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Apr 19, 2013
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Making Over Your Backyard

Most gardens or other landscaping projects never look quite as beautiful in real life as they do when they’re dramatized for TV or in magazines. They can be fun and rewarding. When it’s time for a quick spring makeover of outdoor areas, here are a few things to consider:

  • Scene- You need to survey the scene, get a tape measure, and draw up a rough plan of your outdoor space. Draw it to scale and mark where north, south, east and west are. This helps you get an idea of which areas will be in full sun most of the day. Even if you only have a small space, you can still improve it on a smaller scale. First, however, you need to work out where the most attractive outlooks and views for the space are.

  • Function- What function does your space need to hold? You need to consider each part’s function. Things like: space needed for garbage containers, outdoor tables, outdoor storage, a clothes line, etc, are just a few of the things you can consider. Look at the spaces needed for your function, and make a plan to get most effective lay out for your space.

  • Surfaces- Too many hard surfaces in a garden can become hot, and don’t do your garden any good. Surfaces covered in old concrete or done with those cheap square pavers are simply unattractive. That ’70s look is dark and rather awful. You can get pebblecrete in pale colors now that looks much better.
    If you have large expanses of concrete, such as patios, you can resurface with concrete and stencil design for $40- $60 a square meter. Patios can be made to look new by if you resurface in earthy colors and put in borders or have motifs stenciled on them.

  • Refresh- Another hard surface is the hardwood decking tiles. Tiles cost about $65 a square meter and are connected with plastic recycled from car bumpers. Although not ideal, you can even lay them down on to grass. The tiles follow the contour of the uneven surface this way. They’re easy to put together, and you can pack them up and take them with you if you move.”

  • Go green- Plants will make the garden a restful place. You don’t need a lot of them, but you need to make sure the right ones in the right place.

  • Essence- The essence isn’t how it looks, but how it makes you feel. Gardens remind you it’s also important to enjoy nature. That’s much better than sitting inside watching TV. You’ll want to do things like:
    • Put in a barbecue.
    • Trim the edges of your lawn to make it look fabulous. Consider it a haircut for your garden.
    • Have a beautiful large pot that will hold an equally appealing plant. From your back door, look to see where your eye is first drawn and place it there.

    There are also a few things you’ll NOT want to do. Here are two:

    • Don’t forget to oil outdoor furniture or wooden decks to maintain good condition.
    • Don’t allow weeds to grow out of control.
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