As a landscaper designer, I’ve seen it all when it comes to outdoor home design and improvements; from backyard wastelands to jungles that got away. I’ve even heard every excuse in the book. So when did backyards become so intimidating?
Here are my 5 favourite excuses that people use when stuck in a gardening "rut."
“If I replace my lawn with gardens, I will have to spend more time in the backyard working.”
FALSE! The truth is grass requires more maintenance then any other outdoor feature (except kids of course!). A well-planned garden will use less water and require less weekly attention then the average lawn. The key is to have a garden that works in your location. Doing a little research will provide years of reward. Get your camera and take some pictures of what grows well in your neighbour’s yard. Take those to your favourite garden centre for a little insider information.
“I have a large tree and nothing grows under it.”
This really isn’t a challenge but an opportunity. Under a tree is the first place people want to sit in the hot summer months. Make this garden inviting using the following simple tips. Work with the roots of the tree instead of trying to compete with them. Plan the garden in the area between the roots, and think of them as your framework for designing the space. Using shade-loving plants sometimes isn’t enough, as they have to compete with the tree for water and nourishment. Plant your shrubs and perennials inside a larger pot in the ground, which allows them a chance to get established.
“It’s going to be expensive to make big changes.”
It’s true, landscaping is never cheap if done properly, but there are a few things to consider. A well-designed outdoor space holds its value when it comes to resale. Also, no one ever said that you had to do it all at once. Have a plan and work towards the yard of your dreams as the funds become available.
“I don’t have time to look after my outdoor space.”
Having the right tool for the job makes it so much easier. With new technology, gardening has never been so simple. Light weight, battery-operated, environmentally-conscious garden tools make all the difference. Gardening is supposed to be a pleasure, not a chore.
"My children need a place to play.”
Perfect… kids love to garden. Plan a space with your children that they can participate in. Let them help pick plants and create their own section of the yard. Remember, this is a garden for them to play in, and some things aren’t going to make it, but that’s okay. A garden is a great spot to spend the afternoon for the whole family.
The truth is, if you want to make a change in the way you use your outdoors; go for it! What’s really stopping you? The magical lure of the couch?