Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tricks to Increase Your Yard, Optically

Photo by: digihanger

Tricks to Increase Your Yard, Optically

Yesterday, I gave you a couple ideas on ways to make your landscape look bigger.  The nice thing about these ideas is this; they don’t cost a lot of money. In addition, they are simple enough for the average or beginning gardener to accomplish without having to hire it done. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, because many of these things you might find in your yard or at garage sales. You can find some of the items at the dump. Some people offer them free. The only thing it may cost you is the gas in your vehicle to drive there and pick the things up.  


The pathways in your garden should meander through the yard. Soft curves and gentle turns help provide depth. Straight lines only lead you from the front of the garden to the end of the garden, making a small yard look smaller. Paving stones or bricks can lead you on a journey. 

As you design the garden area, incorporate a bird station of feeders, houses, and birdbaths. While you walk through the garden, or sit in your private retreat, birds provide the music. They entertain you. They eat a large amount of insects that would otherwise destroy a garden or make staying outdoors less enjoyable.

Even though the garden may be small, place wrought iron or wood benches in different places along the path. Or, using tables and chairs as a centerpiece, design the garden around this area to serve as a private retreat. To take advantage of your backyard during the nighttime hours, place solar lights along the pathway and around your relaxation area.

Antique Wheels

If you want to have a raised garden, consider using an antique iron wheel. You may want to find someone to cut the spokes out of the middle, leaving you with an iron ring.  Fill the inside with potting soil, stopping when the soil is ½ inch to 1 inch below the rim. This will give you room to water the soil so it doesn't run over the sides. Always allow the soil to settle for several days to a week before planting any flowers.

We have several antique wheels serving as planters in our yard. One is about ten inches wide and we have our clothesline in the center. We planted creeping phlox in that one.  It covers the soil and spills over the sides making the area seem cooler during the hot summer days. Two other wheels have flowers and trees planted inside. We weren’t sure whether the trees would live, because the birds planted them for us. One is an evergreen tree, and the other is a walnut tree. The flowers are various wild flowers that grew from seed we sowed over the soil. 

Patios or Decks

Patios can also add to the illusion of having a larger backyard. Design your deck or patio with different levels. For added depth, make each section out of separate materials such as wood, bricks, slate, or stone.

Of course, I’d rather have my patio floor all one level, without the steps except those from the ground up. That way you can walk around without having to worry about tripping up or down the stairs. Decorate the patio area with planters or pots filled with blooming flowers or dwarf trees. Anymore you can find planters made of wood, iron, plastic, ceramic, or concrete and they come in a wide variety of styles, colors, and shapes. Choose the ones that will complement your patio. Plant some dwarf trees or conifers that grow straight, and stay slim. They will give the area some privacy without taking up too much room. 

When starting your garden, always start small or as your budget allows. Each year, you can add different plants or things to your garden area. Also, be patient.  Chances are the plants you see in catalogs or in peoples yards weren’t planted that season. It takes a year or two for perennial plants to establish themselves and cover in the soil or fill in an area like the glossy magazines show.   

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