So often we hear the expression Home, Sweet Home. And that’s because home should be exactly that: sweet. While our front yards are often sculpted to show our “best side” to the world and the home’s interior is designed and furnished for comfort and function, the backyard can be reserved for whimsy, entertainment, and fun. Landscaping the backyard can be a great way to extend your living area and give your family a private nook for enjoying themselves.
When designing a backyard landscape project you first need to consider what it is you wish to do back there. Try to think of what your family enjoys most while spending time outside. Ideas might include playground equipment, sports areas, a pond or pool, patio or deck, grilling area, or even an entire outdoor kitchen.
The functions you wish to participate in can help you determine the scope and scale of your project. Your next determination for the backyard is the degree of privacy you have versus the degree you wish to have. If your backyard is already as private as you need it to be then you have no worries there, but if, on the other hand, you desire additional privacy then your next consideration will be in how to accomplish that goal.
Fences can take many different forms; you may want to build a wooden privacy fence, plant a privacy hedge or plant tall evergreens. Keeping weeds and vines from climbing your fence will be essential in maintaining a fence - even if plants ARE your fence. In order to help maintain the fence’s integrity as well as to add some aesthetics to your yard, consider cultivating a flower bed along the fence line. Low maintenance plants like hostas or phlox can add beauty to your backyard without a lot of backbreaking work.
If you plan to do a lot of entertaining and cooking or grilling, be sure to have a landscaper or contractor help you design ample space in a deck or patio. You’ll want enough room to keep guests far enough away from the grill that they won’t get burned or breathe a lot of smoke, as well as room for tables and chairs.
Keep in mind, as well, that a party can always be enhanced by the presence of music, so your backyard landscape might benefit from installing a sound system. The typical system will incorporate an indoor stereo or iPod docking station wired to speakers and secondary controls on the exterior of the house. With new technology you can most likely have music wherever you may roam in your backyard - speakers today can look like logs, stones, or other designs to fit your yard motif.
Backyard landscapes are fairly open designs, but if you choose to have a multi-functional backyard, you may wish to separate the areas with some plantings to give each space some definitiveness. Short hedges or bushes can be a great way to define different yard areas without obstructing your view from any spot. Whatever you decide to do in your backyard, just make sure that when the project is complete you are able to sit out back and enjoy the fruits of your labor and admire how sweet home truly is.
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