SPECIAL SECTION HOME IMPROVEMENT
DO-IT-YOURSELF LANDSCAPING THAT DOESN ’ T LOOK IT
If you ’ ve ever attempted to transform your backyard into a beautifully designed paradise , then you have probably planted , trimmed and dug your way into a few minor frustrations along the way . While good landscaping can vary by degrees including budget , skills and climate , there are a few easy things you can do in order to be proud of your landscaping without paying an expert .
The following tips will guide you on the right path to do-it-yourself landscaping :
• Always layer your planting beds . Layering in three rows , begin with your tallest plants in the back row , next tallest in the middle and your shortest plants in the front . And don ’ t just plant one bed — put another elsewhere in your yard to help provide a sense of harmony .
• Calm your yard with water features . Providing focal points in your landscaping work is a must , and one great way is to incorporate water features such as ponds and simple waterfalls . They both look appealing and add an attractive element to your yard — the calming sounds of moving water .
• Utilize retaining walls . If you are planning on protecting the fragile landscaping work around your home , it ’ s imperative to construct a strong retaining wall . Erosion-prone areas in your yard will benefit greatly by incorporating segmental retaining walls constructed from concrete masonry . Using concrete not only provides the best value for the investment ,
it also delivers superior design flexibility and aesthetic appeal to any landscape idea .
• When planting flowers , go with annuals . To have a continuous sense of color throughout your yard , plant annual flowers alongside your favorite perennials . Research and lay out creative flower combinations that make use of both kinds of flowers for beauty throughout the year .
• Think year-round . One of the biggest mistakes one can make is only providing one or two seasons ’ worth of eye-catching landscaping . Plan for having plentiful trees and shrubs during the springtime , fall foliage during autumn months , and visually interesting plant life in the winter , such as holly shrubs or bayberry bushes .
One of the most inexpensive ways to add living space to your home is the addition of an outdoor deck or patio .
Having a great outdoor space is like adding an extra room to your house . It can be enjoyed by the whole family , or experienced in quiet solitude as a retreat to the zen of outdoor living .
If you like to entertain , then an outdoor space is a must . Guests can spill out onto the patio , extending your home to allow more freedom for guests to mingle , both inside and out .
Though the words “ patio ” and “ deck ” are often used interchangeably , there is a difference . A patio is generally constructed of stone pavers , tile or a simple concrete foundation that sits squarely on the ground . Decks are usually made of wood , PVC ( also called vinyl ) or composite , which has wood content that has been encapsulated in a PVC wrap . Decks can either be ground level or elevated . When considering which option is best for you , you ’ ll want to look at the costs and also which one works well with the style of your home . The good news is that regardless of the option you choose , you ’ ll get a positive return on your investment , somewhere between 30 % and 75 %.
Continued on page 22 >
20 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE ❘ icmags . com