We all want to spend more time enjoying our yards than working on beautifying them. At the same time, we want to take pride in our property and would like our outdoor spaces to complement our homes. Believe it or not, you can have both. It just takes a bit of planning.
If the smell of a fresh-cut lawn gives you nightmares, feeling grass between your bare toes makes you shiver and your shed is too stocked with bikes and tools to allow for mower parking, you may want to consider creating a hardscape, rather than maintaining typical green space.
Hardscapes are any inanimate, decorative elements within your property. These often include rock, manufactured stone, decorative concrete, paving and brick. The materials are usually hard surfaced and permanent.
Using stone, especially in a place referred to as “The Rock,” is a popular choice for this type of landscaping for its natural look. Although more pricey than man-made alternatives, its durability means you only have to shell out the cash once. It will last forever and can result in a tidy, attractive overall effect.
Low-maintenance planting is key to spending the summer months by the barbecue or the beach rather than digging in the dirt. With a little planning, your gardens will look after themselves all year long.
Plan your gardens by sketching them on paper before you put a shovel in the ground. Choose colourful ground cover, shrubs and native perennials that are zoned for your area.
Luckily, this moist island waters the plants for you, so you don’t have to worry as much about drought-tolerant plants. But you do have to pick hardy plants that can withstand the wind and rain. Try some of these trusted favourites:
This hardy, low-lying plant flowers throughout the seasons and adds fall colour when gardens tend to die off. It also attracts butterflies.
Provides a beautiful flower, in a variety of colours, and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
Though it looks delicate, the columbine plant can handle the pressure. It comes in a plethora of colours and adds a bit of balance to thicker, bushier plants.
A blanket favourite, this leafy perennial is always spawning new varieties, keeping gardeners and landscapers interested. They do great in the shade and flourish from spring straight through until late fall.
A great way to add texture and natural flow to your property, the different colours, shapes and sizes create the kind of variety a grassy lawn can’t muster
Perfect for damp weather and shady areas, this clingy greenery will attach itself to your hardscape or ground and give more texture and a softened, lush look to your garden. It works well along the edges of walkways, where the shade from bordering rocks creates the perfect home for moss.
They add colour and texture without the added work of falling leaves. You will need to protect young trees for the first few years of their life. Use spiral wrap plastic guard around the trunk to keep critters from munching the sensitive bark. It will expand with the tree and can be removed when it is no longer needed.
Be sure to keep your plantings well spaced (about a foot is common) by adhering to the measurements specified on the plant’s tag.
Keep it low. Newfoundland winds will wreak havoc on tall plants and long-stemmed flowers and result in more post-weather clean up. Many popular perennials have a dwarf version, so try for those.
Keeping Weeds at Bay
Mulch is your best friend. It not only stifles weeds, but also prevents the erosion of your soil so the landscaping you have created remains intact.
Choose mulch that works best for your landscape. These bits of bark come in black, red and varying shades of brown, so choosing a shade that complements your home’s exterior materials and the plantings you have chosen for the rest of your yard will have the best results. You may also enjoy the smell of one mulch over another. Cedar and pine mulch gives off a very strong scent, while oak is more subtle.
Landscape fabric is another option for limiting weeds. Made of fabric, plastic or paper, they have been treated to resist decomposition and can be purchased at most garden centres. They allow water and air to move through the fabric, but the tight weave keeps weeds from poking through.
If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer and your not-so-green thumb hasn’t had much luck in the muck before, check out the Landscape Newfoundland & Labrador website for landscaping companies you can contact to get your yard in tip top shape this season.