The following is a guest post by Meredith Hale.
You’ve closed on your new home, unpacked your belongings and breathed a sigh of relief. Now it’s time to look outside and turn your attention to the landscaping. If you’re lucky, you purchased a home that was once owned by a master gardener. However, most of us find our new yard needs a bit of work to make it our own. While some large-scale projects are more complex, there are some simple things you can do to personalize your outdoor living space. Check out these seven easy landscape ideas for a new home:
Plant Shade Trees
Trees are valuable to a landscape once they’ve matured. Older trees not only help shade your home and yard but also freshen the air. Trees also harbor neighborhood birds, which are important to the local environment. Planting a tree is a great way to mark the purchase of your new home and invest in the future. Make sure to plant a shade tree far enough away from the house so that it doesn’t interfere with the foundation or sewer system. You also want to avoid trees that will have you constantly raking and cleaning out the gutters. Consider planting evergreens on a breezy side of the yard to help block the wind.
If you plan on adding any new plants to your landscaping, choose purple yarrow, coreopsis, red yucca shrubs or any of the native options that thrive naturally in Dallas. These are the plants that you may notice growing along the edge of a lake, beside roadways, and in untamed areas while on a hike. Native flowers need little water and will attract pollinators to your yard. They’ll also cut down on the amount of time you’ll have to spend maintaining your landscape.
Spread Some Mulch
Bringing in mulch to spread around the base of your landscaped plants is easy and will pay off in the long run. Organic mulch options, like bark dust, will provide beautiful color to the yard and keep plants hydrated. Inorganic mulch options, like stones or pebbles, will last longer but can be harder to spread due to their weight. Both options will help prevent weeds from popping up. Investing an afternoon spreading mulch can also save you a lot of maintenance time later on.
Make It Private
There will be areas of your yard that you will want to enjoy without the glances from neighbors walking by. Have fun with it and start some outdoor projects by planting a row of boxwoods for some semi-private areas or even hang some lattice on one side of the patio. Windscreens and vertical gardens are other ways that you can use the vertical space in the yard to add privacy. Adding a shade canopy or large umbrella can create a sense of privacy for homes with two-story neighbors.
Find A Favorite Spot
Outdoor seating is an integral part of landscaping a backyard. You can easily incorporate room amid plants and garden beds. Place a metal café table near your favorite rose bushes or even hang a hammock between two mature shade trees. Finding a spot in the yard that you can enjoy daily, while also being comfortable, will help you use your outdoor space more often.
Light it Up
A string of patio lights or outdoor solar lights will make the yard safer in the dark and allow you to use your yard well after dark. Go a step further and add a fire pit to the patio (either a permanent or less expensive portable one). The extra light will add a certain ambiance to your yard and encourage your family to get outdoors more often.
Add Some Stepping Stones
Many backyards have gates or side entry points that allow you to enter the yard without going through the house. These areas are often forgotten and usually, don’t include any kind of walkway or path. Consider adding stepping stones from the gate to the back patio to help encourage the use of the pathway without bringing dirt into your new home. Installing just a few stones will also help keep shoes out of the mud and provide a stable area that’s safe to use.
Updating your landscaping will help you increase the usable square footage of your home. You’ll now have more areas to relax and entertain guests.
Meredith Hale is a gardening and landscape writer, and design addict. She has coordinated the design on many house flipping projects, admitting that her favorite part is creating inspired outdoor spaces.