5 Simple Steps to a Beautiful Backyard

From flowers to edging and beyond, we’re helping home owners landscape the season!

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With spring already upon us and summer just around the corner, now is the time home owners must begin examining the overall health of their backyards. Distinctive steps should be taken to optimize growing potential and ensure prosperity for all the plant life surrounding one’s home. Taking action before the summer heatwaves hit is essential to your garden’s longevity. It also allows for additional time to be allotted toward assessing desired improvements and repairs. With this in mind, we offer the following five steps to get your backyard in shape and ready to enjoy all summer long.

1.       Prune shrubs and other flowering plants to guarantee beneficial growth. Locate a bud on the branch or stem that faces the direction you want the new growth to take place. Clip above the bud at a 45-degree angle so the cut’s lowest point is furthest away from the bud. Be sure not to leave more than a quarter inch of stem above the bud. This will help your outdoor plant-life to look more lush and healthy in appearance as it grows in.

2.       Removing dead or dying vegetation will bring out your backyard’s natural beauty. No matter how beautiful a backyard is, visitors always notice brown and dying plants. An empty space in the garden looks better than a sad plant on its last limb. Cut dead or dying vegetation at the root, rip it out of the ground, and rake out the planting bed. It is recommended that sections of plants in close vicinity to each other be raked out by hand. This helps prevent any accidental removal of prized plants.

3.       Adding some color to your garden will impress neighbors and guests alike. Inexpensive annuals and perennials can add a visual splash and a strong inviting feel to one’s home. Several varieties of pansies, trillium, lilac, iris, tulips, and azalea do well for spring and summer plantings. Start by digging a hole as deep as the root ball of the flower, then place the plant into the hole. Using one’s hands, fill in the empty space with any excess soil, adding just enough to cover the roots. For best results, provide the newly planted flowers with a generous amount of water.

4.       Edging the beds will tie everything together. Using a spade, lightly cut a curve along the sides of the garden. Deepen the cut 4-6 inches with the spade and remove the loosened grass. Ideally the cut should be straight down at a 90-degree angle. Add the mulch and distribute evenly across the bed. 2-4 inches of mulch coverage is the standard for a well-drained site.

5.       Hardscaping walkways is the final, but often most difficult and overlooked step to a beautiful backyard. Dig out a path, 8-12 inches deep and put down 4 inches of crushed stone. Cut a roll of barrier fabric and lay it across the crushed stone, staking it into the crushed stone if necessary. Spread 1-2 inches of stone dust (this is different from crushed stone) and tamp the area down. Hardscape material, blue-stone or brick can then be placed. If some of the stones or bricks stick out unevenly, use a rubber mallet to pound them deeper into the stone dust until they are balanced throughout.

By following these tips, you will be well on your way to creating your own miniature backyard oasis which can be enjoyed by friends and family all summer long!

This article was submitted by Takumi Design, offering full service, highly customizable landscape environments for your home. To be inspired by our recent projects please visit takumidesign.net. We can be reached at (914) 529-6026 and sales@takumiservices.com."