Spring is a great time to enhance your outdoor living space. It’s the season for sprucing up your patio and lawn and executing new landscape design projects.
Creating an attractive area outside your home is a rewarding activity. It can improve the quality of your time spent outdoors each year. Energy and ideas flow freely as the soil and air grow warmer.
Here are a few suggestions for basic landscape maintenance to keep outdoor areas looking their best. Included are some fresh, unique, landscape design ideas to help your home stand apart.
Spring Clean for Your Outdoor Space
The first step to an attractive space is to pay attention to repair and maintenance.
Winter snow and wind can cause a lot of damage.
Edge your garden beds and hardscaped areas to clearly define your landscape. This may be one of the more back-breaking items on the list, but it truly makes a difference in the final look.
Re-touch paint on fences, arbors and your mailbox to remove discoloration that may have appeared due to salt and harsh winter elements.
Create a checklist of tasks to accomplish this spring. A checklist will keep things organized and help create a routine of making positive changes to your home and property value.
Know Your Yard
Knowing the areas of your yard that receive the most and least amount of sunlight is an important part of creating a spring plan.
Think about issues that were a problem in your landscape last year. If deer were able to get to an entire section of plants, consider fence installation.
• Do a soil test and check the pH levels of your soil to see if you have high or low acidity levels. This will help you determine which plants will grow best and how to feed your grass.
• Remove stagnant water on pool covers, buckets or flowerpots to prevent mosquitos from breeding.
• Look for evidence of drainage issues and assess how this is affecting your property.
Once you have your current features looking their best, it’s time to consider the potential for new outdoor design projects.
Special Features for Your Spring Landscape
Add utility and visual interest with versatile landscape accents.
Concrete pavers are now available in a variety of designs and textures for creating patios, paths, and stairs.
Water features bring energy and peace to landscapes while offering an interesting focal point.
Fire elements extend the amount of time you can spend outdoors.
Ideas for Beautiful Spring Landscapes
Forgot to plant spring bulbs in the fall? Visit your local garden center for cold-tolerant plants that can be placed in pots or planted at an early date.
Containers of colorful but tender flowering annuals can be set outside your door if you’re willing to bring them inside for the night.
Purchase garden statues and art and place them about the property. Birdbaths, rocks, and benches on which to sit and enjoy the sunshine are attractive when placed in appropriate spots. Choose styles that accent the style of your house.
Shrubbery can be planted early. Lilacs and other spring-flowering shrubs may not put out a display the first year, but they can be planted at this time of year. Find a spot with suitable conditions, water well, and enjoy.
Create a Colorful Garden
There’s nothing like relaxing on a bright spring day amid a patchwork of blossoms in many colors. Color therapy is best administered through flowers.
Or, perhaps you prefer to create a garden consisting of various shades of blue, or a bed of pink and red.
Playing with flower colors can be therapeutic and fun. The original designs you create should complement your personal style and the design of your home.
Design A Planting Scheme
Utilizing specific color patterns are proven to attract the eye more than others. Create drama and curb appeal with a design scheme.
Monochromatic – one color in a variety of shades; blend textures and sizes to create interest
Complementary – two colors opposite on the color wheel; blue and orange or red and green
Analogous – three neighboring colors on the color wheel; yellow, orange, red (most commonly used)
Fragrant spring flowers that will brighten up your landscape include Lilacs, Korean Spice Viburnum, Daphne Plants, Peonies, Bearded Irises, Lily-of-the-Valley, English Lavender.
When choosing plants for your landscape think about the amount of maintenance you are willing to do. Native plants will help keep maintenance low.
Early May is the ideal time to disperse an organic pre-emergent before any new mulch is laid.
Spice up your cooking in the coming seasons with herbs that grow well in partial sunlight such as Mint, Cilantro, or Parsley.
Create your own salad with easy to grow leafy greens such as Loose-Leaf Lettuce, Endive, Arugula, Spinach, and Kale.
Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts are all hearty plants that will grow and produce for longer in damp and cool environments.
Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers, Beans, Corn and Squash all enjoy maximum sun exposure.
If you don’t want to dedicate entire sections of your landscape to growing vegetables, then place herbs around the edges of your garden beds. This will help you decide how to proceed in the future when it comes to expanding.
Making a Grand Entrance
Add plants and flowers that are fragrant and colorful near the entrance of your home or garden. Plants such as Orange Marigolds or Purple Vanilla-Scented Heliotrope are great options for NJ landscapes.
Soften the edges of your landscape design with arching or cascading plants that will conceal unsightly issues or electrical boxes.
If you are planning to have a garden area, define its entrance for added intrigue. Adding an arbor or a pergola will increase your garden’s depth, dimension and provide places for your plants to climb.
For some homeowners, an interesting way to draw the eye to a specific area is by adding oversized plants. Plants such as Elephant’s Ear can bring a large dose of drama and an intense impact.
Attract the Wildlife You Want
Add coffee or tea grinds to your soil to increase acidity. This will alter the color and frequency of your blooms and deter deer from eating your plants.
Attract butterflies and hummingbirds with Aster, Butterfly Bush, Lilac, Globe Thistle, Zinnia, Larkspur, Foxglove Lily, Verbena and Scarlet Trumpet Honeysuckle.
Planting Scented Geranium near seating areas and pools will keep mosquitos away with its lemon scent.
For more spring landscaping ideas, visit our design gallery.
Sponzilli Landscaping specializes in expansive landscape designs for commercial and residential locations in the New Jersey/New York City area. Have an ambitious project in mind for your landscape? Contact us.