Topic: Landscaping

Date Posted: Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Posted by: Judy Walker (Master Admin)

Gardening – Having a Vision Makes It Easier to Create Your Outdoor Space

What are you looking for in landscaping your yard? Deciding exactly what you want often times is the hardest part of the entire project. Try not to get so caught up in all your specific backyard limitations or budget at this point and think bigger picture. Ask yourself “what do I want to do out here, cook, entertain, sit back and enjoy a water feature with some bed spaces, or all of the above?” Almost any situation can be manipulated to fit your scenario so don’t get overwhelmed in the details too soon.

Start with the patio or main feature of the backyard and design out. When extending or adding a new patio/outdoor living space always budget for more room than you think you will need. About 25-30 square feet per person typically is suitable for sitting space with little room to move around. Setting up your furniture in the lawn and spraying some outlines is a great way to come up with what will work best for you whether you’re looking to create that outdoor kitchen or living space. Once you’ve determined your patio/sitting space layout you can start overlaying beds or soft areas to the design.

Picture your fields of view from your home’s rear windows and new patio sitting areas. Don’t create any focal points or features in spots that might be blocked by seating or patio cover posts.  Balancing the soft and hard spaces is essential but doesn’t mean you must mirror what you do on one side with the other. Keep it natural and change it up. Sometimes just using a couple of common plantings or similar stones will carry enough similarities to tie it all together. Privacy screening especially here in Lantana also is very much needed. Creating a wall out of some dense plantings is a great way to frame the back area, balance the height of the patio cover, and get you that privacy you want.

Staggering the plantings will offset the flat effect all the wood and iron fence leaves us looking at and helps add depth. With the fun stuff laid out (patio and landscape) there a few commonly-overlooked items remaining to be addressed. Make sure the irrigation has been set-up to accommodate your new spaces. Plants, grass and trees all need different amounts of water throughout the year so save yourself future replacement costs and make sure all areas are on separate zones and adequately set to different run times. Don’t mix and match your rotor heads with pop-up style heads or you will regret it this summer.  Check the drainage as most lots will have a swell across the backyard to direct and discharge water coming from your and neighboring lots.

Make sure a new drainage system is in place to keep the water flowing so you don’t end up with drowning plants and/or a flooded patio. With a solid vision and the right contractor, creating your space should be a blast. There are many other things that will come up during the process so just remember don’t let any one thing overwhelm you and try to have fun. No stranger to the community PJ Kratohvil has been part of a successful family business in the Flower Mound area more than 25 years. A Liberty Christian School graduate, PJ went on to serve in three combat operations in the Middle East as a Sgt. in the Marine Corps, based from California.  After returning he and his wife Ashlee successfully launched  RW Blue (Red, White & Blue) now known as Complete Exterior Solutions. 

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