Landscaping is the act of manipulating your yard and garden for practical and aesthetic reasons. It consists of planning, laying out, and constructing gardens, pathways, and yards, usually around a home, to enhance the appearance and create useable space for outdoor activities.

People have been landscaping for thousands of years. There is evidence of landscaping from almost every ancient culture, especially in long-term civilizations. It was usually seen around temples, palaces, public areas, and other places of importance. However, landscaping was also often performed around private residences.

The options for landscaping are limitless. The same goes for the reasons to landscape in the first place. As mentioned above, many people landscape their yards to make them look more appealing and to be more functional in terms of outdoor activities.

Benefits of Landscaping

The benefits of landscaping cannot be overstated. A few of the best reasons to consider landscaping the area around your home include:

  • Increases property value and curb appeal
  • Can reduce heating and cooling costs
  • Filters pollutants and creates cleaner air
  • Provides privacy and reduces local noise
  • Reduces storm water runoff
  • Creates an attractive environment for entertaining and relaxing
  • Enhances quality of life
  • Landscaping to Improve Curb Appeal
One of the most important benefits of landscaping your yard is that it improves your home’s curb appeal and resale value. Even if you are not planning on selling your home in the near future, a landscaped yard is attractive and welcoming. It will make selling your home much easier if the time comes in the future.

In fact, a study has shown that landscaping can add as much as 15% to the resale value of your home. It can also speed up the sale by as much as six weeks. Even spending 5% of the value of your home on landscaping can increase resale value by 15%.

If you are planning to sell your home soon, then landscaping is one of the number absolute best ways to improve your home’s curb appeal and make more money on the sale. Better yet, just a few quick touchups is all that are needed. You should start with keeping the area outside your home clean and tidy. Make sure that your lawn is freshly mowed, your gardens are weeded, your trees are pruned, and your driveway is swept. Doing these things is particularly important if your home is already on the market and you have potential buyers scheduling showings.

Inexpensive Landscaping Tips

Landscaping can be thought of in much the same way as gardening. Spending time out in the yard, maintaining the gardens, installing new decorative pieces, and keeping things in great condition is fun. It is an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors and a great workout to boot. DIY landscaping also saves you money over hiring a contractor.

If you are considering DIY landscaping, then the tips below are a few of the best inexpensive ways for you to get started.

Draw a Plan: You should not tackle a landscaping project without drawing up a plan. Start by making a to scale drawing of the outdoor space you plan to landscape. Pencil in the features that will remain (such as driveways, patios, and shrubbery). Then start playing around by penciling in different landscaping ideas until you find a layout you like.

Build a Path: One of the best ways to spruce up any yard is to build a path. A stone pathway can be constructed for surprisingly cheap and will instantly improve your yard’s look. Stones can be found for cheap or free online or by contacting a local concrete contractor.

Look for Cheap Plants: Plants don’t have to cost an arm and a leg to purchase. Once again, looking around online, on websites such as Craigslist, is a surefire way to find people giving away plants for cheap. Yard sales are another great place to look. Instead of purchasing the whole plant, many people are willing to give away a root cutting for free if you ask.

Invest in Bark: Lining certain garden areas with bark is a quick and easy way to make them look much more professional. Look for bulk bark for the best deal and then layer it throughout your garden.

Create Raised Beds: Raised garden beds are the perfect way to add organization to your yard and grow fresh vegetables at the same time. All that it takes is a couple of two by fours, a handful of nails, and some quality soil.

Care is Key: The very best landscaping tip of all is to take care of your yard and garden. Even the most simple and basic DIY landscaping job can look amazing with the right type of care. At the same time, an expensive, professional job will quickly lose its appeal if you fail to perform regular maintenance. Be sure to prune bushes, mow the lawn, and weed the garden to keep your landscaping creation in tip-top condition.

Hiring a Contractor to Landscape Your Yard

Not everyone wants to spend the time, energy, and money to landscape their yard by themselves. And that’s perfectly okay. Fortunately, there is a quick and easy solution: hiring a contractor.

The landscaping industry is booming as more and more people realize the benefits of landscaping. Finding a reliable contractor in your local area is a simple process. Start by asking for references from friends and family if they have used landscaping contractors in the past. You can also search the Internet for reviews of the best companies in your area.

If you live on a busy corner or street with lots of traffic (whether it is car or foot), then you might be able to score a great deal from a landscaping contractor. Companies will often offer free one-time landscaping in exchange for an advertising opportunity. They will do work on your yard and all you have to do is keep a small sign with their name and contact information in a visible spot in your freshly landscaped yard.

At the end of the day, there is no denying that landscaping is one of the best ways to up your home’s curb appeal, increase its resale value, and improve your overall quality of life.

1: Storr House by Tim Stewart Architects
2: Berkely Hills House by Yamamar Design