to reduce visual clutter.
Flowering perennials and annuals bring in an arresting color scheme. Make a splash with bold and bright colored flowering plants with soft and pastel varieties.
Intersperse single-color leaf plants with those running stripes, streaks or spots.
Play on the contrast element with flora bearing diverse-shaped leaves – round, oval, elliptical, needle-like. Look out for the difference in edges – smooth, serrated or lobed.
When you consider form, imaginative arrangement of branches offers you contrast element easily. Choose between horizontal and spreading foliage, rounded forms, vase-shaped trees with a striking canopy, pyramidal forms or the weeping varieties.
Showcase diverse heights. Make it smoothly progress from ground hugging perennials to medium sized shrubbery to columnar evergreens.
Have a focal point
A focal point adds visual surprise and makes your garden experience special. It should stand out, but remain connected at the same time to the overall design of the landscape. It can cleverly camouflage an unsightly spot too.
A centerpiece tree, an architectural feature, an ornate garden bench, a garden swing, a row of flowering plants, a soothing water feature, a classic pergola/arbor, an oriental lantern, a tall painted urn, a vintage statue or a quirky shaped planter – anything that reflects your personality might just be perfect.
Hardscapes such as pavers, fences, patios, retaining walls and fountains lend you good scope to go in for an exciting mixture of materials.
Stone-pebble or brick-stone lends a unique charm to a pathway.
Surround a group of trees with a mix of bluestone and large river pebbles.
Create a casual path with stepping stones and gravel to lend it an informal touch.
For an old world charm, use cobblestone to create garden paths and borders.
Better still; consult with a landscape designer for recommendations and to avoid costly mistakes.
Play around with containers
Think beyond terracotta. You can craft some interesting containers from everyday objects. Look around the house; put your imagination to good use – an out-of-use laundry basket, a large colander, a used fish bowl, a galvanized metal tub or a large glazed pot will make unique holders for plants.
Make sure to drill a half-inch-in-diameter drainage hole for small or medium sized pots and at least an inched ones for larger sized containers.
Have fun with geometry – incorporate sweeping bold lines and long and subtle curves for a professional touch.
Add life to your garden by growing ornamental grasses that sway beautifully in the winds.
Try retaining walls or raised beds for a pretty visual distraction.
A nice-looking garden gate can hold the key to the mystery waiting to unfold behind!