Micah Raskin, Amateur Landscaper, hares His Top Three Tips for Redesigning Your Backyard
NASSAU COUNTY, NY, UNITED STATES , March 2, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Whether you’re reimagining your existing backyard or you’re starting from scratch with a completely blank canvas, it can be a little overwhelming to get started with landscape design. Heading straight to the nearest nursery and picking out some pretty plants is certainly a starting point, says Micah Raskin, amateur landscaper, but you’ll be better off if you’re careful to choose plants and layouts that work for your environment and soil type, and sun vs shade exposure. You want your new landscaping to thrive, not just survive.
Taking the time to plan before you dive in can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration advises Micah Raskin. And to help you out while you’re getting started, he has gathered his most helpful tips and tricks for a perfectly landscaped yard.
1. Get to Know Your Yard Advises Micah Raskin
Not every plant will grow equally as well in your yard, warns Micah Raskin. You may love the way English roses look, but if you live in a heavily shaded area or in a desert climate, they’re going to quickly wither away.
Consider your regional climate, how hilly or flat your site is, and what type of soil you’ll be planting in. Not sure where to start? Check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map! It tells you which zone you live in and which plants thrive naturally in those areas.
Just remember that your specific yard’s conditions are kind of like their own micro-climate. If you live in a sunny area but you have giant shade trees covering your lawn, you’ll need to look for shade-friendly plants. There are four main categories of “microclimate”:
Note down your zone and your microclimate when you’re crafting blueprints for your landscaping.
Your topography will also be an important consideration. Most importantly, you’ll need to know how water drains in your landscape. The best landscape designs are always the ones that encourage water to move away from your home and towards other areas of your landscape.
2. Think About Who Will Be Enjoying the Outdoor Space Says Micah Raskin
After you’ve made yourself familiar with the basics of your landscape’s needs and capabilities, you should think about the functionality of your design, says Micah Raskin. “Consider who will be using the space the most and design for their enjoyment and comfort,” he advises.
Will your children be playing in the yard? Do you have dogs or cats? Will you be entertaining in your outdoor space? Remember, no matter what size your lawn is, you can always use different spaces for different functionalities. Strategically planted bushes, grass, and flowers, as well as thoughtful hardscapes, can separate areas. And paths or walkways can guide visitors where you want them to go.
And remember, you will be using and enjoying this landscape as well – not to mention maintaining it. As you’re deciding on your budget and style, don’t forget to include the cost of upkeep. Be as realistic as possible – maybe even a little pessimistic – about your ability to care for your new landscaping. Those orchids may be gorgeous, but are you really going to dedicate an hour or so each day to their care?
Your enjoyment of your landscaping can be negatively impacted by unexpected costs in time and money. So, be honest about how much work you want to put in to ensure the long-term success of your landscaping!
3. Use a Theme to Unify Your Landscaping Design Advises Micah Raskin
Choosing plants for aesthetics or heartiness alone can end up looking a little haphazard, warns Micah Raskin. Choosing a theme can help you make plant and material selections that harmonize with one another instead of competing.
Before you get overwhelmed, a theme doesn’t have to be intricate or literal to work. It can be as simple as using the same shapes and forms throughout your design. Or, if you’re looking for more of a challenge, you can choose to create a Zen garden, or a French Provincial garden, etc.
But not all themes are equal. You want to choose something that complements not just your taste and style but your home as well. Start by examining the architecture of your house. Try to choose plants and placements that complement the lines and style of your architecture. You want your yard to be an extension of your home – not a competing entity.
Themes can help you select decorations, sculptures, water features, hardscapes, and plants. Still not sure how to choose a theme? Look at your existing decorations, designs, and personal style. Do you prefer clean lines and open spaces? Minimalist and mid-century modern might be for you. Are you drawn to soft lines and lots of color? A more natural theme may be in order. Do you want specific colors? Shapes? Scents? All of these questions will help you narrow down and define your theme.
4. Make Your Plants Work for You Says Micah Raskin
After you’ve chosen a theme and understand the microclimate of your yard, you’ll want to think about how your plants will function in your landscape. This isn’t just about how they will survive, but how they will affect the conditions of your yard, says Micah Raskin.
Plants can be useful in a number of ways – you can create lovely scents, beautiful scenery, edible food, and more. You can also use your planting to define specific areas and barriers. You can use plants to create privacy and limit access. You can do this explicitly with tall trees, bushes, or prickly brambles, or you can do it implicitly with low plantings that discourage disturbance.
When placed correctly, your plants can also alter the very conditions of your microclimate. Trees increase shade, lower temperature, block wind. Water features can add sound and birdhouses or butterfly bushes can invite extra color and nature’s noises. You can even repel mosquitoes and other pests with citronella plants.
When you’re choosing your plants, read up on the benefits and functions of each plant to create a truly harmonious and welcoming landscape design.
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