How to landscape a large lot

Don't let a large lot scare you from doing your own landscaping. You can actually have loads of fun working with so much space. Read on to find out how to get started.

How to landscape a large lot

Make a plan

  • Your first step is defining your usable space. Pay attention to the choices your neighbours have made with their land; there might be reasons for those decisions. That said, don't feel pressured to do what the neighbours are doing if there is no practical reason to.
  • Decide if you want more usable space, and mark the site with fences or walls to suit your plan.
  • Decide what you want your outdoor area to include: a lawn, patio, fireplace, plants, a seating area, gardens, walkways, stairs. Consider the maintenance level of each component.
  • Choose plants that are suitable to your area; going with native plants is always best as they'll thrive most in the climate.
  • When planting vegetable or flower gardens, figure out if you'll need to replace the existing soil. If it's too rocky, for example, you may want to create a raised bed and buy good-quality garden soil.
  • Decide if you need an irrigation system and what type you need. You may want to plan walkways to suit access needs, and reduce runoff by rerouting rainwater toward the areas that need it.
  • Consider the need for shaded area, and plant, build or install accordingly. Plant shade-providing trees early on.

Be patient

The truth is, it may take years to see your plan through. But the pay off is that you'll have a backyard where you can enjoy hours of relaxation. Whether you're entertaining, picking fruit and vegetables, observing the antics of birds and other wildlife or simply spending time alone, plan your backyard now for what you find therapeutic, beautiful and enjoyable.

DIY landscaping tips

  • Good do-it-yourselfers know their limitations. Do the work you feel confident with, and hire contractors for the rest, especially when safety is a concern.
  • Whenever possible, incorporate the native plants that are already growing on your site. Remember, native plants won't require extra water or special maintenance.
  • Create reference points for your yard. Name the trees and larger plants or shrubs after relatives, or characters. With a large space and lots growing on it, naming landmarks, so to speak, could become a charming way of family and friends who spend time in your yard know exactly what and where you're talking about. Name new additions as they become part of the landscape.
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