7 Landscape Projects Perfect for Spring
If there is one landscape trend about which we’re ultra-excited, it’s the addition of an outdoor kitchen. Not only will you avoid having to heat up your house when you cook, you can enjoy year-round feasts with friends and family. Outdoor kitchens can be as simple or elaborate as you like, from a grill or fire pit to a fully-equipped space featuring a sink, wet bar, mini-refrigerator, stove, grill, smoker, wood-fired pizza oven, and more. These areas look beautiful with containers and borders of flowers, veggies, and herbs, as well as decorative elements, lights, water features, etc.
For generations, the American Dream meant perfectly manicured lawns and keeping up with the Jones’s grass! Today, though, there is a shift toward transforming your lawn (or at least portions of it) into vegetable and herb gardens. Not only do home gardens produce wonderful, fresh foods, they are exceptionally beautiful as well.
Give it a try! Besides the old stapes - lettuce, beefsteak tomatoes, and cukes - try some new varieties, such as kale (so easy to grow!), basil towers, cilantro, lavender, rosemary, PeppiGrande red pepper, pattypan squash, Purple Crush cauliflower, Dragon’s Tongue beans, and more. With an outdoor kitchen and food garden, you can “grocery shop” and then prepare excellent farm-to-table means right in your own backyard!
If you don’t want to commit a lot of space (or time) to veggies and herbs, you can always install raised beds or opt for container gardening. Each has its own great aesthetic - and taste.
You’ve heard the buzz about dwindling populations of critical pollinators, most notably bees. One reason is that pollinator plant populations are also decreasing, so bees, butterflies, moths, and other pollinators have to travel further. Creating a landscape that is pollinator-friendly is easy - and beautiful. It also provides these essential workers with the pollen and nectar they need so they continue to pollinate our fruit and vegetable crop.
You can find a variety of pollinator plants that deliver long bloom times and plenty of color. Try:
- Bee Balm
- Birds of Paradise
- Indian Paintbrush
- Black-Eyed Susans
Pro Tip: It is best to plant these in clumps rather than singly to attract pollinators.
A vertical garden is ideal for smaller spaces; maybe you have a small yard or you have a little nook that you want to utilize. Grow up instead of out: you can use trellising and/or wall-mounted containers to grow herbs, vegetables, and climbing vining plants. This can also be an attractive privacy screen or “wall” for your outdoor kitchen/sitting area.
“Undone” and Sustainable Landscaping
Jeffrey Carbo of the American Society of Landscape Architects, says more of our yards are evolving into a “beautiful undoneness.” This theory of landscaping blends natural elements and “light-touch” control to create a low-maintenance, eco-conscious environment. It encompasses the sustainable plants - i.e. using native plants and planting for drought-resistance.
Simply using plants that are native to our region, for example, cuts down on water waste, as well as the use of harmful pesticides. It’s safer not only for the environment but for our families and pets as well.
Another landscape project we love: hardscaping. This method involves the use of “hard” or non-living materials, such as brick, metal, stone, wood, and concrete. For example, this could mean installing beautiful pavers on your patio, building a stone wall, creating a brick fire pit, building concrete stairs… if you can dream it, we can help you achieve it!
This cuts down on the area that you have to mow and treat - but it also creates wonderful outdoor living areas you can enjoy virtually year-round.
This is all about playing the long-game! Composting helps provide essential nutrients to the soil and does so naturally. And, you can’t beat the price! You simply add your organic food scraps, leaves, twigs, and other yard debris to the mix, turn, and wait. Then, you’ll have nice, rich fodder to add to the ground.
How do you get started? Easy. Put your organic scraps (no meat, please!) into a container and then add to your backyard compost bin. Turn the compost every week (if you have a pile) and every three to four days if you have a tumbler. With a tumbler, you have the advantage of contained compost.
Which landscaping project do you want to tackle this year? Let us know; Garrett’s Landscape & Grading is here to lend a green thumb.