Backyard Themes

Backyard Themes

Planning your landscape with a well thought-out theme is a sure way to add character and cohesion to your yard and outdoor spaces. Several elements in a landscape designer’s arsenal can help you achieve the look that you want such as theme-appropriate plants, fencing, lighting, decorative details, and water features, just to name a few.

Desertscape Theme

Ideal for arid regions, desert landscaping is very popular in areas like Palm Springs and Arizona. With a combination of plants such as cacti, succulents, and desert plants that thrive in hot and dry climates and strategically-chosen rocks, stones, pebbles, and boulders that complement the sandy brown and grays of the natural environment, homeowners achieve amazing desertscape looks.

Japanese Garden Theme

Japanese gardens conjure up images of harmonious surroundings conducive to quiet, peaceful contemplation. Instead of relying on artificial elements, oriental gardens prize natural elements such as simplistic and natural paving materials, lush evergreen plants, bamboo, and trickling water features or water basins and koi ponds. When it comes to fencing, opt for bamboo fence panels.

Tropical Theme

When we think of the tropics, images of palm trees, bright flowers, and lush greenery come to mind. When selecting plants that work well with the tropical theme, choose a combination of large, broad leaves, lush, green foliage, and brightly colored flowers such as the bougainvillea. Materials that suit this theme are lava rocks, rattan, teak, and even bamboo. Add a hammock to turn it into the ultimate tropical relaxation oasis.

We’re strong advocates of using lighting to extend the use of your outdoor spaces at night. Homeowners can, for example, use directional lighting to highlight impressive architectural features on their property in order to enjoy their beautiful backyard themes at night.

What are your favorite backyard themes? Share them with us in the comments section below!

4 Tips for Environmentally Friendly Landscaping

Creating a more environmentally friendly lawn allows for minimal maintenance of your lawn in springtime, while keeping everything looking lush and green. The key is to minimize the resources you’re using as well as the output of waste, and whether you’re starting your landscaping from scratch or revamping your existing lawn, it’s easy to make sustainable choices. Here are some tips on how to create a more environmentally landscape in your own backyard.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

As we mentioned in the introduction, to create an environmentally friendly lawn, you need to reduce your waste, and reusing and recycling materials are the best way to do this. There are many ways you can recycle your garden waste, for example, after mowing your lawn, instead of just leaving your grass clippings behind, you could recycle them. You can also reuse materials from your garden to fertilize your lawn, like coffee grounds, banana peels and eggshells, for example.

Choose LED Lighting

Most outdoor spaces require lighting, and to save energy and create the most environmentally friendly garden possible, try to use LED lighting as opposed to traditional lighting. Not only do LED lights require less maintenance, they are also extremely efficient, consuming up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs and although more expensive initially, have greater longevity than most lighting fixtures.

Try Using Artificial Grass

Yes, nothing beats the smell of freshly cut grass, but if you’re trying environmentally friendly landscaping, replacing natural grass with artificial grass means you don’t have to mow your lawn, saving you time, and also means you’re not polluting your yard, since you’re decreasing the amount of gas pollution that goes into the air and into the ground. It also saves you money since you don’t need to buy fertilizers – substances which are also toxic to the animals that live around your lawn. Of course, removing your water-guzzling grass also saves you a bundle on your water bill.

Choose Low Maintenance Plants

What else guzzles water? Plants of course. Opting for low maintenance plans will not only save water, but also reduces maintenance. Consider planting the likes of asters, pansies, marigolds and tulips. Clover is also a great choice, since it’s naturally insect-resistant and contends well against weeds, cutting out your need for pesticides and weed killer.

If you have any tips for environmentally friendly landscaping, we’d love to hear them! Share in the comments below.

Should you hire a professional for your landscape lighting project, or do it yourself?

As with any home improvement project, you can choose whether to do it yourself or to hire a professional instead. Often, it takes an experienced eye to decide on the best lighting fixtures to use to highlight the elements of your garden, and although doing it yourself may mean the initial costs are less, choosing to do it yourself may end up costing you more time and money.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional

  • A professional will help you to develop a certain look for your space
  • Keeps your project on budget
  • Saves you time on research
  • Helps to avoid costly repairs
  • A professional may better understand lighting systems and wattage needs

Although hiring a professional makes your landscape lighting project more straightforward, with a bit of research and time, doing it yourself is very possible.

When starting a DIY landscape lighting project you should bear the following in mind:

  • When it comes to path lighting, remember less is more – you’re not installing runway lights for an airplane landing!
  • Be sure to clean the surfaces of your lights and check for burned out bulbs at least once a year
  • Add color and texture to your garden by placing lighting near plants
  • Don’t simply light your home’s exterior – this can look unnatural and bleak
  • Create shadows by placing spotlights in front of your house close to the foundation

Have you started your own DIY landscape lighting project? We’d love to hear your results!