The magnolias are blooming and daffodils seem to be everywhere. This can only mean one thing: spring has arrived. It feels good to finally see the sunshine again, especially as we sit tight at home, keeping healthy as we wait for the all clear to roam freely about the planet again.
If you need a break from the news and something to do during your mandatory staycation, might we suggest a little landscaping? Just think: by the time things take a turn for the better (and don’t worry – they will), you could have a gorgeous yard to enjoy.
Landscaping is a wonderful way to get creative and destress, and there’s no green thumb required. Below are our tips for easy and effective home landscaping.
Choose the right flowers and foliage – This is essential and requires a little research. First, you’ll need to consider the light in the space where you’ll be planting. And you’ll want to think about the soil, too, by doing a pH test. While many plants and flowers can adjust to a pH level, others cannot. After you assess the light and the soil, you can start to picking the ideal flowers, shrubs, and trees for the area.
Incorporate variety – From evergreen conifers to small trees and ornamental grass, there are many different types of plants that can add texture and diversity to your landscaping. Flowers are wonderful, of course, but you can make them standout by accenting them with other foliage.
Use both annuals and perennials – After you choose your favorite perennials, make sure to add annuals as supplements in your flower gardens when the perennials aren’t in bloom. Annuals are also a great choice if your perennials have just been planted and haven’t yet grown to fill spaces thoroughly.
Add an element of water – Every garden should have a focal point, and a great way to create one in yours is with a fountain or other water feature like a bird bath or even a little pond. Not only are water elements interesting and beautiful, they can also make soothing sounds – and they’re often easier to install and maintain than you might think.
Think year round – When planning your landscaping, envision what you’ll want it to look like come winter. After all, landscaping isn’t just for the warmer months. With a little planning you can have a beautiful yard in the fall and winter, too. Do this by adding plants and trees that maintain leaves in the colder months, and replacing summer annuals with fall flowers – such as mums – in the fall.
Design using layers – When creating flower beds, plant the tallest plants in back, and the shortest in the front. A middle layer will add even more depth, as will layering colors and texture. Consider adding annuals with the brightest pop of color to the first layer to draw the eye in – and up.
Use hardspace in your landscape – Hardspace can be anything from a patio or deck, a pergola, an arbor, a fence, or even a stone wall or walkway. Hardspaces add dimension to your landscape design, as well as functionality. Heavy slabs of stones make great steps, and gravel and small stones are ideal for lining flower beds and dividing them from grass areas.
Make it manageable – If you know you’re typically on-the-go with little time to dedicate to tending to your outdoor space, choose low maintenance plants and flowers. Read up about anything you’ll be planting to make sure you’ve got the time to tend to whatever it is that you choose.
Use quality tools – When purchasing landscaping tools, pick the very best. While it may be an investment initially, it will pay off in the long run. Poor quality, inexpensive tools can break in the middle of the job and put a pause on your landscaping project until you can get to the store for new ones. Additionally, store them someplace dry where they won’t rust and keep them within easy access when you’re working in the yard.
Add plants that do double duty – Consider planting flowers that attract butterflies or hummingbirds, flowering vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees. Garlic chives, for example, yield beautiful white flowers, chamomile can be dried for teas, and lavender can be used in sweets and dried for eye pillows and to scatter in a hot bath for stress relief – and we could all use a little of that right now.
We can’t think of a better time to get outside for a little dirt therapy and to finally create the garden of your dreams. Happy planting Cincinnati!