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Backyard Landscaping Ideas to Increase Your Home’s Value

If you’re looking to increase your property value, your backyard landscaping is nearly as important as the landscaping in the front yard. While attractive front and side yard landscaping helps make a good first impression on a prospective buyer, backyard landscaping may help convince him to actually purchase the house at your asking price. The trick, however, is to choose the types of landscaping that will bring you a good return on your investment of both money and time. Contrary to popular belief, completely revamping your home’s landscape isn’t always the best way to go. Chances are, all you’ll need to do is spend a little time getting your existing landscape in order.

Clean up The Main Features
Before you add anything to your backyard, make sure the basic landscaping features look as good as possible. Get your lawn, shrubs and trees in good condition and make sure they look well manicured. Repair any damaged walkways, patios and decks and pull up weeds growing in or around them. Install edging around your lawn and flower beds for a neater, more finished look. Clean or replace features like sheds, lighting fixtures and statuary. Because you see your yard regularly, you might not notice areas that have begun to look run down, so it can help to invite someone else over to point out any messy looking spots you might have missed.

Minimize Maintenance
The landscaping in your backyard shouldn’t give a prospective buyer visions of endless hours of exhausting garden work. Consider removing plants that need a lot of care, such as exotic species, plants that drop a an abundance of needles, leaves or messy fruit, and species that may become invasive. Replace these with local native plants whenever possible. These species thrive in the wild in your locality, so they’ll require almost no care in the garden. Apply sufficient mulch to flower beds so you don’t have weeds popping up a week after you clear the bed. Develop bare spots or hard-to-landscape slopes into rock gardens, which look attractive, but require only minimal upkeep. If you have any tight spots that are hard to mow, create a flower bed around the area. This way you’ll only have to mow around the edges of the bed.

Block Unpleasant Views
Unless you do something to minimize or improve their appearance, common items like propane tanks, stumps and sheds can become eyesores that make your backyard look junky and unkempt. In most case, there are simple ways to hide or spruce up these items. Install a trellis or fence panel in front of the propane tank and plant a climbing vine like sweet pea or clematis to block the view. Dress up a stump by drilling holes in the top, filling the holes with dirt and planing flowers. Paint the garden shed to match your home, install a weather vane or other simple decor, and plant tall plants like daylillies or ornamental grass around the perimeter.

Landscape Lighting – 3 Reasons to Go Solar

Now that the weather has improved, you are finally able pay attention to the condition of the outside of your home. You find that your property would benefit from more light. There are several ways to go about solving your lighting problem and you should weigh the options. If you have special trees or plantings that you would like to highlight then spotlights will do the job. You can get spotlights that are bright white, ones that rotate through a color spectrum, and others that freeze on one color.

You have walkways to your front and back doors that you want to light. Small pathway or rock lights will solve this problem. Perhaps you are decorating for a party and want to brighten up your garden. You can use string lights, hanging lanterns, garden stakes and statuary.

Solar landscape lighting has become popular over the past five years. Solar lighting, decorative and functional, has several benefits over its electric counterpart:

1. Convenient – Solar lights do not need to be placed near an electrical source. So, if you need pathway lights that travel 200 feet down your driveway, you can put solar lights as far away from the house as you choose without worrying about extra wiring. Some are sold individually and others are sold in multiples, connected by a cable. This type of lighting needs to be pushed into the ground and positioned to your liking.

2. Low Maintenance – Batteries are rechargeable. You will not worry about the batteries dying in a solar light because they are constantly being recharged by the sun’s energy. This is not to say that the batteries last forever, you are likely to get two years out of a pair of rechargeable batteries. Solar lights turn on and off automatically. Many, however, have an on/off switch so when you are not home for an extended time, it is best to save the batteries and switch to the off position.

3. Attractive – There are many decorative options. Solar butterfly string lights will draw attention to the boxwoods next to your patio, while solar mission lanterns will give the needed light around your dining table on the deck. Solar wall lights will make your deck stairs safer by being well-marked. Solar floating lights decorate your pool while constantly changing color, and solar garden stakes mark your plantings and make the garden more beautiful.

While electric lights may have more powerful voltage options, they are also labor-intensive to install and add to your monthly electric bill. Solar lights are inexpensive, easy to install and cost nothing to operate.

Finding The Best Outdoor Landscaping Accessories

For me, the finishing touches are what ultimately make your yard a very personal place.

After all the mulch has been put down, the patio laid out, the pool deck poured and the fence painted that is the time for accessorizing your landscape architecture..

Landscaping accessories are what you use to dress up your yard and to give it that warm and cozy feeling.

I personally am a sucker for night lighting. There is nothing, in my opinion that does more to dress up landscaping and give it that rich, warm ambience than proper outdoor lighting.

From hot tubs to fountains and arbours, the range of outdoor accessories and landscaping ideas is truly amazing!

I’m sure you know what I mean, there are small backyard landscaping ideas that look like a rummage sale, and there are yards that look like a rock stars. Mine used to be the former. When we were younger we collected all kinds of things, patio tables, umbrellas, tables and swings.

After the kids and the pets had their way with those things they looked pretty beat up. I don’t recall having three pieces from the same set let alone anything fancy.

We had a swing that had stuffed seats and at the end the only stuffing was what the squirrels had put there.

I’ve looked at replacing all that stuff over the years but it’s fairly expensive and it’s difficult to get home. Even with my van, by the time I get the seats all rearranged, it’s time for soccer or piano or some other activity!

I’ve looked into the products from the big-box stores, and while there is a lot of variety, it’s still very expensive and they really don’t carry those special things.

I’ve told you that I do jobs for people who I am not related to as well as friends and family, and during the course of my career have tried to develop garden plans using accessories in various ways. What if I told you about the place I go to get landscaping accessories that has the best quality, online convenience, a large selection and free shipping too?

I’m not just talking about free shipping in the U.S. but to Canada as well!

This place is called Way-fair and it is truly one of a kind. I really do all of my major buying right here, in one place from the comfort of my own home.

Let me show you some of the things I’ve purchased from Way-fair.

Hot Tubs

Someday I’m going to get this one for myself. It looks fantastic, doesn’t take up the whole deck, is super easy to install, it’s called a 110 volt plug-and-play which means there is really no installation, and even has a waterfall which is so great. The one I purchased uses a highly efficient energy management system which will save you money.

Imagine how great this would look- what great beginning for backyard ideas!

Conversation Sets

The latest trend in outdoor entertaining is what’s called a “Conversation Set”. This is different from the typical patio table and chairs in that it’s set up for relaxing comfortably while enjoying the outdoors. There is no patio table per-se but most come with a small coffee table.

Arbors and Trellises

So many people want these as a divider between different areas of their yard. An arbor is like a magical entrance to another world and can be dressed up with flowers or vines to make it blend right in. It gives your yard that old-world feeling, and adds a nice visual and physical break to an otherwise flat yard. Arbors and trellises can be used to separate yard and garden, yard and driveway, pool and patio and so many other cool ideas.

Planters

What needs to be said about planters is that they are an absolute necessity! They keep your plants off your yard or patio and can be used in so many different ways to dress up an otherwise bland area. Plants look a hundred times better is the right planter and tend to get a lot more attention this way. They are a great landscaping idea for the front of your house.

Planters can go around pools, on windows, on tables in the yard, or along a fence. The list is endless. But planters are probably the single most important and inexpensive way to dress up your yard. You have to check these out they will make your yard sing!

Fountains

There is nothing I love more outside than water features, and apart from a pool, a fountain is my must have item.

They look great, sound great, are totally mesmerizing and look like landscape art. I can sit and stare at a fountain for hours. They are truly relaxing and add that warm & cozy element to any backyard.

There are so many styles, but check out the pump in a barrel, the swan fountain and the tabletop wall fountains.

Ornaments and Accents

These are the little personal touches that every woman loves to put around a yard. They are like decorations on a Christmas tree and have no function at all. They make your backyard landscape look like landscape pictures. Ornaments and accents are there for interest and give your yard a bit of flair. A word of caution here, don’t overdo it! Sundials, statues, sculptures, gazing balls, pedestals and signs – these are all ornaments and you can seriously spend hours on this site just looking at ornaments!

Outdoor Curtains

I mentioned these in an article about shade in the backyard. Outdoor curtains are for shade. They can be opened and closed as you like, but they make outdoor areas so much more livable because you don’t have to broil you and your guests.

The sun is harsh and these curtains will provide some respite from it and let cool breezes pass through unlike walls or doors.

They have all different kinds from bamboo to wood to textile, with all the possible mounting hardware you can imagine.

You can change any outdoor spot into a special shaded area instantly without costing you a fortune.

Do yourself a favor and check this place out. I recommend it to all of my clients and friends. I have just talked about a few things here to give you an idea of what’s there, but they have literally thousands and thousands of neat products all neatly organized.

And like I said before, for great quality, online convenience, a large selection and free shipping Way-fair can’t be beat!