The Home Landscape Hobby

Posted by: Rick Pariani in Uncategorized

woman-gardening-186A hobby-approach to your home landscape can be very rewarding. It can be stimulating from the perspective of design-exploration; providing you with the opportunity to research and consider myriad potentials for enhancement. It can be the very best method of boosting the entertainment value and market desirability of your home. It is always an aerobic work-out and as such, a very healthy way to invest a little sweat-equity. The very act of implementing change and making visible and tangible improvements is also good for the soul – blessing you with the feeling of getting something accomplished through your own efforts.

cal1jpgI recommend that you first take a global approach – prepare a rough, conceptual plan for all areas of your yard – including the hardscape elements, such as the driveway, pathway, terraces, pool features, fencing and other embellishments. Dream big and don’t be constrained by this year’s budget. Try to look at all of the things that you and your family would like to achieve and sketch them out in the best arrangement. Create a “big-picture” that can inspire you to action. Walk around your grounds and imagine what they could be – drawing from the memory of those places you have visited and how they made you feel. Tour your neighborhood with a keen eye – looking for things that “work”; for compositions that seem pleasing to your eye; for plants and plant groupings that are flourishing in their place. Conduct your tour on foot or on bicycle – and make sure to do it in the morning light – the mid-day light and the evening light – taking note of the changes. Take photographs – but make sure your neighbors don’t mind or think you a bit strange.

cal9After getting your ideas together, your best bet is to hire a professional landscape architect to prepare a design plan with a quantified material and cost list. You can also rely on a landscape nursery representative for plant performance characteristics and a master gardener for experienced, tested and proven plant selection and grouping advice.

Of course, you can also get-in-tune-with and train your own design sense, relying on your judgment and energy. Remember though – less is more – and simplicity of elements and arrangements is recommended. If you go the hobby-route it is important to define individual projects and project areas and be prepared to experiment. Be ambitious but be reasonable – for instance, create a planting bed and finish every component of it (the trees, shrubs, ground covers, flowers, mulch and irrigation) as opposed to ripping out the front yard, leaving it naked for many weekends, and then losing interest only to be summoned to a “neighborhood court” of objections. If you tackle specific components and areas of your yard – finishing them off in short order – you will be amazed at how quickly they will settle in, grow and begin to mature and how fast change will come. Planting is actually very easy to install – sometimes more difficult to select – but by asking questions at the material source and trying out different combinations – you can achieve a far better gardenesque-type landscape than is ever initially done by a home-builder.

Once your thumb turns green, you will be forever rewarded. And as you realize success in stages, you will be able to take on much more complex and involved projects that will add pleasure and value in your life. Maybe you will even be awarded the Yard of the Year in your neighborhood. So – get out there and imagine, plan, plant and maintain – step back and admire, enjoy and be proud of your accomplishments – and keep the garden gnomes and gazing globes out-of-sight.


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