10 Gardening & Landscaping Tips for First-time Homeowners
Owning your own home is a lifelong ambition for a vast number of people. When it finally becomes a reality after many years of saving and sacrifices, the reward is incredible. You have the freedom to do whatever you choose in terms of interior decoration and internal structure, but that’s not where your creativity should stop. When you buy your first home, you are usually also buying your first garden – your own piece of land to make your own. The potential drawback to this is that gardening and landscaping are not simple, and many people have never had to learn the skills required.
If you are a first-time buyer wanting to make the most of your garden, here are ten handy tips to help you get started.
- Ask for help
Don’t be hesitant to ask for help when you need it. You could ask a green-fingered family member or a friend to help you to choose flowers or plants or pick the brains of your new neighbors about techniques they find useful in the local climate. Some areas may require advice and assistance. For example, the hot and dry summers in Michigan can make lawn care a real challenge,so many people turn to professional Detroit lawn care specialists TruGreen.
- Try and see a blank canvas
If you’re moving into a newly built home, your garden may well be a completely untouched space – it may not even have turf yet! However, if you’re moving into a pre-owned home, you will be confronted by the previous owner’s gardening and landscaping work. Try to see past the patio, paths, gates, plants, trees, and flowers to envision what you want. Don’t be afraid to start over again and rip out what you don’t want, but there may be some elements you would like to keep.
- Stick to a budget
Just as you would with any home improvement project, it’s important to make a realistic budget and stick to it as far as possible. This budget should factor in your plants, seedlings, patios, storage spaces, fertilizer, gardening tools, and any maintenance costs.
- Design for your lifestyle
Trees, flowers, and bushes are the keys to a beautiful garden, but it’s important to think about the functional aspects as well. How will you use the garden on a daily basis? You may want to include a playset for the kids, a herb and vegetable patch and fruiting trees for home cooking or even a patio and barbeque area for entertaining. Remember to include paths and space around your garden so you can access the plants for weeding, pruning, and maintenance.
- Think about maintenance
Being able to maintain the garden you create is essential. Take the time to research which low maintenance plants will be easiest to care for in your climate so you can ease yourself in as a beginner. Don’t put yourself under too much pressure by overcommitting to high maintenance plants too soon.
- Research your local gardening climate
The US is such a vast country that each region and often each city has a different climate. This will have a direct impact on what you can grow. The long summers of Detroit, for example, will be much better suited to some plants than those you would grow in rainy Seattle. You also need to think about how much sun and shade your garden has during the day, where rainfall may gather or even where the wind is strongest. This will dictate where your plants should be placed for the best possible results.
- Work around a focal point
A key tip for landscaping beginners is to include a focal point in your design. Choose something big and bold, which you want to highlight. It could be a plant, tree, or structure, but the rest of your design should lead the eye to this area.
- Remember the furniture and accessories
In addition to the living species in your garden, you need to remember to include some structural features or ornamental accessories. This could be fencing, arches, water features, patio furniture or statues, as long as they add another dimension to your design.
- Learn to cope with pests and wildlife
The last thing you want when you’ve designed and cultivated a beautiful garden is to watch pests and animals destroy it just as quickly. Most gardens will have some visitors from insects (both welcome and unwelcome), birds, mice, rats and squirrels to deer or even alligators, depending on your location. Research appropriate pesticides and deterrents and try to keep temptation out of their reach. For example, fruits and vegetables can be wrapped in wire, and bird feeders can be squirrel-proofed.
- Be patient
No garden is transformed overnight. Depending on how much free time you have to commit to the project, it could take anything from a few weeks to months or even years to get your garden to the level you’re dreaming of. Have patience, put in the work, and you will be rewarded with your dream garden to maintain and enjoy for many years to come.
Image by midascode from Pixabay