If Your Front Yard Was Your Car, Would You Want To Be Seen In It?
If your answer is truthful, most people like their car because it makes them feel a certain way. The color, comfort, the style, the value, how it makes you feel when you’re driving it and maybe even how you look in it.
Your yard is your calling card to the universe. It speaks volumes about who and where you are in your life. If you find that your space is not a representation of who you believe you are, or want to be, there are typically a few good reasons and I have some simple solutions.
What does it mean to you: A big part of the success of any gardener is their head space. If you are ill, or have to care for a loved one or baby, gardening can be therapeutic, it can also feel like a burden when it’s not your favorite pastime.
Much like a vehicle you may buy, it is an investment. (except this is the biggest investment you will ever make!) It requires maintenance and fuel and tires and oil. It also represents us and our lifestyle, typically. You’re not going to find most people in a mini van unless they have babies, and nobody buys a sports car to blend in. If you’re looking for the minivan version, keep it simple and install xeriscape gardens that are a reasonable blend of a small, low water lawn and native and adapted plants and trees. Below, this was a great use of space and the minimal planting makes it easy for the home owner to maintain and travel through safely. we also widened the sidewalk and addressed their drainage issues at the same time.
Rather your version of landscape is a mini van “convenience, hit it and quit it”, or you’re the sports car like my honey and I, who like to spit shine that baby to really be seen until our garden is screaming “LOOK AT ME”! You may just like to do the least and avoid the “wrong attention” and the good news is, we both have the same basic outline for success.
Less is More: Don’t over do it. Especially if you don’t like gardening. Keep the minimum low water beds, and keep your lawn mowed and your trees properly trimmed. That’s it. If you don’t have time to get outside or you simply hate the idea, please hire a service to come twice a month and be done with it. Don’t skimp here, it’s not worth it. If you own a home you knew you had a yard so get to it. For an average of about $40 bucks a pop, they will come mow, edge and blow and you’ll bring lunch to work a few times instead of going out. Case solved…
If you would like to go a little crazier than that, but not all crazy…take on a little at a time and add to it as you can adjust to the watering and maintenance. Fix your front beds first so you’re happy to come home, then move on to the back as you have time and can enjoy the process. You can also hire someone to do the heavy lifting, then do the fun stuff yourself. Below is the front yard from one year to the next. With a lot of effort up front, you get a lot of payoff longer term. Just like buying a car, make good decisions.
Maintenance regularly: This is so important!!! It’s a lot like waiting for your engine to go dry of oil, then wondering why you can’t drive anymore. Landscapes need water, they need organic food and they need maintenance. Again, if this isn’t for you, get a Condo, or get some help. No way around it.
Neglectful home owners greatly reduce the property values in the neighborhood and this is a simple, well documented fact. By allowing your neighbors to let their yards go, you’re basically throwing your money away too. Get involved with your HOA, get involved with a garden group in your neighborhood and encourage others to do at least the bare minimum, and be the example.
Keep your engine well oiled: literally and figuratively. Take good care of your lawn tools and they will take good care of you. Always put safety first. Life is less complicated when you take an extra moment to be safe. Buy good tools, you do get what you pay for here. Your mechanic isn’t using a screw driver to change your tire, so you should use proper tools and techniques as well.
Tune Ups Twice a Year: Compost every spring and mulch every fall. Have a certified Arbor who is certified in Oak Wilt (if you have Oaks) every 3 years for tree maintenance. Never hire some random guy to do your trees and just because the name says “Arbors”, This does not mean they are an arbor. Ask for the license and ask for their insurance.
Trim up your shrubs and flower heads as needed, all year. Don’t wait until everything is so overgrown that you cannot manage. Bite off small peices at a time. Weed for a few minutes a day, or on the weekends and you’ll be surprised by how affective this is.
Use only trusted professionals: In landscaping, you get what you pay for. If you cheap out on materials you will be sorry long term. If you hire cheap labor without insurance, you’re leaving yourself with a huge liability. Be smart about who you choose for what job. You wouldn’t take your care for a tune up to a body shop, so don’t let your lawn guy plant your trees and trim your hedges. If you’re not sure what the hell you’re doing, to be able to tell the difference…you need to call me for a consult. If you don’t have a me where you are, go online and do your homework, there are 50 thousand YouTube videos and blogs like mine that are happy to talk ad nauseam about it. You can afford to take a couple of minutes for your own home, you would do it for your car 🙂
Lisa’s Landscape & Design
“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”
- Posted in: Gardening in Central Texas