Going Pro Vs. DIY: Create a Bountiful Landscape for Your Home

Written by  //  June 7, 2013  //  Landscaping  //  Comments Off on Going Pro Vs. DIY: Create a Bountiful Landscape for Your Home

Just as the right pallet for an indoor color scheme can transform your home from a bland “contractor white” to a kaleidoscope of color, the right landscaping can transform your grounds into a peaceful retreat. According to HGTV, the demand for outdoor places for quiet reflection is growing.

Hire a Professional

If you are an inexperienced gardener, you might hire a landscaping architect to help you select the flowers, shrubs and trees. This professional will examine your soil’s pH levels and then help you choose the plants that will flourish on your property. A landscape architect can take a lackluster garden area and turn it into an outdoor area that will be admired. The architect can specify a water feature, and a hot tub, a fire pit and a barbeque area in addition to the landscaping features that grow from the soil. Generally the cost is between $400 and $500 says Arizona Central. If you undertake such an ambitious project it is likely that you will need professional help— at least for some of the plumbing and gas lines as well as the electrical work.

If your property is on a steep hill DoItYourself strongly suggests hiring a professional landscaper so that drainage and retaining walls are prepared correctly.

Do It Yourself

If hiring a landscape architect is outside of your budget, don’t be afraid to seek help from a garden center or a local nursery. You might want to bring a bag of soil, dug up from the area you want to plant in — be sure that you dig below the very top layer of the soil.

Often, homeowners who begin a landscaping project never realized they would enjoy gardening. Even if you get professional help, if you are able to bend, dig and hold a hose, you might want to tackle some of the smaller jobs yourself. Choose low-water plants if you lead a busy lifestyle and can’t commit to a regular watering schedule. If you have the budget, you might consider an irrigation system. Cost to install a sprinkler/watering system in a small yard starts at around $1,000, according to H2ouse.org. Also figure in operating and maintenance costs for an irrigation system. The more you know about the system, the better prepared you will be if you have a leak. Sometimes a leak is caused by something as small and inexpensive as a rubber seal (consult a metric o-ring chart to find out what size to order).

Types of Plants

Potted plants are a great way to begin. You can choose perennials (flowers and shrubs that bloom every year) or annuals, which only last one season. The pots themselves make excellent accent pieces in sitting areas and can be made out of ceramic material or durable plastic.

Some homeowners plan their landscaping over a few years to avoid a one-time big expense. After you succeed with potted flowers and shrubs, begin thinking of what you would like to add to your landscaping next year. Your land is a canvas on which you can continue painting for years. Switching out annuals each year is an easy project to take on and can make your home’s appearance refreshing year after year.

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