Are you listening to what your yard is telling you? While it can neither speak its wishes nor write you a note, it can tell you many things that it wants you to hear. Here are a few ways you can listen to your landscape when planning your designs.
1. Do a Soil Test. Soil tests are fairly simple to perform and yield behind-the-scenes information about the makeup of your soil. They provide data about its acidity or alkalinity as well as the amounts of various vital minerals like phosphorous and magnesium. Use this information to target the right soil with the right plants.
2. Study Sun Movement. Spend some time in your yard observing how the sun and shade move across the landscape. Make observations in roughly 30-minute increments throughout a day in various seasons of the year. Shade and sun patterns provide information so you can choose plants and grasses that benefit from particular conditions.
3. Observe Native Flora and Fauna. Do you know what plants and wildlife are native to your region? Native plants tend to thrive in the local soil, climate, and sunlight conditions—making them lower maintenance and less water-intensive. Likewise, embracing the insects, small wildlife, pollinators, and other animals that live in your area helps you encourage the right ones and discourage pests.
4. Embrace Desire Paths. Desire paths are natural routes people and animals take over a period of time rather than official pathways. They represent convenience, habit, and natural tendencies. You may have desire paths from your pets, local wildlife, and even humans using your yard for various purposes. Don't fight the way living beings want to move around the yard—embrace it instead.
5. Mind Your Water. Have you studied how rain, snow, and irrigation water drains throughout the yard? If not, now is the time to conduct some tests and observations. Poor drainage—including both too little and too much—makes it hard for plants to thrive. It can also damage your yard and the structures in it. So figure out how water flows so you can target the right adjustments.
Where to Start
Could you listen more to what your landscape has to say? Whether you could benefit from soil tests, sunlight observations, better drainage, or a familiarity with local plants and animals, the best place to begin is by consulting a qualified landscape designer in your area. With their help and your yard's secrets, you'll soon have a happy, healthy outdoor space.
Contact a local landscape service to learn more.
Hello, I am Manny Juanez. When I moved into my home, I instantly started to plan out my landscape features. I knew that I wanted a small waterfall leading to a pond for my fish. I also wanted to create a few raised beds around the sitting area by the pond. What I didn't know, however, was that the project would take a lot of manpower and a bit of professional help. My site will explore the process from grading the land to setting up the electrical components. I will also talk about building the garden beds with pavers and other found materials. The information I provide should help you create a beautiful layout in your back or front yards. Come back to my site whenever you need some inspiration.