Q: One of the reasons we bought our home was because of the yard, but we just don’t seem to spend enough time out there. What can we do to encourage ourselves to have more outside time?

In our nearly twenty five years in business, we’ve encountered many situations similar to this one. It’s one thing to have a yard, but it’s so important to have a vision for what you want to do with it!

Our first suggestion in helping you to spend more time in the yard would be to encourage you to change your perspective a bit. We tend to think of a home’s yard and landscape as an extension of the house itself. 

Typically, kitchens are for cooking, bedrooms are for sleeping, back yards are for…you name it! You see, that’s precisely the thing that makes having a blank canvas of a yard so exciting — the possibilities are endless, if your imagination is, too. 

A lot of people enjoy hosting outdoor get-togethers in their backyard, so why not consider a covered patio area that can exist as a luxurious outdoor living room? Having it covered means that you can use it all year long during our rainy season, and you can also add amenities to it like a fireplace or a fire pit for warmth or a primary focal point. 

Add ceiling fans to keep things cool in the summertime. Consider built-in tables and seating so you can have meals in the evening, entertain on the weekends, and even use the space as a work and meeting area during normal business hours. 

Maybe you want a space where you can focus on your physical and mental wellness, so features like poured concrete and turf for exercise might make a lot of sense in conjunction with reflection pools or waterfalls for meditation. In many ways, your yard can be even more versatile than your home, due to the fact that you can make this space comfortable and functional enough to accommodate many outdoor and indoor activities.

To recap: 

Your landscape doesn’t have to be typical. It can be exceptional. We encourage you and all of our clients to think about their yards in terms of, “What do you love to do? How can your landscape support and enhance that? How can it be central to that? What would be the features that could make your yard one of, if not the, most desirable part of your home?” so we can create a plan together to make that happen. 

Q: We love our yard, but lead a busy life and need a lower-maintenance solution that’s still beautiful. Any suggestions?

Landscaping can mean so many different things and the standard lawn and garden solutions don’t work for everyone, nor do they suit everyone’s tastes. There are ways to achieve an elegant, low-maintenance landscape, especially when you have the right landscaping team by your side!

Unless you’re intimately familiar with lawn care, you might think that a lawn is a lawn. It’s just grass, right? You just cut it when it’s getting too long and, other than that, what is there to do, really? 

But once you become a homeowner and you have a lawn of any significance to take care of, it’s quite a shock to discover how much work goes into making a lawn look halfway presentable. Yeah, there’s mowing, but there’s also fertilizing, aerating, mulching, thatching, edging, weeding, de-mossing, spot-seeding. 

Are you using the right kind of fertilizer for the right season? Have a sprinkler system? Are you watering enough but not too much? It can be downright overwhelming. Sure, you can work with a landscape gardener, but those folks can be pretty expensive, and sometimes it seems like all the really good ones are too busy to take on new clients. 

Besides that, you lead a busy life and maybe, just maybe, you don’t really care all that much about your lawn (or you care just enough that your HOA leaves you be). What options do you even have? Well, it turns out that you have quite a few, as a matter of fact.

Here’s something to wrap your head around: Your yard doesn’t have to be all grass. It really doesn’t. Maybe you want your yard to be functional in an altogether different way. Consider a combination of poured concrete patio with wooden walkways, connecting gathering areas to raised planter boxes, for instance. 

How about a low water solution, like they use in the American southwest? There are some beautiful solutions that can replace grass by using gravel and stone along with a wide variety of heartier perennials that require way less water and way less maintenance. It’s still absolutely beautiful and it requires far fewer resources. You’ll even end up saving money on your water bill!

Still want the look of grass without all the hassle of maintaining it? Why not consider synthetic turf? Today’s turf options are unbelievably authentic looking, durable, and even feel like real grass, so real that even your pets won’t know the difference!

The point is, your landscape doesn’t have to be a burden. It can be beautiful, budget friendly and easy to maintain. If grass and lawn maintenance isn’t your thing, then we can work together to understand what your thing is so we can incorporate it into a gorgeous, functional design. At Greenhaven, that’s precisely what we do, and we’d love to do it for you, too. 

Have more questions about how you can make your yard your home’s most desirable destination? Contact Greenhaven Landscapes today. We have a quarter-century of experience in helping people just like you achieve the landscape of their dreams!