Foundation & Surroundings – Basic Rules On How To Design Your Landscape

The hardest part is done now. Getting the foundation laid is key. Now that you’ve gotten that taken care of, it’s time to start thinking about what is going to go around this brand new foundation.

Are you going to keep grass around it? How about dirt? Or if you’re feeling really Zen, you could always go with pebbles, and throw in little stepping stones and a fountain, oh my! I’m getting ahead of myself.. The easiest option here is definitely to stick with the grass that you most likely already have in your backyard. It’s clean, simple, and easy to maintain.

If you choose to go with something a bit different like pebbles or dirt, be prepared for the upkeep that goes into keeping the surrounding areas, like your new patio clean. There are plenty options here, so take your time and choose what’s right for you and your family. Obviously bark dust or pebbles aren’t going to be a great option if you have small children or pets that love to go outside and play. As I said above, grass is an easy choice, but plan accordingly. With grass you’ll need to mow it, water it, and take care of it. A well-maintained lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood. Alternatively a lawn that is mistreated can be a serious eyesore in an otherwise serene setting.

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Remember that if you want to plant a little garden around your patio to leave a walkway out to the rest of the yard so that people don’t trample your beautiful flowers. This is a great idea if you want to spice up a simple setting. Choose a low-traffic area for your new garden, as to not see it get ruined, and then plant some of your favorite plants, or even become self-sufficient by planting your own vegetables in the garden. Nothing better than a salad made from your own garden!

Mother Earth News is an invaluable resource for finding out which plants, flowers, and vegetables are capable of growing in your state. If you’re looking to go with something a little bit bigger, you could always plant a tree or possible a couple trees in your backyard, depending on the yard and mature tree size. Obviously the best option would be to start with a smaller tree and help it grow. Starting from seed will take an awfully long time, and moving a fully grown tree can be expensive, and most of the time not worth the hassle and cost.

Some things to keep in mind when choosing to plant a tree in your yard is if you have a storm season. If you’re like us here in Kansas, the threat of a tree being struck down is very real – in fact I watched a neighbor’s tree get struck down into the street just yesterday from lightning, scary stuff!

Trees can be a lot of work to maintain, needing to be groomed and pruned, while sometimes causing disputes with neighbors if it starts to hang over their property. A great resource for finding which trees can survive comfortably where you’re at is definitely Wikipedia.

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Remember that just because you like a certain kind of tree or plant, doesn’t mean that it is built to survive in your state’s climate. Be conscious of what types of flora and fauna you’re attempting to grow. Not everything will be able to survive where you live!

So far we have taken care of two of the most important factors when it comes to your new outdoor area. With a solid foundation and beautiful surroundings, you’re set to start putting together the pieces for your new happy place!

Stay tuned, part one was general but as we continue into the next parts, things will get more detailed. By the time we reach the end of our journey, you will have all of the basic knowledge necessary to put together something that is totally ‘you’.

Planning is 9/10ths of the battle here guys and gals!

Ashleigh Lynn

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