Having a great landscape design in Rocky Knoll Durham NC can make or break your home’s curb appeal. But having a home with curb appeal doesn’t have to be the end game. For many homeowners, having a yard that looks picture worthy is more than a goal, it is a passion. However, for those who want the beautiful yard but possess minimal knowledge of how to achieve that look, it can be an intimidating challenge.
Fortunately, having a gorgeous yard does not require a degree in horticulture, but is does mean either doing a lot of homework or either bringing someone in to do the work for you. If you opt to do the work yourself and lean as you go, then having some helpful hints from pros both around the country, and especially in your region, can be a big help. To get you started, here are some landscaping tips from the pros.
Don’t just get stuck on a beautiful yard for a specific season. Think about what your yard will look like from January through December, then plant accordingly and think with yard maintenance in mind. With this thought, be sure to include a variety of shrubs and trees that will remain green all year long.
What should You Avoid When Landscaping in Rocky Knoll Durham NC?
Since the days of World War II "victory gardens," many homeowners want a yard that supplies not just beauty and shade, but food. The edible yard is one of the hottest landscaping trends today. Vegetable gardens, herb gardens, fruit trees, berry bushes-all are items that a landscaping company can use to transform a yard into a place where kids don't just go to play, they go to eat. Parents benefit too-they can save on grocery bills by making dinner from ingredients grown in their yard.
Ideal Spots for Edible Plants
Most yards contain a mixture of sunny spots and shady spots. Few edible plants will grow in the shade, but sunny areas can prove very useful. A landscaping company will provide ideas for planting a mixture of edible and non-edible plants in aesthetically pleasing designs. They can also help homeowners understand and implement smart gardening tips such as proper drainage and enriched soil.
Herbs make attractive additions to any yard. Basil comes in over 40 different varieties. Sage is a hearty herb that can grow almost anywhere, and there are different, colorful varieties-for instance, Perovskia Rocketman (Russian Sage). Fennel will grow tall and add movement as it sways in a breeze. Thyme also grows tall, and golden lemon thyme features beautiful golden leaves.
Some vegetables add great color too. Artichoke plants feature purple blooms as large as baseballs. Cherry tomato plants can be trained to cascade over a trellis. Lettuce plants make a lovely border, and will thrive in cold months.
Fruit trees add shade as well as fruit. Tall trees like Jonagold Apples provide shade and beauty. Dwarf trees will be easier to maintain. They rarely grow to more than 10' tall but produce full-sized fruits. There are dwarf varieties of many well-known apples such as Gala, Fuji, and Granny Smith. In warmer areas like California, citrus trees will thrive year round. They are also well-suited to smaller areas.
Plants that Attract Helpers
For an even more lovely garden, consider plantings that might not be edible to humans but will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Asters, marigolds, and black-eyed susans attract butterflies. Dogwood trees and privet hedges also attract them. Delphiniums, foxgloves, and flowering Tobacco plants attract hummingbirds. Any blooming plant will also attract honeybees, an important part of the ecosystem.
Don't forget vines. Grape vines are becoming more popular everywhere, likely because most climates and soils will grow grapes. The vines require some pruning but don't need much fertilizer. Grapes are not the only thing grown on vines-consider passion fruit, kiwi, or scarlet runner beans.
Plants, trees, and shrubs that are chosen by a professional landscaping company can transform a yard. Don't settle just for the ornamental. Branch out and let your garden feed you!
Lawn Care Basics
One of the most important aspects of landscape design, and this definitely applies to small spaces, is creating a front entrance that is inviting and curb appeal that is attractive and adds value to a home. Even if your front entrance is small, you can have a beautiful front entrance. Even if you have no front yard - your curb appeal can be maximized with careful planning and thought. You can easily use what small space you have to create a large impact on how the façade of your home feels and looks. An inviting and beautiful front to a home will increase neighborhood pride in ownership. It'll add literal desirability to your home which adds value, important if you're selling it. And most importantly, a small, beautiful front space will bring you home each day with a smile. Here are three simple tips on how to create maximum appeal with your small front yard and space.
Use vines! Vines are a small space's best friend. In typical design, it's easy to add impressive dimension by layering objects based on size, and this is especially important when it comes to landscaping the front yard. Taller objects are behind shorter ones, which creates dimension and can make an area appear larger than it already is by taking advantage of vertical space when horizontal space is limited. In an area that may not fit large trees and shrubs that add vertical elements to a front yard, vines can be substituted and can have the same effect. Use trellises that are specially designed to support vines of size, or sink trellises into the ground or in pots to support smaller vines. We love Clematis because of its beautiful and long-lived flowering. Place vines in the rear of your design, along walls and porch columns. Train them to grow around doorways. Allow them to take up as much height as they can, which will add a large visual element to your small entrance.
Pots, pots, pots! Another way to add size to small spaces follows the same principle as adding vines, but instead with pots! Pots are made in all sizes- from very large, to tiny. Use varying sizes of pots to create visual depth in an area that doesn't have a lot of actual depth. Place larger pots behind smaller ones in groups, and don't be afraid to fill them with perennials that you often see in large landscapes. Many perennials will live just fine in pots. Grasses are a wonderful choice in pots and do well in pot culture. There are many sizes of grasses, and they are all excellent choices depending on the size of the pot. Try layering medium pots among a display with this lovely Acorus Ogon Grass. It's bright yellow variegation will brighten up a small space without much work. The 'Chip' series of butterfly bush is another great perennial for pot culture, and their small size makes them ideal for small spaces. 'Blue Chip' will play well with the Ogon grass in a pot display in full or partial sun. Layer in pots of annuals too- often found in pretty, ready to display pots for purchase.
Opt for smaller ornamental versions of the big things. One simple example - Japanese maples. Even if you have limited ground space, there's likely a cultivar of these amazing small trees that will be able to grace your front area. Some of these trees can even be grown in large pots - which is essential if you live in an area where it may get too cold to keep most Japanese maple cultivars outside year-round. We love the Japanese Butterfly Tree, which tops out at a small 10 feet in height and sports lovely color in foliage all year-long. You can trim Japanese maples to take on that open, gnarled, and layered characteristic that we all picture well-kept Japanese maples as, or you can allow this cultivar to grow and fill out as it pleases for a lovely, balanced look. It's small and unobtrusive size will make it perfect for most all small spaces, and will easily add a pop of color where you need it most.
For more ideas on adding small size plants to your small yard, check out our Small Size Plants. We hope these three ideas help you create a big impact in your small front yard space. Build a beautiful front yard with these three ideas and you'll soon have the front façade of your dreams- even if it is tiny!
Summer Watering Tip
Your lawn should receive around 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week during the hottest months of summer. We suggest deep watering down to the soil depth of at least 6 inches.
Too light of a watering will merely damped the grass, which is of little benefit. In some cases a light watering can actually harm your lawn.
Just about everyone has seen your typical scorched, yellow, summer lawn...they can be quite an eyesore. Below we will go over a method to help prevent this. As with anything else, it will require a little bit of experimentation to adapt the amount of watering to your needs.
Here is a good way to determine how long to water your lawn and keep your property looking green in the hot summer months:
Place an empty can or bucket on your lawn and measure how long it takes to apply 1 to 1.5 inches of water, depending on your individual watering needs.
This is an accurate way of measuring how long it will take to properly water your landscape during the blistering hot months. The deeper watering will allow your grass to stay moist and protected, rather than wither in hot, dry dirt.
As always, a little experimentation is required for each individual landscape, however it gives you a more visually representation of how much water is being used.
Also remember that hot temperatures increase the likelihood of 'burning' the lawn if fertilizer applied, so do so preferably in the Spring or Fall instead.