Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Using Hardscapes in Your Backyard

Steve is on Spring break and so the backyard project continues through the rain and wind.  I want to talk about the importance of hardscapes.  While it is much more fun to think about beautiful plants, you will save yourself a lot of time and money if you carefully define the spaces in your backyard.  We decided to use pea gravel and drain rock because it creates varied texture and will save us from a huge lawn that needs constant watering and garden beds that need constant weeding.

We found clean bagged topsoil for free on Craig's List, now we just need to fill the top with organic soil to grow our veggies in.  We spent about $30.00 on wood to encase the bricks.  They are secured by wooden stakes that will be covered with drain rock.

To break up the drain rock I am going to make a rounded raised bed and plant low maintenance ornamental grasses and ground cover with some flowers to add color.
For this area of the yard we are using lots of right angles to create the illusion of a puzzle with pieces of grass, gravel, brick and dirt.

Until we have finished all the hardscaping I have promised myself that I won't plant amongst the mess of the yard.  However, there is no reason not to fill up my pots with hearty plants that add beauty to my patio and can be transplanted in my yard later.  I love succulents, burgundy festival grass, Euphorbia martinii, auburn sedge, plum pudding coral bells, and ground cover like Sedum Limelight.
Our patio is in terrible shape and while we hemmed and hawed about tearing it up and laying pavers, it was just too expensive of an undertaking.  Instead we invested in this beautiful outdoor carpet made from polypropylene which is mold, fade, and water resistant.  At almost 8x11 feet it is large enough to cover most of our patio.  Overstock has a great selection of these rugs in all sizes and colors and the best part is that the shipping is always 2.50!

Planing your space ahead of time will give a canvas that is beautiful on it's own and will be enhanced by what you plant on it.


1 comment:

It's A Riot said...

I can't wait to see this backyard in two months!

Your next task is to provide some landscaping, or planter tips for the NY version of the backyard: the fire escape / balcony. Please!

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