Posted on March 20, 2017 by John Bruce
Along with warm spring breezes and the first daffodils, comes the desire to get your yard and patio ready for the upcoming season. If you’re considering a landscape overhaul, or even just the addition of a few new features, consider making these 5 “must-have” landscape improvements part of your game plan:
1. Plant Native Grasses
One of the smartest things you can do in terms of easing lawn maintenance chores this year is to plant grasses that are native to your region of the country. Native grasses don’t require the kid-glove treatment needed to maintain grass species that have to adapt to conditions nature didn’t intend for them.
2. Plant a Pollinator Garden
If you’ve ever seen a hummingbird up close you know what a treat it is to see and hear those tiny wings flapping fifty-odd times a second! You can give yourself a chance to see them more often by planting your garden with flowers that attract the tiny hovering wonders, along with more frequent visits from Earth’s super-pollinators — honey bees and their equally busy relatives.
As a bonus, many of the flowers that attract hummingbirds will bring butterflies to your garden as well, since they also feed on nectar. Add a fountain or a bird bath to attract other bird species as well, and you’ll have a perfect place for all sorts of winged visitors!
The best flowers to use are those that are native to your region. Some general favorites are Bee Balm (get the red variety), Catmint, Black-Eyed Susans, Joe-Pye Weed, Coneflowers, Asters, Fuchsia, Honeysuckle and Trumpet Vine.
3. Mix and Match Quality Materials
For interest and contrast, don’t be afraid to mix materials. For example, pair metal railings with a wooden deck, or pebble paths with wooden, stone or metal planters.
4. Invest in an Outdoor Kitchen
People who take the plunge and install outdoor kitchens don’t often regret the decision. Having access to a small refrigerator, a sink, counter top space and a good quality grilling surface simplifies get-togethers and eliminates the need to run back and forth between the kitchen and the patio during the party.
5. Enlighten Your Space With “Hygge”
The Danish concept of “Hygge” is all about creating cozy spaces and embracing the simple pleasures in life. Focus on creating seating areas that foster conversation, exterior lighting that sets the mood for relaxation, and colorful, aromatic plants and flowers to stimulate the senses. Add a water feature to encourage a return to the present moment, and you’ve got a space that embraces life, love and connection with one another.
The key is to make your outdoor spaces work for you, rather than the other way around!