As landscapes mature, things change. Trees get taller, casting deeper shade, and bushes outgrow their original places in the garden. And then there's the home in which the lifestyles of its occupants change. Children grow up, eliminating the need for play areas (with exception to grandchildren) and caring for the home and garden may prove to be either more difficult as you age or, if retired, more energizing. That said, a good evaluation may be needed for making over your garden to keep up with upgraded lifestyles and overgrown landscapes. Let's find out how to make over the garden.
How to Make Over the Garden
Easy makeovers for your home and garden need only require common sense. In evaluating your existing garden, you may find that some plants may not perform as well as they used to due to thicker shrubbery or taller trees. This can be easily fixed by simply reducing shade and providing more light. Trees can be trimmed to thin out branches, allowing more light to filter through and overgrown shrubs can be trimmed back or removed entirely. Alternatively, you could choose to move the existing plants to another location. To keep the area from looking drab after their removal, you can replace these with more shade-tolerant plants such as begonias, impatiens, and hostas. You may also want to add another garden bed or two. If your children are gone or if you've moved somewhere that an old swing set or play area once existed, this can easily be made over into a relaxing 'secret garden' just for you. Incorporate picket fencing or a trellis with climbing plants to create that cozy, closed-in feeling. Add some container plants, alternating both tall and short containers and filling them with various plant types and colors. All gardens can benefit from a good focal point. Small gardens need only one, but larger gardens may need several. Focal points draw the eye to a special feature (gazing globe, fountain, statuary, etc.) or plant, giving the rest of the garden a more orderly appearance. On a patio, a grouping of different sized containers can serve as a focal point, with one large pot being the center of attention. The same technique can be applied in the garden too. Place tall plants in a group and surround them with shorter ones. Quick and easy features that will instantly makeover the garden include a birdbath or a bird feeder. You could also opt for large stones, making a natural-looking focal point. Large rocks also look good along the edge of pathways. An arbor or trellis with climbing plants, like morning glories, can also be an eye-catching focal point. For gardens large and small, a decorative pergola can be a hugely attractive feature, creating an arch or walkway that draws you in. Plant a favorite variety of climbing rose, or another suitable pergola plant, for that romantic touch. Liven up dull wooden fences with a fresh coat of paint or add climbing plants to lattice or link fencing.
Additional Garden Makeovers
Water features of all kinds are great for garden makeovers. Large or small, there's a water feature to suit all spaces, all gardens, and all homes - from trickling fountains to gushing waterfalls and restful ponds. Use existing walls or structures to set off a garden or patio from the rest of the lawn. Walls can also be used for privacy or as barriers for controlling foot traffic. Don't forget about walkways. Pavers, especially flagstone, can create an interesting and attractive feature too. With the wide variety of color and texture available in pavers, they will complement nearly any home and garden. Another good way to instantly makeover the landscape is with the use of some lighting. Outdoor light features can be dramatic or subtle, depending on your tastes. You probably never guessed that a simple mowing of the lawn, removal of weeds or dead leaves, and trimming the hedges can make your home appear almost new. This is one of the first and best ways to improve the looks of the home. Repainting the house is another option for garden makeovers, but can be expensive. However, you can reduce this cost simply by painting only the molding and trim. Cleaning shutters, windows, and doors can also make your home look like new. There are a number of options you can employ for making over your garden. Most of these are easy makeovers for your home and garden, and relatively cheap. So if you feel it's time for a change, step back, evaluate your property, and take notes. Renewing the garden can provide exactly what you need. We're not the only ones that enjoy a good makeover, your home and garden may appreciate one as well.
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Nikki Tilley has been gardening for nearly three decades. The former Senior Editor and Archivist of Gardening Know How, Nikki has also authored six gardening books.
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