2020 was a rough year, but it has also brought us a lot closer to our homes. For many of us, we realized what we especially like or dislike. For some of us, this was our garden or our yard. More importantly, though, it was just nice to get outside with everything that was happening. In case you're new to landscaping or hardscaping, here are a few steps that you should take.
Firstly, don't start until you have some sort of plan. If your garden or landscape is already done and you just want to get out there, then by all means. However, if you're starting an entirely new project, then take some time to do a little preplanning. Understand what you want from your landscape or garden and how you would like to achieve it.
What do you want
Make a clear picture in your mind of what you would like. What do you want to see when you come into your garden? While landscaping, what kind of interactions do you want to take place here? How do you want to improve the experience of people who visit (when they eventually do)? This doesn't need to come entirely from you, either. If it helps, and if other people are going to be benefiting from it, then try and get some ideas from them too!
Senses and Emotions
Take some time to make note of what emotions you would like to be evoked while you are in your garden or landscape. What sense do you want to be triggered and by what? Why is all of this important to you? This doesn't need to just be a garden, although it can be if that is what you prefer. In a time like this, your garden or landscape can be a small oasis, a sort of escape, from everything else that is happening.
Make a list
Jot down, and make a running list of what features you are definitely going to want in the garden. Also be sure to include what materials you need, how much time it is going to take to build, and how much it is going to cost in order to make everything happen. Make a note of what you are capable of doing on your own, and where you are going to need help.
Landscape design is a fantastic process, that really lets you reinvent an area to be your own, personal space. It can be tailor made to suit your needs and desires. It is a great opportunity to get outside and work with your hands. Landscaping is never easy, but the results are almost always worth it!
Wise use of water in your landscape:
Your landscape irrigation system can use up to 70% of your domestic water use! There is something you can do.
- Complete a 'water audit' by having a qualified irrigation technician inspect, test, and calibrate your system. Using ‘catch cups’ and measuring the amount of water each sprinkler zone is using. That way the system controller can be programed correctly, and all the sprinklers adjusted and or relocated for the best coverage.
- Install a ‘Smart’ controller that uses weather data to set run times based the current weather conditions. Smart controllers can save up to 40% of the water used for your landscape.
- Make sure you have no leaks, even if they are minor it can add up.
- Plan ahead, in case due to drought conditions, you might have to restrict water use as mandated by your water district. If you are on a well, water levels can drop in your well because the aquifers are not recharging as quickly due to drought conditions.
- Consider replacing plants that require lots of water with those that can do well with less. Native plants can be a good alternate to thirsty landscape cultivators. Also reducing the size or eliminating lawns can save huge amounts of water. Lawns are high water consumers. There is in the works, turf grass that is being developed that uses less water, so lawns are not totally on their way out.
Redesigning your landscape to meet today’s changing climate will be a very smart investment in your landscape and add value to your property. The one thing you do not want to happen is to lose your investment in your landscape and property. Be “Water Wise”.