by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
Do-It-Yourself landscaping ranges from building walkways, installing water features, to creating your own raised garden beds. Homeowners seeking a helping hand can follow the instructions in the resources shown below, which feature popular DIY landscaping projects
#1 Outdoor Privacy, Safety, Ease of Living
We divide our indoor living spaces into separate rooms mainly for convenience and privacy. The same is true for our outdoor living spaces: A swimming pool area should be tailored to accommodate poolside activities. (Duh.) However, until you begin plans for a project do you realize that, for instance, requirements for a pool space are quite different from the needs in a garden’s seating area.
Discover ways to achieve curb appeal, privacy, and convenience in your outdoor living areas with these resources:
#2 Rock Gardens, Water Features, Flower Beds
Rock gardens are calm spaces planted exclusively with vegetation that thrives in dry conditions. Water features are visually and audibly appealing. Using pre-formed liners, durable pumps, and flexible tubing, they are fairly easy to install. Once you’ve experimented with ponds, you may advance to the next level of complexity: simple waterfalls. Install water-loving plants around water features to enhance their visual appeal. Flowerbeds have the best flexibility to enhance any landscape space and design.
#3 Patios, Walkways, Walls
DIY landscaping projects can greatly enhance the enjoyment of the yard. Features such as patios and walkways can add not only beauty but increase functionality. Follow these helpful guides to local hardscape designs.
#4 Raised Beds, Stone Walls
Simple terrace jobs are excellent DIY landscaping projects for beginners. After building small stone retaining walls, you can plant them much like a raised garden bed. Building large retaining walls is not considered a DIY project. If you need a tall wall, chances are you have an erosion problem just waiting to happen and will benefit from the expertise of a professional.
Raised Garden Beds – YouTube
#5 Pest Control
It’s interesting that gardeners’ attitudes toward pests will be similar to their attitudes toward weeds. For some gardeners weeds are deemed merely “wild plants” and tolerated in the yard; likewise, “pests” are enjoyed as “wildlife” and the damage they cause accepted as part of nature. But for those who shun such a laissez-faire approach to gardening, the resources below on pest control will provide some handy tips. Deer, javelins, rabbits, gophers, and certain insects are major pests in the mountains, but it’s possible to employ organic and humane control efforts.
#6 Drainage, Erosion, and Other Soil Problems
Drainage problems can be a real strain on your time and energy. Solving drainage problems sounds easy, but is a very difficult project. Only in the mountains can you find instances of water actually seeping uphill! In such a case it is far easier to call a professional that has witnessed and contended with this phenomenon. For lesser problem,s you can spread some wildflower seed, plant deep-rooted junipers or cotoneasters, or check out these local resources.
#7 Where Beginners Should Start
The following are some introductory resources you may wish to use when beginning a DIY landscaping career. Whether you want to get down and dirty right away or have landscape design concepts explained to you in detail, these sources have something helpful for everyone.
#8 When You Need a Professional
Some tasks are too dangerous to be considered DIY landscaping projects. In other cases, you may lack the time, energy, or skills needed to do the job correctly and safely. There’s a lot to be said for knowing when to call the pros. Remember, in order to avoid costly property damage from falling trees, drainage issues, and erosion problems it makes good financial sense to call in a pro before a considerable problem gets out of hand. Of course, there are times when calling a pro simply allows you to avoid backbreaking work. I chose to call in the pros at Jonnys Tree and Landscape Service to grind out a large stump rather than digging out the stump myself. Do some research first so you are informed and make the right decision on a professional service. Visit us here at Watters Garden Center for a curated list of local professionals that can handle problems from snake removal to large tree pruning.
Until next week, I’ll be helping local gardeners here at Watters Garden Center.