plant nursery

Did you know that while younger generations are recently taking an interest, older generations continue to dominate the gardening participation?

Whatever your age range, no one can deny that a stunning landscape design will transform a drab backyard into a paradise like nothing else. While this is a project often left to professionals, if you’re the “do it yourself” type, landscaping your own yard is technically something you can do on your own. The following steps will give you the basics of what you need to know before you head to the plant nursery to make your own landscape.

1. Choose a Focal Point

Shrubs, trees, and flowers always look beautiful, but if you just start planting without a plan, your yard could end up looking like a patchwork quilt, with no consistent pattern. The key is to have a good plan beforehand for what your yard will look like, then to follow that plan to the letter.

The first step in designing your new landscape is to choose a focal point. A focal point is the most prominent part, which everything else in your yard will spread out from -- it anchors the rest of your yard, providing a sense of stability for the entire ensemble.

Your focal point could be a gazebo, a pool, or just a large, flowering tree. It can be any element that’s large and beautiful enough to serve as a foundation for the rest of your landscape design.

If you’re going to build a pool, gazebo, or other structure to serve as the focal point, the construction should be completely finished before you visit the plant nursery or start working on landscaping.

2. Make a Plan

At this point in the process, you’ll decide what style you’re going for in your landscape. Do you want it to feel like a rainforest, a Japanese garden, or a formal garden? Knowing this will define what kinds of plants you will use.

In addition to knowing what style you’re after, you need to know what plants will actually thrive in your yard. Is there a lot of shade from trees, or is it full sun? What kinds of plants do well in your geographic environment?

Next, you will lay out a plan for your landscape, either on paper or using drafting software.

If this part is too much to handle, you can always hire a professional landscape artist to do the planning for you. Your plant nursery can recommend on to you, and you can still do the actual landscaping yourself afterward.

3. Begin Planting

Starting at your focal point and working out, start with installing the bigger plants first. You’ll want to look into the specifics for how to properly plant each tree, shrub, and flower. This is especially important for larger trees and shrubs, which must be planted correctly to have the best result possible.

To maintain a professional appearance, plantings alongside exterior walls and fences needs to be done in tiers. Shrubs should be planted closest to the house (they should be lower than the windows when fully grown). Then, the outer layer should involve flowers and other colorful plants, which the taller shrubs can be a backdrop for.

4. Lay Down Sod

Sod is a traditional staple for backyards. It grows well in almost all sunny areas and can be installed on gentle slopes. It’s the perfect setting for picnics, sports, and family activities.

If you’re going to use a sprinkler system to irrigate your yard, you should install it before laying down sod. You should also avoid putting sod in places with a lot of shade, or on steep slopes.

5. Add Mulch and Beautify Shaded Areas

Grass doesn’t tend to grow well in the shade, but other plants at your plant nursery do. These should be planted in places where there isn’t much sun, or where there are only a couple hours of sunlight each day. These are likely going to be the spots where your family will want to sit down and enjoy the yard since they will be shaded, so consider setting up nice lawn chairs and tables as well.

You’ll also want to put mulch down anywhere that you aren’t planting grass. Mulch keeps out weeds and makes your yard look nice and tidy.