Backyard landscaping pictures can give us good pointers to landscaping our own yards. Any art-work teacher will tell you that a good picture should have a point of interest, and the rest of the points simply go to make more beautiful the central idea. Similarly, in backyard landscaping there must be in the gardener’s mind a picture of what he desires the whole to be when he completes his work.
Go take a look at your lawn. If you cover the lawn space with many trees, with little flower beds here and there, the general effect is choppy and fussy. It is a bit like an over-dressed person. A single tree or a small group is not a bad arrangement on the lawn. Do not center the tree or trees. Let them drop a bit into the background. The catalpa is quite lovely by itself. Its leaves are broad, its flowers attractive, the seed pods which cling to the tree until away into the winter, add a bit of picture perfect quality. The bright berries of the ash, the brilliant foliage of the sugar maple, the blossoms of the tulip tree, the bark of the white birch, and the leaves of the copper beech all these are beauty points to consider.
Place makes a difference in the selection of a tree. Suppose the lower portion of the grounds is a bit low and moist, then the spot is ideal for a willow. Here’s a tip, don’t group trees together which look awkward.
Do not plant evergreens close to a house, and in the front yard. This cuts off the sunlight. The chief requisite to any home is sunlight and plenty of it.
As trees are chosen because of certain good points, so shrubs should be. Choose some bushes which bloom early, some which bloom late, and some for the beauty of their fall foliage, some for the color of their bark and others for the fruit.
Certain shrubs are good to use for hedge purposes. A hedge is rather prettier usually than a fence. The Californian privet is excellent for this purpose. It’s better to choose local varieties. Unusual and foreign plants don’t thrive and often don’t do well in their new setting.
It would really be helpful to look at many backyard landscaping pictures to get an idea about what looks good and what does not. For example if you look at formal gardens they will have straight paths, straight rows in stiff beds, everything, as the name tells, perfectly formal. The informal ones don’t follow any rules.
Garden paths may be of gravel, of dirt, or of grass. If your garden areas are limited and need re-spading each season then the grass paths are a great bother in this work. Instead dig out the path for two feet. Then put in six inches of stone or clinker. Over this, pack in the dirt, rounding it slightly toward the center of the path. Don’t have depressions through the central part of paths, since these form convenient places for water to stand. The stone layer makes a natural drainage system.
Close your eyes and imagine your backyard landscaping picture with a house of natural color, the mellow gray of the weathered shingles. Now add to this house a purple Wisteria. Can you see the beauty of it? You need to do the same with your home and lawn. Now, add all the other elements that you wish to put in. Now, hold it firmly in mind and note down the salient points. Get to work making your picture into a reality.