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Back Yard Improvement
Keywords: Garden, back yard, lawn, flowers, plants
Much of our time is spent in our backyard so why not maximize its potential? Before you decide how to improve your back yard you first need to determine what you want to achieve. Do you want a yard filled with flower gardens, walkways, fountains and attractive landscaping, or will it be a playground for children and pets? Do you like English gardens or do you prefer clean looking shrubs? Do you want a lawn, or would you prefer to fill your back yard entirely with plantings? The latter involves more work in the beginning, but is less maintenance over the long run.
If you decide to plant flowers you will want to select a variety of plants that provide color from early spring through to autumn. Most perennials bloom for short periods of time, and at certain times of the season. As you browse through catalogs make an effort to select plants based on the following:
Based on these factors, select a variety of plants beginning with the tallest to plant in the back of the garden, then progress down in size to the front of the garden with low growing plants or ground cover. Once you have selected your plants by height, mix them up so that all areas of the yard are colorful at any given time of the year. Plants and flowers fall into these major categories:
Shrubs and Trees. Evergreen shrubs are excellent since they keep their color year round. Flowering and ornamental trees and shrubs also add variety and color to the landscape. Pay attention to shrubs that require a lot of trimming if you prefer a low maintenance yard. When planting trees consider the size of the trees at their maturity. For tall trees select a site that is not too close to the home, sidewalk or driveway where roots can cause damage as the tree grows.
Bulbs. These are planted either in the fall or spring. They come up every year and often multiply. The popular early spring flowers like daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, narcissus and crocuses are bulb plants. Sweet smelling lilies, irises, and gladiolas come later in the spring and summer. All make excellent cut flowers for vases inside the home. These are just a few of the many bulb flowers to choose from. The downside is that once they bloom the stems and leaves must remain intact until they die back completely. As the plant dies the bulb pulls its nourishment from the leaves and stems and stores it for next year’s bloom. For this reason you do not want to cut unsightly stems and leaves. You may want to plant bulbs in the back of your garden behind summer blooming plants where the stems and leaves are less noticeable.
Perennials. The main advantage to perennials is that they come back year after year. Plant them once and you’re done. The drawback is they have a short timeframe for blooming. But, many perennials have lovely leaves so even when they aren’t blooming the leaves still add an aesthetic quality to your yard. And, some perennials do bloom longer than others if you choose your flowers carefully.
Annuals. Annuals are popular because they guarantee continuous bloom from early summer through autumn. They are also great for hanging baskets and planters on porches, decks and patios. Their only drawback is that they must be planted each year. They are good for one season only. Visiting a local nursery will help you decide what plants to purchase. These nurseries can also advise you on what to do to prepare the soil. If your garden area has never had plantings, then a certain amount of soil preparation will probably be needed to help the plantings grow and thrive. Often, nurseries will deliver and plant large trees or plantings that are too much to handle, and they may also recommend reliable landscapers if you need help with the project. If you are looking to save money on outdoor patio furniture, children’s play equipment or outdoor living merchandise the website Overstock.com has an entire section of home and garden items at below retail price, but if you can wait until the end of summer to make major purchases you can benefit from the end of season savings. Landscaping your yard not only adds pleasure for you and your family, it also adds value to your home and property.