Our homes are often the focal point of all our energy. We spend most of our time, money, and creativity making it look and function the way we want it to on the inside. But sometimes, that leads us to neglect the outside.
As great as it is to have our house the way we want it, we can’t forget the patch of ground where it sits. Whether that’s a tiny strip in front of a townhouse or a sprawling expanse around a lovely country home, the lawn and garden areas are just as important and just as useful as the spaces on the inside.
Planning a great garden area for beauty, functionality, and value can go a long way toward making your home something you didn’t even realize it could be. Follow these simple rules to establish your garden and help it to be its best each year.
Plants that are locally adapted are also locally edible. There’s a reason you have certain insects in your area, and it’s because they find things to eat in your area.
Keeping unwanted bugs at bay while protecting honeybees and other good insects is a job for a professional, not for doing it yourself. Just like plants, insects are local, therefore the pest control expertise in Las Vegas will have different tactics, then in Tallahassee or Boston.
A reputable exterminator will be able to keep the unwanted insects under control in the garden as well as battling termites and other residential pests.
Keep It Local
Flipping through catalogs is fun, whether we’re shopping for cars, clothes, or plants. The problem with buying plants that way is that you could end up with specimens that honestly have no business being planted in your area.
One good way to avoid this problem is to review your location on a USDA hardiness zone map, then compare that to what the catalog says is an appropriate area for the plant. If it’s close, choose something else.
Plants grown outside of their ideal climate will struggle to survive either the winter or summer. They may get too much rain or not enough. Diseases can ravage them. In short, it’s an uphill battle. Stick with locally adapted plants for the best success. The easiest way is to buy locally!
Make It Friendly
We’ve talked about location-friendly plants. Now let’s talk about keeping the garden people-friendly.
Layout is key to a good garden, and that is even truer when you use popular plants like rose bushes. These thorn-filled beauties are best situated away from walking and sitting areas, with a buffer of gentler plants around them to avoid unintentional collisions.
Think about sunlight as well. The late-day sun is intense, so place your tallest trees in such a way that they help to buffer those hottest rays before they hit patios and decks. And be sure that walking areas are easily accessible to friends and family who may be less mobile.
Our gardens are wonderful places to eat, visit, and play. They can be a much more pleasant option than simply sitting around on the couch for hours, staring at the TV. As you shop for or design a home, remember that after the window treatments and bamboo flooring comes a yard and garden with as much potential for beauty and functionality as any other part of the house. With a good plan, you can make it into something beautiful and inviting.