In order to landscape a backyard in such a way that no money or time will be wasted, it’s necessary to do the proper research before hand, as I explain in this article.

If you’d like to do some landscaping in your backyard, it’s not enough for you to just go to a local garden store and pick up a few plants and a few tools, and then get to work. You have to put in a little bit of thought and planning first.

The reason is simple – you’re going to be working with living things and living things thrive best in the correct soil and in the correct sunlight. If you don’t know the ph balance of your soil, or which spots of your backyard get the most sun and which parts get the most shade, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice when it comes to the landscaping, as you may find that your expensive plants don’t flourish as you’d hoped, and then you’ll have to do it all over again.

And then there’s the question of drainage. Are there soft spots in your lawn where the water automatically goes after a rainstorm? Is that where you want those soft spots to be? Does the ground have a slope that you’ll have to contend with? If you don’t have a fence surrounding your backyard…is there a view you’d like to emphasize and a view you’d like to de-emphasize?

It is only after you know all these things that you should actually begin planning your landscaping.

If you feel you don’t have the time to learn all the intricacies of ph balance and the best kinds of grass to use for your lawn, you can always hire a professional landscaper to do it all for you. You’ll find plenty of companies in the phonebook, but even here you’ll have to do your research. Make sure you hire a company that has been in the business for a long time and know what they’re doing. Check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure they have no complaints lodged against them. Ask for and check their references. They’ll probably have a website, which will make it easy for you to go online and compare different companies’ products and services, as well.

But part of the fun of working with your backyard is doing it all yourself!

So, you’ve researched and learned all the facts about your backyard that you need to know. You know which kind of grass will be best for your climate and which will stand up best to the hard use of kids running up and down, for example. You know where the shady spots are and the spots of sunshine. You know the drainage patterns and if there are any soft spots that you have to contend with. You know which currently existing trees you are going to keep, and which ones you are going to remove, if any. You know the best place to put the new trees you’re going to get…and what kind they’ll be.

So now all you have to do is design the landscaping.

Get yourself a three-ring binder, so that you can keep all your planning ideas in one spot. And then…plan. Start out with a list of all the goals you have for your landscaping – from grading the lawns to purchasing flowers and plants to erecting a conservatory – whatever you think of that you’d like, write it down. But don’t do anything yet.

Walk around the block, and talk to your neighbors and friends. Discuss your landscaping ideas with them. But this isn’t a case of keeping up with the Joneses! Don’t decide to build yourself a conservatory just because your neighbor wants one – your reasoning will be obvious. Unless you get along well with your neighbor and have no qualms about saying, “Yes, I loved his so much that I just had to get one of my own.” That type of good-natured respect between friends and neighbors is all to the good.

But more often than not you should design the landscaping around your likes and desires, and not what is “flavor of the month.”

Walk around your neighborhood, then, and see what your neighbors have done with their yards. Drive around other neighborhoods and see what’s happening there. You’ll be sure to get plenty of good ideas that you can adapt to your own yard. And then of course there’s the internet. If walking around your neighborhood gives you a few ideas, think how many ideas you can get from surfing the infinite reaches of the web.

There are plenty of print magazines that will give you tips on landscaping, from 101 Tips on Landscaping to Landscape Architecture to Horticulture to Fine Gardening.

But you’re still not ready to go out and buy those plants and tools. The next thing you need to do is make a plan of your landscaping, preferably to scale. You can do this on your own using graph paper, or you can purchase software that will enable you to make three-dimensional landscapes, all without lifting a shovel.

It is only after you have your landscape completely designed on paper that you should then transfer it to your backyard. And then you’ll have a masterpiece to enjoy.

Mr.Andrew Caxton

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