As more and more people migrate from the country to the city, it may seem like the appreciation for the outdoors is waning. But this is far from the truth. According to a recent survey, 79 percent of Americans say that a lawn is an important feature for when they’re buying or renting a house.
Homeowners value lawns for plenty of reasons. They can be great places to relax, offer a change of scenery from the indoors and even provide you with fruits or other produce.
When you want to make your lawn more hospitable and beautiful, here are five different ways you can go about it.
- Mix Hardscape and Softscape
When most people think about garden improvements, they either imagine planting new flowerbeds or putting up a gazebo. But if you’re an inspired mind, you can consider mixing both hardscape improvements with softscape additions. Hardscaping involves additions built out of hard and durable materials like stone and cement while softscaping means altering the soil, privet hedges and similarly yielding materials.
You can integrate both types of features in several ways. For example, you can use a custom retaining wall design to mold the shape of your lawn. You can then cover the retaining wall with climbing plants and pile mulch high on side, creating a sort of terrace. A wooden gazebo covered with ivy or flowering vines also counts as a mixture of hardscaping and softscaping.
- Use Native Plants
Too often landscape designers and gardeners will encourage homeowners to use exotic plants for their lawns. This is a bad idea as some of these plants can be invasive species. This means that they have no natural predators, letting them run rampant and upsetting the ecological balance of your community. What’s more, exotic plants can be difficult to maintain because they’re not meant to grow in your area. This means time and money wasted that could have gone to other things.
Instead of planting expensive exotic specimens, you could make use of native plants. Not only are these plants easier to take care of, but you’d be surprised at how beautiful some of these plants look. Consult with botanist and garden centers in your area for advice on native plants you can use.
- Leave Grass Clippings
Too many homeowners are reliant on chemical fertilizers and similar substances to keep their lawns growing strong. Although such fertilizers aren’t necessarily bad, they can have side effects on the soil. An overabundance of fertilizer can lead to enormous numbers of bacteria in the soil. This can corrupt your plants rather than make them flourish. Artificial fertilizers are also very expensive, especially if you have to but a lot of them to cover a lawn or all your shrubs.
Rather than use too many artificial fertilizers, you can keep your lawn and turf looking splendid by just leaving enough grass clippings on it. After you mow or clip your lawn, don’t cart away all the leaf clippings and grass. Leave about a third of the grass on top of the lawn to act as fertilizer.
- Use Natural Drainage
One of the biggest threats to the well-being of your lawn is the threat of flooding due to heavy rain or similar weather. But building a large drainage pipe or water ditch across your lawn will look very unsightly. Constructing such an addition can also be very expensive, with the cost of labor, cement and similar materials.
Instead of using artificial drainage, you can explore numerous avenues of natural drainage solutions. These include putting down plenty of absorbent mulch at the bottom of plants and trees to aid with fluid retention. Or you can use shovels and spades to create subtle contours across your lawn to divert water. Best of all, you can buy or collect rivers stones and other rocks to make dry creek beds. These can effectively channel overflowing water away from your property without looking out of place in a garden.
- Plant an Herb Garden
Gardens can be more than just decorative; they can actually be productive. However, not everyone has the skills nor the time to plant potatoes, carrots and other produce in their backyard. If you still want to grow something edible and picturesque in your backyard without devoting hours and hours to gardening, you can always plant herbs.
Plants like basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme don’t take up a lot of space. You can allocate a small plot of your garden to them and you can still have a fragrant crop of herbs. They are also easier to take care of then other plants and you can make lovely presents from them.
After months and months indoors, people are beginning to rediscover their appreciation for the wonders of the outdoors. Gardening is the best way to improve your property and enjoy your time outside.