Landscaping your backyard

Welcome to your playground, to your own little piece of the world. When landscaping your backyard, you have the freedom to create a place where you will be able to unwind, play, entertain, read or do whatever you enjoy. Front yard design is dictated more by neighborhood style and regulations, but in the backyard you have more freedom to create an environment that corresponds to your tastes and likes.

When landscaping your backyard, you are free to create a space that's all your own
When landscaping your backyard, you are free to create a space that’s all your own

Making choices

So the first thing that you should ask yourself is: What do I want to do in my backyard? What are my priorities for that space? Will I be there mostly alone? Will the whole family be using it to entertain often? Do I simply want a space that will provide beautiful views from inside the house? Will I be working there? Doing some writing or some carpentry? Working on a boat or an essay?

Making changes

Then, you must make a list of what you want to keep, change or add:

  • In terms of vegetation. Do you want to get rid of existing trees or bushes? Note that to bring down a tree even in your backyard, you may need a permit. Do you want to add new vegetation?
  • Do you want to change the topography, or surface configuration of your yard? Make a slope softer, for instance.
  • What about a pool or a patio? Do you want to add them, change them? Will you do this now or later on? What kind of pool? In-ground or above ground? What kind of patio? A small one in the middle of the yard or a large one adjacent to a patio door?
  • Do you want a nice lawn? Do you have the sun for it? Will it be practical to be mowing it?
  • What kind of a look and feel do you want for that space? When landscaping your backyard, you must keep this image in mind as much as possible. Otherwise you may end up, after all the work, with a space that doesn’t please you. Imagine what a disappointment that can be.

Considering what you can do when landscaping your backyard

Depending on where you live, there may be regulations that specify what you can and can’t do when landscaping your backyard. So it would be advisable to check with the authorities before doing anything.

Of course, if your backyard is rather small, the options will be different. The fact that your budget may be small may also limit your options.

A patio can be a practical and very handsome addition, especially if it’s made of natural stone, but these do cost a fair amount. Doing it yourself is a possibility, but you should know that it takes many hours of work to get the perfect look.

If you plan to install a pool when landscaping your backyard, size is a big issue. If your yard is not very large, the pool will become the only center of attention. Only if your yard is large enough, will you have the option to create other spaces, other environments.

Landscaping tips and landscaping design rules may help you make some decisions, and don’t forget to work from your plan. To get a better idea, take a few pictures of your backyard from different angles, enlarge at least of them and print it on paper on which you can draw. With this picture, the list that you put together and a few crayons in hand, you will have a much better idea of how the final project will look. You can even make many copies of the picture and try different scenarios. Another option is to use a software that may even show you the results from multiple angles.

Now let’s consider the big picture as you are starting to think about landscaping your yard.

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The right plants in the right locations with the right conditions