We all dream of having that picture perfect backyard to relax and entertain in. Maybe you have tried landscaping or decorating your backyard with no luck, and you just can’t seem to get your yard to look like the beautiful gardens in magazines. The good news, is there are easy fixes to help your yard reach its full potential! Let’s go over a few common backyard mistakes and how to avoid them.

Not having a plan:It’s important to have a goal in mind when you begin your backyard remodel. First, take into account what kind of backyard you are working with and what you would like to change. If you have issues like a sloped or rocky backyard, research what is needed to fix those issues. Some backyard remodels begin with no plan in mind and end in disaster.

Set up a layout. Envision what you want your backyard to look like and plan the steps to make that happen. Choose the order of what you would like to add to your backyard, and where exactly you would like to add them, such as trees, deciduous plants, tiers, etc.. This will ensure you will have everything you want in your new backyard, while guaranteeing you will have enough space to put everything. It will also help avoid the conflict of installing something too early or too late, which can throw off your remodel timeline.

Creating or not fixing poor drainage or irrigation:Improper drainage can cause a slew of issues, from messing up the soil in your yard, to damaging or eroding your foundation. When implementing your backyard design, think of installing a French drain or other drainage system. Also look at sprinkler systems that will help keep your yard looking green and beautiful!

Ending up with too small walking spaces: There always needs to be adequate space for any decks, patios or walkways in your backyard. Too small of a walkway can reduce functional pathways, while not giving yourself enough space for your patio or deck, can put a damper on your backyard entertainment goals. Incorporate plenty of space for these important backyard must-haves.

Not thinking about the big picture: A great design tip for a beautiful backyard is to simply make it an extension of your home. Don’t think of your yard and home as two separate places, but as one whole design. Try to make the area between indoors and outdoors fluid. Is your backdoor located in the kitchen? Expand your kitchen by flowing into an outdoor kitchen, or creating a beautiful outdoor dining space. This method of design will make your both, your home and backyard, seem larger and more put together.

Overfilling your garden:Another issue, is simply having the wrong sized plants for the available space. It is important to choose plants that won’t outgrow their specified area and become a problem later down the line. If you feel like you need to have a certain type of plant in your yard but are unsure of the placement, choose the spot where it will flourish the best, as opposed to what it will look like in the beginning.

Another plant placement issue is planting items too close together. It is okay to have bare spots in  between plants in the beginning, your plants will grow and look beautiful in time. It’s not good to make your garden look full in the beginning, and eventually have dead or overcrowded plants due to lack of space.

Not planning for the whole year:Most plants look great in late spring or early summer, but it’s important to choose a variety of plants that will look beautiful year-round. You want to be able to enjoy your yard all year, so plant some non-flowering plants that will continue to look green through each season. Autumn fern, lavender and junipers are examples of different plants that always look pretty.

Not setting a color scheme:Just as you would with any room in your home, setting a color pallete is a fantastic way to help your yard look beautiful and polished. It is recommended to do 3 colors of flowers or plants plus white flowered plants for accent. This will give your backyard a cohesive appearance.

Adding too much: A big mistake some homeowners make is adding too much. Instead of having a pretty and full backyard, it turns out to be a cluttered mess. Don’t be afraid to leave space in your backyard, not every portion of it needs to be filled with something. It’s also key, to limit your backyard accessories. Have enough to add décor and character, but not so many that the accessories look more like disordered knick-knacks.

Be realistic about your backyard. Choose a design and/or items that will fit in your backyard space. The main point is to enhance your backyards beauty, not fill it just to fill it. Work with your backyards available framework and, with some time and effort, your backyard dreams will become a reality!

by Sierra Waldrop