Like all good designs, there are guidelines that, if followed, help insure an end result that is both rewarding and beautiful to behold. Deciding early on what plants to use or what hardscape materials to incorporate can make the outcome of the project go much smoother. Have a professional help you with features that will give you the “most bang for your buck” and that will work in your particular yard, with your particular soil or existing features.
Irrigation is the most important aspect of your yard. If not done correctly, then everything being recommended will not work, or at the least, plants will never look healthy or thrive. Drip irrigation on the average needs to run 25 to 35 minutes (not 12 to 15 minutes as commonly seen), lawn sprinklers from 8 to 12 minutes, and in the hottest months you need two cycles, using the lower times. So having covered this let’s move on.
One step for getting started before renovating an old or beginning a new landscape is deciding on a theme. Plants in right combinations have a theme to them, a “feel,” e.g. Tropical, Mediterranean, English Garden or Northern Californian, you can even mix the themes a “little.” On a side note, of all the landscape themes, Tropical themes use the most water. Another suggestion is to have a Tropical or Mediterranean look around a pool and another theme around the lawn. Doing this adds variety to your yard. “The most common thing I see is there is no pattern or theme,” says Arthur Navarrette of Executive Care Landscape. “The yard instead of having a positive, restful feel is confusing.”
An important feature of any yard is the ability to add different dimensions. By using top-soil blend and creating mounds it adds height and variety to the yard, increasing interest. Maybe take a featured plant and center it on a mound, creating a focal point. Or, add a little mystery by partially hiding a plant from one side, but then as a surprise you see it from the other side. Add to that a combination of boulders, and you take your yard to a whole new level.
Most plants have a bloom and are beautiful when in bloom. However, “color” comes in three classifications. Ornamentals are the typical plants that we have in our yards. Perennials are longer bloomers, blooming during
specific times of the year and can be cold sensitive. Annuals are what we typically refer to as “flowers” and depending upon the season there are different varieties available. The understanding and proper use of the
above will insure that your garden will be in color year round.
The sound of water should be a consideration for every yard. We have all heard water running in nature or around the office from a water feature. The sound of water can be something as inexpensive as a small fountain or something much more elaborate as a built in waterfall. It is all beautiful and can be adjusted according to space and budget. One word of caution, oftentimes we see water features sitting off in a corner with nothing in them except spider webs. This is a direct result of poor placement or planning. It is important to understand that water evaporates continually, and one must make the time to check and refill the water. If this is too time consuming, then have the landscaper install an auto fill to insure proper water level and hence continued enjoyment of your fountain.