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August 4, 2022
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August 4, 2022

Get your PPE for DIY landscaping

Beautiful landscaping is one such feature that really adds visual appeal to any home. There are many companies that offer landscaping services, but if you would like a DIY activity, this article is for you.

The first factor you need to take into consideration before starting this project is your budget. Do not feel discouraged if you are starting with a small budget— it just means you can phase your project into setting milestones to the overall landscape.

The second step is to acquire the tools you will need. The basic tools for any landscaping job include:

  • Shovel
  • Rake (steel and leaf)
  • Push broom
  • Pruners/hedge shears
  • Fork
  • PPE (Work gloves, steel toe boots, mask, safety glasses, first aid kit)

Once you have acquired your tools, you need to start conceptualising your space. Draw a bird’s-eye view of your property, noting the placement of all the manmade features (called hardscape) such as buildings, fences, and driveways. Boulders, trees, and large shrubs combine with your hardscape to form the ‘bones’ of your landscape.

Using graph paper helps, but you don’t have to worry over exact measurements, a sketch that is roughly in proportion will be fine. You can map out the desired areas to be landscaped and make a wish list of the items that you would like to fill those areas.

There are three main styles to choose from before you start purchasing items for the area. You can decide if you want your area to look:

Formal: Straight lines; symmetry; and elegant focal points like statues and fountains, manicured lawns, and pruned hedges define this style. Colour is secondary to structure and the mood is refined and serene.

Informal: This style is a balance between the formal and natural styles. It involves lots of curves and colours, lush growth, asymmetry, and natural-shaped trees and shrubs. The mood is comfortable and relaxing.

Natural: This style imitates nature, is low-maintenance, and should blend in with the surroundings, which could be anything from a wildflower meadow to a bog. The mood can reflect untamed chaos or just energetic, natural abundance.

Think about your entryway to your home. Do you want a welcoming front garden that directs visitors to your door? Use straight lines and hardscaped paths to lead visitors where you want them to go.

Don’t be discouraged by small garden spaces. There are tricks you can use to make small plots seem larger, such as lining up paths, gates, and trees to create sight lines that allow the view to flow from one area into another.

Also consider that having many small groupings of different coloured flowers can make a space seem cluttered, whereas grouping similar colours and textures together can really open up a small space.

Use larger shrubs and ornamental grasses to cordon off an area for rest and relaxation and you can even include a bench or gazebo.

It’s tempting to start your design with the plants, but it’s best to tend to your hardscape first. Once that’s in place, you’re ready for the fun part: planting!

Start by planting trees or shrubs. Begin from the house and work outward. Remember to plan for the mature size of the trees and shrubs to avoid having to move them later, when they outgrow their space.

Lay out potential flowerbeds with a hose or rope. A few gentle sweeps look more natural than many sharp curves.

Beds present more of a challenge since they can be seen from all sides. Wide beds and borders need a hard path or stepping stones to allow you to tend the plants without compacting the soil or trampling anything.

Define the edges where your flower garden meets the lawn. Plants in the foreground can be left to spill over this edging, softening the look. Ensure to layer plants according to height.

To combine plants effectively, take into consideration their size, shape, leaf colour and texture, flower colour, and visual weight. Remember that hot colours appear to advance while cool colours recede into the background. White can separate clashing colours and will brighten up a shady spot.

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