For homeowners in much of the country, it’s still time to be worrying about impending blizzards, not garden landscaping. But this is actually a great time of year to get a jump on planning backyard landscaping and spend some time researching the best local landscapers to handle your project — especially if you haven’t updated your yard in quite some time. Here are three ways you can kick up the impact of your outdoor space this year:
- Aim High for Design
Homeowners are getting increasingly sophisticated with their outdoor areas. Part of this has to do with hardscaping designs that emphasize function and comfort to create outdoor rooms that can serve as gathering places for family and guests alike. In particular, outdoor kitchens (ranging from built-in grills to more elaborate full-service options) and outdoor fireplaces are in vogue. Furnishings are also becoming more sophisticated; you might even have trouble telling what is considered “patio” furniture until you research the more durable materials it’s made of. If you need some pointers, take a look at the elegant outdoor living set gracing the patio of this year’s HGTV Dream Home.
- Think Greener
Green backyard landscaping should be standard by 2015 — and that’s not in reference to the color of your lawn. Keep the environment in mind when you’re picking plants, choosing ones that won’t need too much additional watering or fertilizing to stay healthy in your climate. Consider natural lawn care methods whenever possible. You can also use landscaping rocks and stones to cut down on water usage. In many cases, what’s good for the environment is good for your pocketbook, too, since you won’t be paying to ship in and maintain exotic plants.
- Outsource Small Stuff
If you’re worried about the maintenance that can come with upgraded backyard landscaping, try to free yourself from an all-or-nothing attitude regarding outdoor care. If you enjoy tending to flowers but get tired of more routine tasks like mowing the lawn, hire a lawn care company. If you don’t mind sweeping up a patio occasionally but aren’t great with plants, then it’s probably worth hiring a hardscaping company to install some low-maintenance features that can make your backyard comfortable without creating a bunch of extra work. You can also elect to have a company come in only for major seasonal tasks (such as pruning), while doing your own regular maintenance. The bottom line is that it’s your backyard, and you should enjoy it more than you dread taking care of it.
What other outdoor design trends do you think will dominate 2015? Share your thoughts in the comments.