If you’re anything like me, you might find gardening and landscaping hard! Not everyone is born with a green thumb and unfortunately that just isn’t one of the qualities I inherited from my grandma. With a little bit of help, and the right advice, ANYONE can nurture their landscaping and gardening skills-yes, even those who have more success with killing the garden will soon just be ‘KILLING IT” in the garden!
Let’s face it-it’s hard to know what plants are good choices for hardiness and the ability to provide colour and visual interest all season long. Properly selected perennials are a sure-fire way to increase the eye-catching beauty and texture of your garden. Yes, they can be some work, but they absolutely pay off! The key is to choose plants that will be workhorses and need only a little effort, couple of times a year. When planted well, perennials keep coming back year after year, reducing the amount of annual planting needed. Choosing the right perennials will provide some relief from pests and diseases. That means less work and intervention on your part and more time to enjoy your garden. According to chatelaine in Canada the best perennials are:
Roses, Peonies, Poppies, Irises, Hydrangeas, Dahlias, Day Lilies, Foxgloves, Purple Coneflower and Lupines
- Rock Garden
Making a rock garden is one of the most fun and creative forms of gardening. I recommend that on your first attempt, you try not to think too big! A giant hillside might be overwhelming for your first try. A small arrangement can be just as impactful! You want your rocks to be in all different sizes. Leave holes big enough for your plants-some tiny, some bigger. On a piece of paper/ tablet etc., draw out how you would like to place your stones before you start moving them. A plan will save you a great deal of extra work when it comes to final placement. Random groupings look more natural, instead of placing them in neat rows. The best plants for rock gardens tend to be on the small side, often alpine in origin and drought-tolerant. They all need a good drainage. Think tiny when it comes to the rock plants. Smaller bulbs are a nice choice-especially small daffodils, wild tulip species, blue eyed grass or brodiaea. Creeping plants are always fun to use because they soften the hard edges of the rocks and help blend your plantings over time. Small mints, sedums, mosses, ice plants, and short grasses like blue fescue. Succulents are classic rock garden plants! They’re fun and hardy in most climates. You don’t want to use a nutrient rich soil with lots of compost because rock garden plants like it lean and mean!
Hardscaping your yard can include outdoor dining, fireplaces, walkways, decorative stairs, and even water elements. Adding a hardscape design to your yard using natural materials both increases property values and spaces in your home to be enjoyed during all seasons. Possibilities are pretty endless here! You love the beach? No problem! You can make the design resemble something more tropical! You want your backyard to feel more bohemian? Colourful drapes, crystals, swing…so many different choices! Asian theme, waterfall, fireplace, walkway…there’s so many inspirations on line, I would encourage you to look up what suits your style the most!
While you’ll only get the full effect at night, lighting, lighting will add sophistication and drama to any lawn. Some light designs can also function as stylish pieces on their own, improving your lawn’s aesthetic when they’re not even on. Thoughtful landscape lighting is a treat for the eyes. You can light up the path but also certain parts of the garden that you want the eye to be drawn to. Be creative and have fun with it!
I hope these suggestions are helpful just keep in mind what you and your family will enjoy for years to come! Plan, plan, plan! Once you have an idea what direction you want to take with your landscaping, be creative! Don’t be scared of using different textures and materials! You can mix styles and different fabrics as well! Happy landscaping!