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Loving Your Little Landscape

I have never been a natural gardener. For years, I struggled to keep basic houseplants alive, only to kill them at the first opportunity. It was difficult and stressful to buy a home with a yard, but I knew that I might be able to learn what I was doing wrong and correct the problem. To start off, I focused heavily on the lawn, and tried hard to keep it trimmed and well-maintained. Next, I cleaned up the flowerbeds. It was a lot of work, but I knew that it would pay off in the end. When I was done, my front yard was gorgeous, and guess what--it even stayed alive. This blog is all about loving your little landscape.

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Loving Your Little Landscape

Strange Spaces -- 4 Tips To Manage An Oddly-Shaped Yard

by Charlotte White

While most yards tend to be a nice, normal square or rectangle shape, that's not always the case. If your yard's overall shape can be best described as "unusual" or "vague," it can be hard to know how to turn it into a normal looking outdoor space. If this is your dilemma, here are 4 easy ways to tame its strange dimensions.

Focal Point. If there are features you don't like about your yard, draw attention away from them by adding a focal point or two in other areas. Focal points vary based on the size and shape of the yard but can be as simple as a water feature or a piece of yard sculpture. You can use an entertainment space or a walkway, among other things, to draw guests' attention toward spaces you like better.

Force a Geometric Shape. If all you really want is a regular-shaped yard, you can turn any space into one. One easy way to do this is to map out a large rectangle or oval space in the center (usually measured from the house's center) for the lawn. Around this, plant a full, colorful garden bed that stretches all the way to the yard's borders. Hedges, dwarf trees, and shrubs can fill in the far edges to help them seem less far away or less asymmetrical.

Cover Features. If there are parts of the yard that stick out like a sore thumb, you can use landscaping to minimize them. Do you have an odd corner that just doesn't seem to be useful? Create a lush background by filling it in using large-leafed, tropical plants like banana plants or broad and feathery grasses. Not sure what to do with a strange side yard? Fill it in with dense foliage, leaving only a cozy destination reading nook. Working with a professional landscaping contractor can help you find ways to camouflage unwanted sections of the yard.

Make it Natural. If you want to embrace the oddities of your yard's design, you can add natural elements instead of covering up unusual features. Have a large yard with ill-defined borders? Try planting a small field of wildflowers near the far border to provide a beautiful touch of color without definition. Or use water to create a natural flow to a yard. Ponds, small creeks, rock waterfalls, and other uses of water can be combined with seemingly random yard angles, curves, or elevation changes to appear like nature is at work more than man.

Whatever style and personality you want to give to your yard, you can fulfill it no matter what shape that yard is. The trick is to either embrace its unusual nature or find ways to make it appear more normal. There is no right or wrong, though, so you can have fun with finding the right solution for your own space. Contact a company like Foothills Landscaping to learn more.

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