Gardening: Planning to transform your yard

First, you have a dream, then a plan to make your space beautiful

We’ve had our winter – a little snow, a cold snap or two, and a bunch of rain – so now it’s time to start thinking about spring.

And nothing says spring like yard work and landscape renovations.

If you love your home, and you haven’t already done the deed, chances are you’re already thinking about how you’re going to transform your yard into your personal paradise this spring and summer. And if you’re a typical homeowner, you probably don’t have nearly enough money to do everything you’d like to do, or enough time to accomplish it all.

Which is why Sherilyn Gale and Rob Turner of Beneath Your Feat Landscaping suggest the best way to begin transforming your yard is to develop a plan.

Naturally, there are as many ways to develop the perfect plan as there are people, and your personal paradise is not going to end up looking anything like your neighbour’s or best friend’s.

It’s all about personal taste, say Gale and Turner.

Even if you’re on a budget, you can achieve wonders, if you put your mind to it.

The award-winning landscaping team says a good plan starts with a dream. Do you envision a party zone or a personal oasis? Is it about food production or a place for the kids to play? Did you take a trip somewhere and marvel at the gardens you saw?

“Perhaps you wish to include a design such as a Japanese garden, or as many customers we have built for want, a garden that emulates the Whistler theme – natural rocks, boulders and native plantings that are drought tolerant. It could include an actual waterfall and stream, or even a dry river bed,” says Gale.

One of the advantages of creating a plan, says Turner, is that it allows you to do the necessary projects over time. This is particularly helpful for those who can only devote so much time each year, or those whose budget only stretches so far.

“If you’re on a budget, a good plan will allow you to concentrate on specific, smaller projects that can be completed independently of the other projects, which means they can be put to use right away, and don’t rely on the other components to make the yard functional or beautiful,” he says. “Build in stages and you’ll be amazed at how much gets accomplished.”

More and more people are making good use of all their space, says Gale. This is particularly true of those with smaller yards.

“A simple court yard entrance that includes a bench with small privacy hedges and possibly even a fountain is a garden,” says Gale. “It provides both functionality as well as curb appeal, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot in time or money.”

Raised garden beds are another way to landscape your yard simply and efficiently. They also have the added benefit of providing food and a little “outdoor therapy.”

Think of your yard as a place to create new “rooms” for your home, Gale advises.

Outdoor living spaces can be elaborate and include such features as waterfalls, ponds, outdoor kitchens, bar areas, and even small putting greens for added entertainment.

They can also be much simpler, with covered pergolas, fireplaces, fire pits, and outdoor heaters for year round use – depending on your lifestyle and budget.

Lighting is a huge consideration, and you can create some stunning spaces and terrific ambiance with a few well-placed lights that will bring the backyard to life at night.

Turner says you need to put a bit of thought into what you want from your yard. But with so many families opting for “staycations,” it just makes sense to turn one’s yard into something more than a patch of grass and a few shrubs.

“You pay an awful lot of money for a home these days,” he says, “and you deserve to have every corner of the property pay you back.”

Gale notes that a properly executed landscape plan could add upwards of 10 per cent to the value of a property.

So if you want more from your property this year, consider creating a landscaping plan that will add immeasurably to your enjoyment of your home.

Robert Prince is a freelance writer who lives in Maple Ridge.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of Katzie First Nation got into the spirit of Pink Shirt Day with honking, car decoration, and drumming. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)
Katzie First Nation recognizes Pink Shirt Day with ‘honking’ parade

Community rallies together to promote anti-bullying message

COVID-19 (Pixabay)
COVID-19 exposures at schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Alexander Robinson and Edit McDermott are latest elementary schools exposed

City council reviewed the Growing Together report, and its vision for downtown Maple Ridge.
Pocket parks, walkability, safety are highlights of Maple Ridge downtown vision

Homelessness and crime could undermine vision for city says Robson

Discover Camping reservation service opens March 8 for the 2021 camping season. (The News files)
Camping reservations for B.C. parks opens March 8

Busy season expected again this year for Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

A woman boards a transit bus through rear doors, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
TransLink slow to reveal crucial details about ransomware attack, says union

Union says company took months to admit what info was stolen, including SIN and bank account details

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read