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Backyard Landscaping Ideas to Increase Your Home’s Value

If you’re looking to increase your property value, your backyard landscaping is nearly as important as the landscaping in the front yard. While attractive front and side yard landscaping helps make a good first impression on a prospective buyer, backyard landscaping may help convince him to actually purchase the house at your asking price. The trick, however, is to choose the types of landscaping that will bring you a good return on your investment of both money and time. Contrary to popular belief, completely revamping your home’s landscape isn’t always the best way to go. Chances are, all you’ll need to do is spend a little time getting your existing landscape in order.

Clean up The Main Features
Before you add anything to your backyard, make sure the basic landscaping features look as good as possible. Get your lawn, shrubs and trees in good condition and make sure they look well manicured. Repair any damaged walkways, patios and decks and pull up weeds growing in or around them. Install edging around your lawn and flower beds for a neater, more finished look. Clean or replace features like sheds, lighting fixtures and statuary. Because you see your yard regularly, you might not notice areas that have begun to look run down, so it can help to invite someone else over to point out any messy looking spots you might have missed.

Minimize Maintenance
The landscaping in your backyard shouldn’t give a prospective buyer visions of endless hours of exhausting garden work. Consider removing plants that need a lot of care, such as exotic species, plants that drop a an abundance of needles, leaves or messy fruit, and species that may become invasive. Replace these with local native plants whenever possible. These species thrive in the wild in your locality, so they’ll require almost no care in the garden. Apply sufficient mulch to flower beds so you don’t have weeds popping up a week after you clear the bed. Develop bare spots or hard-to-landscape slopes into rock gardens, which look attractive, but require only minimal upkeep. If you have any tight spots that are hard to mow, create a flower bed around the area. This way you’ll only have to mow around the edges of the bed.

Block Unpleasant Views
Unless you do something to minimize or improve their appearance, common items like propane tanks, stumps and sheds can become eyesores that make your backyard look junky and unkempt. In most case, there are simple ways to hide or spruce up these items. Install a trellis or fence panel in front of the propane tank and plant a climbing vine like sweet pea or clematis to block the view. Dress up a stump by drilling holes in the top, filling the holes with dirt and planing flowers. Paint the garden shed to match your home, install a weather vane or other simple decor, and plant tall plants like daylillies or ornamental grass around the perimeter.

Landscape Lighting Gives a Cool Effect

Landscape lighting is the jewel in the crown of excellent landscaping. This is not to suggest that it is optional. Far from it. Most professional landscape designers consider light essential to completing their work, and essential to making it work. This is why tailored lighting is now an essential consideration in planning new homes and updating existing ones. Lighting is a way to revitalize existing landscaping and is vital in new greenery designs. Gone is the spotlight! Throw away the cans! The trend now is fixtures that you cannot see.

Outdoor lighting still has function, of course. It allows the use of outdoor entertainment areas after the sun has gone down. It lights the way on paths and walkways. It provides security. But you can have all of the essential functions with beauty built in. You often hear the term “nightscape” or “lightscape”. These terrific designs change the look of everything at night, using light and the direction of light. In the hands of a professional designer, lighting provides a daily makeover of your landscaping, using appropriate fixtures and their location. Light paints. Light draws attention. Light does much more than simply illuminate.

For many people, it makes sense. Why should they not be able to enjoy their greenery after dark? If you have invested in trees, plants, hardscape and water features, you want to enjoy them in the evening hours, too. The great part about it is that once a professional lighting design has been installed, you will see your home and grounds in an entirely new way.

Here are some of the terms for today’s outdoor lighting: Uplight, shadow and downlight. Uplighting, as you would imagine, points upward. When you light a tree from below, for instance, it takes on a whole new look (we are accustomed to seeing our trees with light from above, from the sun). Uplighting can give texture to a wall or draw attention to a fountain.

Shadowing throws a shadow, which is a dramatic counterpoint to a ray of light. A great new trend in downlight is hanging the fixture in a tree, so that it shines on the greenery below. It can be installed in traditional areas, too, such as from eaves of a house. Down is still the preferred direction for security lighting. But it can be wholly decorative, too. Landscape lighting does so much more than just flood an area with light.

Balance Is the Key to a Happy Landscape

Balance is important in all types of art, architecture, decorating, and especially in landscaping. With balance all things become equal in a particular setting. It is not always as simple as I make it out to be, but I will put it into terms that simplify it a bit for the inexperienced and the do-it-yourself types among us.

To achieve a sense of balance gardens, landscapes, and other environments whether natural or unnatural, need to be equally proportioned, otherwise the natural look and feel of balance will not be obtained. The majority of landscapes lack symmetrical form. They are most often asymmetrical and lack the balance that would make them more inviting and comfortable. To landscape properly can many times depend on other aspects to bring balance and harmonize that particular environment by uniting the available elements.

Often, the shortage of balance is a result of a need for repetition, or patterns. A pattern of like elements whether it be shrubs, flowers, or stones throughout a particular landscape can bring together separate areas. It only takes a single repeated patterned plant type, hue, type of decor, or fence to make this happen.

A balance shortage is commonly made by putting too much or all elements that fail to match in a single landscape. This will lead to a mess by the time the plants are mature and make for an uncomfortable habitat. At the outset of your planning, less is more, put only a few matching plants about the landscape, and make sure any other matching is very little. You will always be able to add int the future as you see fit.

Most problems people have with landscaping choices are those of shape. Shape is different in every landscape and the shapes you decide on should fill your wants and desires. But, many shapes even overflowing with positives are still boring, empty, ugly, messy, and without balance. Balance sometimes depends on shape, but not in every situation. I wouldn’t dwell on trying to achieve balance through shape.

Landscaping is subject to all the influencing elements that all other types of art are influenced by. Pattern, togetherness, and balance are an important part of any landscape and work together to make it beautiful.

Building designers and interior decorators utilize pattern. They make entrances, colors, molding, overhangs, and such all similar in shape and size. If everything in your home was different it would look rather ugly. It would be a hard place to live and be happy. The same applies to landscapes and gardens.

To make a landscape appealing and inviting we need repeating patterns. Only one matching element in opposing ends of the landscape can bring it together.

The easiest way to achieve it is by using plants, shrubs and grasses. But paths, fences, and walls can also be used to reach the ultimate goal. Which is Balance. Visit http://landscapingideas.houston-forum.com for more great landscaping tips.