Spend more time enjoying a beautiful yard.

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Every time you go to the nursery and bring home a rose bush or six-pack of Gerbera daisies that catches your eye, you’re engaging in landscape design – either intentionally or unintentionally. Many yards wind up looking unbalanced because of poor planning, and people have to spend a lot of time on maintenance or removing plants altogether.

Spend more time enjoying a beautiful yard by keeping these six smart design tips in mind.

  1. Start with lifestyle

Landscape design is really about how you and your family want to use your outdoor space. Do you want a backyard with an expansive grassy lawn for throwing a baseball and setting up a swing set, or a gazebo sitting area surrounded by an English garden? Do you find gardening a therapeutic, relaxing hobby or do you prefer low-maintenance color spots that are nice to look at while reading on the back patio? All of these questions are worth considering before you plant anything.

  1. Plan for the long haul

Good landscape design is like good architecture: they both stand the test of time.  Start with a foundation of trees and shrubs that provides the basic structure of your yard, and will grow over time in a manageable way. Leave plenty of room for expanding root systems and branches, accenting with foliage that can be thinned out over the years as the landscape matures. That flowering dogwood or redleaf Japanese maple you plant as a sapling will grow along with your family, and provide a wealth of memories as the years go by.

  1. Design a year-round color palette

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Your landscape is continually changing, from season to season – for better or worse. Plan for year-round color with annual and perennial flowers that ebb and flow with the seasons. Keep in mind that perennials typically have a two- to four-week peak of high bloom and then subside into foliage. One low-maintenance strategy is to plant a variety of the same species in an area – for example, daylilies –  that bloom at different times of the year for consistent color.

  1. Add focal points for all of your senses

If you don’t have a view of the Cascade Mountains or Lake Sammamish from your living room window, you can still create focal points throughout your home. And even if you do have eye-pleasing views, think about focal points that address your other senses as well. Incorporate a garden fountain in the backyard that you can see from the kitchen window and hear from your bedroom as you fall asleep. Cultivate a climbing garden along your backyard fence – a garden that also smells amazing – with trellised vines of honeysuckle, rose buds and jasmine. Add some soft lighting and potted plants to a patio for enjoying the warm breezes of summer nights.

  1. Extend your living space

When you think about landscape design, consider extending your living space with a patio or deck for outdoor entertaining or peaceful solitude. There are lots of options for easy-care stone and wood flooring. Get creative with colored glass accent, river stone, and ground cover between patio tiles. And, don’t forget about a covered area and a fireplace or fire pit for cool, drizzly evenings.

(Uyeta Landscape & Maintenance)
(Uyeta Landscape & Maintenance)
  1. Dress up your driveway

Transform your driveway into a stylish landscape feature by edging it with low-growing shrubs. Boxwood, heather and other members of the evergreen family are hardy Northwest favorites that can withstand periods of drought as well as lots of rainfall. Another option for those who enjoy light gardening is a strip of low-maintenance pea gravel or bark accented with color spots of annuals that you can change out with the seasons.

Uyeta Landscape & Maintenance has been family owned since 1967. Our caring and knowledgeable team has over 50 years’ experience combining art and science into landscape environments that leave clients and communities with a sense of pride and place.