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Easy Landscaping Ideas

If you're thinking about a few easy landscaping ideas for your yard, good for you! Landscaping not only allows you to express yourself, but it increases your property value. You can go about landscaping your yard in a variety of ways... you can hire a landscape architect to design it for you, and a crew to install everything.

You can design it yourself and hire professionals to put it in place, or you can do everything yourself. It doesn't matter if you've never done this before... with a few handy tips, you can easily do your own landscaping. But when it is all done, you will be able to take pride in your own handiwork.

There are a few things to keep in mind no matter what easy landscaping idea you choose. In order to have a successful landscape, you must pay attention to the soil. Do this before you plant anything. Add compost, peat moss or a good multi-purpose commercial soil.

If you have permanent fixtures in your yard (a gazebo, a pergola, etc) you need to plan around them. Work on small portions of your yard at a time... don't try to do it all at once.

Find out what hardiness zone you're in. This is relatively easy... most gardening books will have a chart, or you can do a search online to find your hardiness zone.

What Do You Like?

What kind of landscaping appeals to you? Do you like that manicured, formal garden look? Maybe you prefer an overgrown, charming cottage garden? Do you like statuary or garden furniture?

You need to make a basic decision here before you begin. Landscaping, like anything else, is much easier if you have a goal in mind.

Formal Garden Design

A formal garden may seem intimidating, but if this is the style you like, you've got to realize it isn't that difficult. There are several easy landscaping ideas to help you establish and maintain a formal look. Keep your flowers and shrubs trim and contained inside clearly delineated flower beds.

To design a new flower bed, measure it out and mark the edges before you dig. If you are using straight edges, use stakes and strings to guide your shovel. If the bed is curved, lay out your garden hose as a guide.

Dig your sod out of the flower bed carefully, and add new soil into the bed when you've removed all the grass. Keep the grass trim and weed free, and invest in landscape edging to maintain that formal look to your lawn. Add mulch around your plants afterward to keep in moisture and discourage weeds.

Think about adding some height with formal looking arbors, trellises and gates. Wrought iron and brick are traditional choices in formal gardens for fences and walkways. Traditional sculptures or furniture can help complete the look.

Plants suitable for a formal garden look include many small shrubs that can be trimmed regularly to maintain their shape. Repeat shapes... if you have a walkway, flank each side with identical plantings.

Look for boxwood shrubs, tall cedars or junipers, and lavender make good pathway plants. Coleus can be added here and there for color variations. Carefully trimmed roses on arbors can add some color and height.

Cottage Garden Landscaping

The secret to a cottage garden it to make it look like everything grew haphazardly, creating a soft, romantic, old-fashioned look. Choose old-fashioned plants like hollyhocks, sweet peas, daylilies, roses, foxglove, columbines, and peonies... anything that gives you a variety of heights, textures and colors.

If possible, choose varieties that will self-seed... in a year or two your cottage garden will look even more natural, as new plants will sprout here and there around the original. You can't get much easier than that.

Use some architectural pieces... fences, arbors, rocks and even baskets or wagons work in the cottage garden. Plant around them and in them where appropriate. These items will also give you some winter interest in your garden.

When laying out your cottage garden, remember to put taller plants to the back... you'll be able to enjoy a feast for the eyes without losing anything behind a larger plant.

Many plants that are good for cottage gardens are also perennials, and they may die back in the winter, but they always come back bigger and better the following years.

No matter what style you like in your garden, it is possible with these easy landscaping ideas.

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